Day Trips in Antigua and Barbuda

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Antigua and Barbuda are wonderful sites for tourists and there are many things to do and see there, but while you are in the area it might be a good idea to take a few day trips to see things nearby.


One of the spots nearby that shouldn’t be missed if you are in the area is Tikal. This is Guatemala’s most famous archaeological site. The Mayans lived here for more than 1500 years and Tikal was one of the most important cities while they were here. Although there are other ways to get to the park and Tikal, the best way is to get there by air from Guatemala City. It will only take 40 minutes then take another 40 minute bus ride over modern highways.

Tikal presents over 4000 structures and one dates 800 BC while the most recent structure dates 900 AD. In Tikal the Mayan people perfected their abilities in art, architecture, math and agriculture. The Great Plaza in Tikal is surrounded by altars, buildings where ceremonies were performed, palaces, and residential units. At one end is the temple of the Great Jaguar and at the other is another Temple called Temple II. There are also pyramids at Tikal and the largest is called the Great Pyramid and reaches 100 feet in height. It forms an astronomical complex with all the structures to the west and south of it. Many different companies offer tour packages to Tikal. It is probably to your advantage to take one of them as they provide transportation and a tour guide. This may cost up to $400 but everything except lunch is provided and will take the whole day to explore the Mayan city.

Volcano Tours

There are 30 volcanoes in Guatemala and many are in the area of Antigua and Barbuda. The closest one is  Pacaya. Pacaya is the easy to climb because it is only 8200 feet above sea level yet there is a magnificent view from the top. Pacaya is still active and if you are lucky you will see glowing lava in the crater at night. You can get tour guides and transportation in Antigua that will cost you anywhere between $50 to $70.

White Water River Rafting on the Rio Nahualate

Go White Water Rafting on the Rio Nahualate right outside of Antiqua. Seasons for this are June through November and this is an intermediate river so you should have some experience in rafting. The minimum age is 12. If you are looking for something a little more docile try Rio Coyolate where the entire family can participate. Minimum age here is 8. You can find charters in Antigua and cost is around $55 to $100.

While in the area, check out these opportunities to have a well rounded and fun trip.

January 19, 2010 new by sequoia maner

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