antigua and pacaya

Last week I found out that I had a long weekend because it’s (international) Labor Day! So we decided to make it a 3 day weekend in Antigua and hike Pacaya.

The reason we haven’t spent much time in Antigua until now (it’s only 2 hours away from where we live) is that it’s 1. expensive and 2. touristy. We also haven’t had much time with my work schedule, and usually want to use vacation days to extend our time during our visa runs. But this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get away for a weekend! Plus get some good food.

We stayed in a cute Airbnb far enough away from the center of town that it wasn’t noisy but close enough to walk there. We really liked where we stayed as it had a small kitchen and a perfect living space for 2 people. Not to mention it was less expensive than most hotels. Win, win.

We left Panajachel around 12pm on Saturday and got to Antigua around 2:30pm. After checking in to our Airbnb, we walked around and explored the city. Antigua is very charming and a perfect place to walk around, eat, and enjoy the ambiance. We ended up eating dinner at this pizza place called 7A Pizza. It was neat because the rooftop where we ate overlooked the ruins of an old cathedral. The pizza was great and it was nice to enjoy some time together.

On Sunday, we woke up early and left at 6am to hike Pacaya, an active volcano outside of Antigua. I had been told it was a fun, easy hike, and it definitely was. It was about an hour and a half drive so it was around 8am by the time we started hiking. I am glad we hiked San Pedro before this, because it made Pacaya seem like piece of cake! It was about 90 minutes up and an hour down. At the top, we hiked through the volcanic rock that is still hot. We did the touristy thing and roasted marshmallows over the hot rock, it was really fun! I actually hate marshmallows unless they’re in s’mores, but we had a good time roasting them.

On the way down, Jon and I had some time away from the group that we hiked up with. It was nice to have time with the two of us just chatting away. I have always loved hiking/camping/being outdoors with people because for whatever reason being in nature is more conducive to meaningful conversation. I have always found this to be true, so it was nice to be there with Jon, who just so happens to be my favorite person to talk to.

After we hiked down, we took the shuttle back into Antigua. We grabbed some fries and diet cokes at Wendy’s because… we just can’t get that kind of stuff in Panajachel. I wish I could say we are always classy with our food choices, but sometimes you just need some fries and a soda.

After we showered, we headed out and got some tacos and ice cream. Jon was fancy and got some key lime pie ice cream, and I opted for the local chocolate flavor. It was really great! We then headed home after spending some time in the main square and enjoyed a nice evening of relaxing and Netflix. Party animals, I know.

Before we left on Monday, we went to a crepe place some of my friends had recommended. I got a mango coconut curry crepe that changed my life. It was SO good. Jon got a pepián crepe, but mine definitely stole the show. We will be going back to Luna de Miel next time we are in Antigua! We even got bagels to go (another thing we can’t get here in Panajachel), so I would say it was a successful weekend.

We had a great time in Antigua and it was the perfect weekend getaway. I would love to go back and explore more the next time we have some time off.

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The Airbnb apartment we stayed at.

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Jon’s “stop with the pictures” look. Never!

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View from the porch area of our apartment.

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The hike up Pacaya!

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Volcanic rock that makes Pacaya famous.

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Marshmallow time!

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Not the best quality iPhone photo but here’s us with a view!

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Fancy pants date in Antigua.

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The best mango coconut curry crepe.

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“Stoooooooooop.” Hahaha.

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