If you’ve chosen Antigua as a base for your Guatemala vacation, you’ll want to start filling out your itinerary with day trips and tours. Whether your focus is on adventure, culture, education, or all the above, this region has plenty to offer!
At Martsam Travel, we specialize in tailor-made holidays and private group trips in Guatemala. Having established strong partnerships with many local suppliers, we provide a one-of-a-kind service that genuinely gives back to the local community.
From touring Mayan treasures to Guatemala cultural tours, we love showing visitors everything our beautiful, fascinating country has to offer.
And we’re not just experts in our homeland. Our knowledge and experience allow us to provide tours and holidays in neighboring destinations like Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.
But for now, our focus remains in Guatemala. Read on to discover some of the best day trips from Antigua.
Pacaya Volcano: Visit an Active Volcano!
It’s not every day you get the chance to hike on an active volcano, so it’s no surprise that visiting Pacaya is one of the most popular day trips from Antigua.
Located around 90 minutes south-east of Antigua, your trip includes an experienced, knowledgeable guide who can explain the geological formation of the volcano.
Perhaps of equal importance, your guide will also show you the best spots to roast marshmallows over lava and hot rocks.
This trip is a must for any Antigua, Guatemala itinerary!
Chichicastenango: Browse the Famous Open-Air Market
Chichicastenango isn’t exactly around the corner from Antigua. In fact, it takes two-and-a-half hours to get to this sprawling city by car.
However, the famous open-air market here — said to be Latin America’s largest — is absolutely worth the effort and one of the best day trips from Antigua.
The Chichicastenango market has a dazzling array of items for sale. This extends beyond the souvenirs and mementos to fruit and vegetables of impressive size and quality.
Learn more about Chichicastenango, both the city and market, before your visit.
Lake Atitlán : Contender for Prettiest Lake in the World
Tucked away in the southwestern highlands, Lake Atitlán sits in a volcanic crater. Its surface varies in color and the darker shades of blue indicate just how deep this lake is. With a depth of 1,115 feet, it’s the deepest lake in Central America.
But that’s only one reason why day trips to Lake Atitlán from Antigua are so popular.
Flanked by three volcanoes (Atitlán, San Pedro, and Tolimán), Lake Atitlán is famous for its stunning vistas. Renowned author Aldous Huxley called it the most beautiful lake in the world.
Before your trip here, explore the magic of Lake Atitlán from the comfort of your home.
Santa Teresita Spa: Unwind After Climbing Pacaya
The Santa Teresita Spa sits conveniently between Antigua and the Pacaya volcano. As such, it’s perfectly placed for a visit after the effort of climbing the latter.
There’s no better way to pamper yourself than with a good massage and relaxation time in hot springs pools. And if that wasn’t enough, Santa Teresita also has thermal steam saunas and hydroptherpay options.
Best of all, this spa and hotel is located in a unique and natural environment.
Finca La Azotea: A Working Coffee Farm in Jocotenango
If you’ve ever wanted to visit a fully operational coffee farm, add Finca La Azotea to your list of must-sees. There aren’t many better Antigua, Guatemala tours and day trips for coffee lovers!
This coffee farm has been operational for over 150 years — and they have a museum to showcase their proud history.
In addition to the museum, a guided tour takes in the rows of coffee plants and the coffee production drying field. Finca La Azotea even has a health food cafe, gift shop, and on-site boutique.
Finca Filadelfia: Another Coffee Farm in the Same Town!
That’s right, the small town of Jocotenango is home to two working coffee farms! Finca Filadelfia is another impressive option for your caffeine fix.
This institution also has a proud history, provides coffee tours, and has an on-site cafe and shop. But it’s a resort too, so you can stay in Colonial-style rooms equipped with everything a 21st-century tourist needs.
With so much to see and do given its size, Jocotenango is one of the hidden gems in Antigua, Guatemala.
El Hato: Kick Back and Relax at Earth Lodge
Many visitors to El Hato make a beeline for Earth Lodge. And when you see this eco-lodge perched in the mountains, you’ll understand why.
Earth Lodge contains a restaurant and eco hotel rooms, but it’s also a world-class yoga destination and avocado farm!
There’s an incredibly friendly, laid-back, and welcoming atmosphere here, perfect for when you want to laze in your hammock and take in the stunning mountain views.
Hobbitenango: Another Eco-Lodge with a Hobbit Theme!
Much like coffee farms in Jocotenango, El Hato provides more than one choice of eco-lodge. And as the name suggests, Hobbitenango is inspired by Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
You can find quaint Hobbit holes here and a huge stone troll hand that overlooks the Panchoy Valley and volcanoes beyond.
With archery, ax-throwing, a tree swing, mini-golf, and a restaurant, Hobbitenango is a fun day trip from Antigua, Guatemala.
Iximché Mayan Ruins: Step Back into Another Age
From 1470 until its abandonment in 1524, Iximché was the capital city of the Kaqchikel Maya kingdom.
Today, it’s a well-preserved archaeological site complete with an informative museum. Among the architecture here you can find various pyramid temples, ceremonial plazas, palaces, and even a couple of Mesoamercian ballcourts.
Mixco Viejo Ruins: For Even More Cultural History
Also known as Jilotepeque Viejo, Mixco Viejo is an incredibly well-preserved Mayan city.
The Chajoma originally built the site as a defensive fortification, but it eventually fell to the Kaqchikel Maya. They then reigned here for centuries before the Spanish conquests led to its abandonment in 1524.
Visitors today can climb the thin stone pyramids that were once reserved exclusively for royalty!
Valhalla Macadamia Farm: Learn About Nut Production
If you want to add some unusual activities to your Antigua, Guatemala itinerary, a trip to the Valhalla Macadamia Farm ticks every box. After all, how often do you get the chance to visit a working nut farm?
A short drive outside Antigua, Valhalla Macadamia Farm offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of the macadamia nut and how it is cultivated and harvested.
We advise visiting in the morning so you can enjoy Valhalla’s excellent breakfasts.
Château DeFay: Tour a Central American Vineyard!
While Guatemala is synonymous with coffee beans, the same isn’t true of wine. Given the scarcity of vineyards in Central America, Château DeFay is one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Antigua, Guatemala.
The château itself is a French-style reconstruction, making it an intriguing sight given the surroundings.
And the experimental vineyard doesn’t only grow grapes. They also cultivate avocados and passionfruit here too.
Explore Antigua, the Surrounding Areas, and Guatemala!
The above are just some of the best day trips from Antigua, Guatemala. But there’s no need to stop there!
At Martsam Travel, we provide a wide range of Guatemala tours, vacations, and travel packages that cover the history, culture, and jaw-dropping sights that our country is famous for.
If you have any questions you’d like us to answer prior to booking, please don’t hesitate to contact us.