Cerro de La Cruz Antigua

Updated: Jan 9

If you're traveling to Antigua, Guatemala you'll want to check out the epic views of Volcan de Agua at Cerro de La Cruz. This was one of my favorite activities that we did when visiting this history rich Guatemalan town.


Looking to kick your adventure level up a notch when visiting Cerro de La Cruz?


During my trip we were able to find a local company who rented us ATVs to ride up to the view point. Not only did we visit Cerro de La Cruz but they took us all over the Antiguan countryside.


Have a specific question about visiting Cerro de La Cruz? Jump ahead using the table of contents below:


In this post we'll highlight everything you should know before visiting Cerro de La Cruz including where to reserve an ATV!


You'll notice some links and advertisements from partner or affiliate sites throughout this post. I typically earn a small commission on any purchases made through those links at no additional cost to you. If you check those out, great. If not, I'm still happy you're here!

 

Where is Cerro de La Cruz Located?


One major draw of Cerro de La Cruz is its proximity to the city center of Antigua. By car or ATV you should be able to reach the 'hill of the cross' in under 15 minutes.


This makes a visit to Cerro de La Cruz easy to fit into even the tightest of itineraries!


Views of Volcan de Agua
Volcan de Agua towers over Antigua as seen from Cerro de La Cruz

If you're trying to locate Cerro de La Cruz on a map locate the Antigua city center and look north.


A landmark that will help you locate parking for this area is the Santiago de los Caballeros statue. Park nearby and walk down to the cross and overlook area.


What to Expect at Cerro de La Cruz?


If you park near the Santiago de los Caballeros statue and walk down you're looking at about half a mile (0.8 km) of walking down and back to the view point.


While you don't need hiking boots or anything like that be mindful that the path down to cross is fairly steep and given the elevation of this region it might take your breath away on the way back up!


The path leading down to the view point is well marked with wooden hand rails that zig zag all the way down.



Keep an eye out and you'll spot some bathroom facilities near the entrance to the area.


When we visited the area wasn't overly crowded but this is a popular place for locals to hang out so don't expect to have the area to yourself.


The views of Antigua from Cerro de La Cruz are truly breathtaking and it's no wonder everyone you speak to will suggest you come here during your trip.


If you have the flexibility try to visit on a clear day so you can get the best views of Volcan de Agua which towers over the city. Most of the time there will be at least some clouds hovering around the volcanos peak.


Our journey up to Cerro de La Cruz was done on ATVs. We rented our ATVs from a local company called Simoon Rentals as part of their sunset tour. You can check out their offerings here if you're interested in learning more.


To be clear - even though we booked the sunset tour, the Cerro de La Cruz portion occurred during the middle of the day.


Tourists riding ATVs in Guatemala
Renting ATVs to ride around the Guatemalan hillsides is fun and efficient!

Not only did Simoon Rentals take us up to Cerro de La Cruz but we also rode the ATVs over to Hobbitenango. It was at Hobbitenango that we took in the sunset that evening. Riding ATVs through the Antiguan mountains was an incredible experience and one of my favorite activities we did on our trip.


Just be mindful that by the time you're riding back to town on this tour the temperature will have cooled off quite a bit and you'll be at much higher elevations. I'd recommend packing an extra layer and even gloves on cooler nights to keep warm.


All of these factors combined with the open air experience of riding an ATV can make your trip home at night quite chilly!


If you're just planning to hit Cerro de La Cruz and head back to town after you only need to budget about 30 minutes of travel time plus however long you plan to stay at the cross taking in the spectacular views.


While I felt perfectly safe the entire time just make sure you're comfortable with the prospect of riding ATVs on local roads which will also be home to cars and motorcycles.


Other Things to Know About Cerro de La Cruz


Traveling to new places far away from home can present all kinds of unique challenges.


But it doesn't have to!


Below you'll find answers to all kinds of common questions visitors will want to know before venturing up to Cerro de La Cruz.


Is There Cell Phone Service at Cerro de La Cruz?


There's decent cell phone service at Cerro de La Cruz. We didn't have any issues with cellular service in or around Antigua. Just don't expect to get super fast data speeds!



How Much Does Cerro de La Cruz Cost?


