Antigua Guatemala, the 3rd capital of Guatemala from 1543 to 1775, originally known as the Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Santiago de los Caballeros, is a city of colonial architecture based in a valley surrounded by three majestic volcanoes: the Agua Volcano, with 3,760 meters high, a resting giant that was crucial in the background of the country, the Fuego Volcano, with 3,763 meters high, an active titan that amazes the spectators with its red eruptions as well as white fumaroles, the Acatenango Volcano, with 3,976 meters high, perfect for climbing up, for enjoying the view it offers from its summit and to observe the eruptions of the Fuego Volcano closely.
Antigua is blessed with a convenient location due to the short distances between various destinations of high touristic interest, pleasant climate, 12 ° C to 25 ° C throughout the year, first-rate nightlife, and gastronomic diversity international and also regional.
Antigua is an excellent area to please the different preferences of all family members, including of different generations, not to mention that it is an unbeatable location for photography lovers.
This city has the perfect activity for everyone, from cultural walks through the old cobblestone streets that tell tales in which mysticism, folklore, and local history mix, to bicycle trips along volcanic trails as well as zip lines for daring spirits.
The city that blends the past as well offers all family members a fantastic selection of that they can experience:
Cacao, an essential element in the history of the Mayan civilization, was utilized in food, beverages, and as currency or object of barter. Its use dates back 2,600 years. The cacao plant belongs to the genus “theobroma,” which translates from Greek as “food of the gods.”
In Antigua, there is the opportunity to participate in chocolate workshops. Participants can learn about the plant, its relevance and even create their own chocolate, which they can take home.
The Choco Museum is one of those accountable for carrying out chocolate workshops in Antigua, with various options that adapt to the budget and availability of the participants.
The complete experience they offer is the “Bean to Bar Workshop.” Here, you will discover everything about making chocolate, beginning with the cacao tree situated in the jungle, the origin of the plant, and its history.
Participants will make their own chocolates from the grain and prepare beverages like the Maya and the conquerors used to do. Additionally, they will be able to garnish their chocolates and take the result back home. With a length of 2 hours, this workshop is offered every day at 11:00 am and in the afternoon at 1:30 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:30 pm.
In addition to the “Bean to Bar Workshop,” Choco Museo also offers a shorter workshop. This mini-workshop is excellent for people on a rushed timetable, perfect for children and families. Here they describe in a summed up as well as easy-to-understand method the process of making chocolate. Participants will produce their own chocolates with milk, dark chocolate, and more than 15 different flavors. The workshop is available at any time and lasts 45 mins.
After any workshop, you can return 1 hour later to collect the chocolates made to take home.
Likewise, there is the opportunity to visit its open museum where you can learn everything concerning chocolate, cacao, its harvest, production, and transformation. An interactive scenic tour where individuals can stay as long as they wish, site visitors can ask the Choco Museum team about cacao and chocolate.
Another of those in charge of conducting interactive cacao workshops is the Ek Chuah Chocolate Shop. They offer two courses depending on the availability of the participants.
In the full workshop experience, you will learn the whole procedure of creating chocolate, from toasting the cacao, peeling it by hand, to discovering how to make an infusion from the shell. Next, prepare the authentic Mayan drink by hand with cacao, chili, and honey.
Furthermore, traditional chocolate is prepared to drink, which they mix sugar and various other ingredients such as cardamom, cinnamon, almond, and macadamia. Ending the activity, participants will mold their own chocolate bonbons and decorate them as they want with sprinkles, blueberries, coconut, or biscuits. This workshop lasts 90 minutes.
Ek Chuah Chocolate Shop likewise provides an express workshop. Lasting 45 mins, participants will learn more about the stages of chocolate transformation, from the cacao bean to the final product. You can also roast the cacao, peel it by hand and make an infusion from the shell. In the end, participants can mold and garnish the chocolate bonbons.
The workshops begin at 11:00 am, 1:30 pm, 4:00 pm. Then participants will have to return 20 minutes later to pick the chocolates up.
These delicious and enjoyable workshops explain the considerable relevance of cacao for the Mayan civilization, the essence of Guatemala, making these a must-see activity.
Along with relaxing and delicious chocolate workshops, Antigua likewise supplies activities for adventurer souls looking for an adrenaline rush.
In Santo Domingo del Cerro, an extension of the luxurious Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, there is the opportunity to fly through the sky in its Circo del Aire (Air Circus). It’s an activity for all family members that guarantees a secure and fun zip-lining and tower-climbing experience.
The Circo del Aire has two different courses depending upon the choices of the participants:
- The Short Path comprises eight jumps, two hanging bridges, and a climbing tower. Starting at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m. as well as 3:50 p.m every day. The maximum weight is 275 pounds.
- The Long Route has ten different jumps, two hanging bridges, two climbing towers, one ladder, a 200-meter walk, and the “Superman,” a 600-meter jump where two individuals can leap simultaneously, totally changing the experience. It is available at 10:00, 12:30, and also 14:30 every day. For this course, the maximum weight is 250 pounds. In the case of “Superman,” the minimum weight is 100 pounds, and the top weight is 190 pounds.
In both cases, Circo del Aire recommends showing up at least 15 minutes before the activity.
In addition to the Circo del Aire, in the facilities of Santo Domingo del Cerro, you can enjoy art and history museums with figures of renowned Guatemalan exponents, delightful gardens, a modern restaurant with superb food taken to a high level, and also extraordinary views of Antigua Guatemala and its three colossi (Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango volcanoes). Due to the versatility of the destination, Circo del Aire and Santo Domingo del Cerro is an activity that families cannot miss.
Antigua Guatemala likewise offers enjoyable activities such as horseback riding, excellent for building lovely memories for the family members while getting in touch with nature along with animals. Currently, there are two selections for this:
The first option in San Juan del Obispo, Raven’s Croft Riding Stable, welcomes travelers to ride steeds through scenic valleys and hillsides around Antigua.
This ride takes participants through farms and small towns that are generally not on the tour schedule to have stunning views of the volcanoes that surround the valley.
Raven’s Croft Riding Stable offers tours for kids 12 years and up, from beginners to experienced horseback riders. They also recommend participants take the horseback riding tours in the morning to take advantage of the weather and enjoy a better view.
The second alternative is the luxurious Finca in the Clouds, located on the borders of La Antigua. This 400-acre personal ranch has about 30 equines that are maintained free, without stables, and trained by professional American cowboy guides with experience of more than thirty years.
It offers a deluxe and high-quality journey for travelers that desire to ride on horseback in the heights.
Enjoy the fantastic views of Antigua along with its three volcanoes and the two volcanoes in Lake Atitlán. In Finca in the Clouds, you will have the opportunity to try the barbecue in their old ranch house, stroll in the natural gardens, or be delighted with white wine and cheese with the herd of horses. In addition to the horseback ride, they also offer a private chef, glamping, as well as Mayan ceremonies.
A fiery 2,552-meter-tall gem that continuously glows to astonish everyone with its volcanic activity. The Pacaya volcano is located one hour away from Antigua in the community of San Vicente Pacaya in the department of Escuintla.
The ascent of the Pacaya Volcano is approximately an hour and a half. There is the possibility of using horses to ease the climb. Travelers also have the chance to stay the night at the top, watch the sunrise from the heights, and have a picnic-type breakfast like never before.
Thanks to the moderate effort, the easy climb, and, above all, because of the fantastic sights it provides from the top of the impressive volcanic chain, the Pacaya Volcano is a must-see destination for travelers. Furthermore, due to its accessibility, this activity becomes a beautiful experience for the whole family, especially for children with lots of energy.