Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)
Explore the nature paths of Cerro de la Cruz independently or as part of a half-day or full-day sightseeing tour. Antigua tours typically visit the hill along with city highlights such as the Baroque-style La Merced Church, San Francisco Church (home to the much-visited shrine of Saint Pedro Hermano), and the Jade Museum, where you can see craftsmen work with the coveted green stones. Some longer tours go even farther afield, dipping into the mountainous Guatemalan countryside to native villages, a working coffee plantation, and the mysterious Mayan ruins at Iximché.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Cerro de la Cruz is an ideal nature spot to catch panoramic views of Antigua and Volcán de Agua.
- The Antigua Tourist Police offers free accompanied walks, usually at 10am and 3pm; solo travelers are advised to take this option as there have been some reports of muggings, mostly during dusk hours.
- You can hike 333 concrete steps to reach the overlook, or opt for a tuk tuk or taxi ride to the top.
How to Get There
Cerro de la Cruz is located on the north side of Antigua. Walk along 1A Avenida until you reach the base of the hill where a sign marks the trailhead. To your left, concrete stairs lead to the overlook. Parking is available for a small fee.
When to Get There
Cerro de la Cruz’s scenic overlook is open from the morning until early evening hours. To avoid any safety issues, come earlier in the day and enjoy the tree-shaded trail. If you can, try to go on a clear, cloudless day for the best view of the volcano.
Volcán de Agua With its massive cone towering more than 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) above Antiqua, Volcán de Agua is an impressive sight. Its crater used to be filled with water, until an earthquake in 1541 ruptured its lip, setting off a mudslide that destroyed the village below, Santiago de los Caballeros, the original capital of Central America. The deadly event prompted officials to move the capital to Antigua.
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