There isn't an entrance fee for visiting Cerro de La Cruz. However, bring a few quetzal since cars or bikes will require a nominal parking fee. Simoon Rentals took care of this for us.


How Long Does it Take to Visit Cerro de La Cruz?


The roundtrip travel time by vehicle from central Antigua should be under 30 minutes. Depending on where you park it will take you another 10 minutes to walk down to the viewing area. I'd budget at least 30 minutes to hang around the cross area and take photos.


If you're planning to come for sunset, sunrise or to have lunch here you'll want to consider budgeting more time.


Are there Bathrooms at Cerro de La Cruz?


There are bathroom facilities located near the main road that enters into the Cerro de La Cruz area.


Like many bathrooms in Guatemala you'll need to pay a few quetzal to enter. Be sure to have some cash handy!


Couple taking photo at Cerro de La Cruz
You can't beat the photo op from atop Cerro de La Cruz!

Do I Need Hiking Gear for Cerro de La Cruz?


You don't need any special gear or hiking boots for Cerro de La Cruz. But I'd avoid wearing nicer shoes here. The paths are primarily loose dirt. I could see the paths being muddy if it recently rained.


What is the Best Time of Day to Visit Cerro de La Cruz?


You can never go wrong visiting an area like this at sunrise or sunset. If you have some flex in your schedule try to head up here when the skies are clear so you can get the best view of Volcan de Agua overlooking the city.



Can I Book a Tour to Visit Cerro de La Cruz?


You can book local guides in town that will take you up to Cerro de La Cruz or longer day tours through the area that will usually include a stop here.


Statue at Cerro de La Cruz
A large statue located near the Cerro de La Cruz parking area

As I've mentioned throughout the post we booked an ATV tour of Antigua with Simoon Rentals. It's costlier than making it up here by yourself but you certainly get what you pay for. We had such a fun time I would do it all over again next time I'm in Antigua!


Sure, the views here are beautiful. But having a guide will add a personal touch to the experience and you'll learn way more than if you go it alone.


Volcan de Agua with cloud halo
Volcan de Agua can almost always be spotted with its iconic cloud halo

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Cerro de La Cruz?


In general there isn't a best time of year for visiting Cerro de La Cruz specifically. However, when it comes to Guatemala in general, most people recommend visiting during the dry season which runs from November to April.


Given Antigua's location near the equator and proximity of large bodies of water the temperature here is pleasant (or warm) for most of the year.


Many people recommend visiting Antigua for its world famous Easter festivities in April. When we visited in November they were hosting a massive flower festival in the town square on the last day of our trip.


While it was very cool to see the flower festival be mindful that the cobblestone roads here are not built for this type of tourism influx (mostly locals visiting from nearby Guatemala City). There was a ton of traffic and crowds every where we turned. I would imagine the Easter celebration is even busier.

 

Looking for hiking gear recommendations?


Finding hiking gear that's functional, not overpriced and still looks good can be a challenge.


For your convenience I've laid out some of my favorite hiking apparel below. All of the gear I link to below are items I personally own and have tested out on the trails.


  • Hiking day pack - If you're in the market for a hiking day pack I'd suggest browsing REI's selection. If you've never owned one before you can go into a retail store and they'll ensure you find one that fits properly with any of the bells and whistles you may require!

  • Water reservoir - I have reservoirs from Platypus and Gregory that I really like. While these come in a variety of sizes I wouldn't bother with those smaller than 3L. You can always just fill up the larger ones part way if you're concerned about weight since they collapse to the same size.

  • Moisture wicking t-shirts - Patagonia makes really great hiking t-shirts that keep you dry all day long. They also perform well under multiple layers of clothing.

  • Hiking socks - I absolutely love the FEIDEER brand of hiking socks. I've tried some other hiking sock brands, but I think these take the cake! They make great socks for women and men.


There's nothing worse than missing out on a great hike because you didn't come prepared, don't be that person!



Be sure to read our guide on reducing airfare costs


One of those most unavoidable and dreaded travel costs is airfare.


Even if you budget carefully for food, accommodations and find budget friendly activities the cost of airfare can make many destinations prohibitively expensive.


But if you're a savvy traveler like me then you know there are ways to beat the airlines! I have a full post dedicated to all of the tips and tricks I use to pay the absolute minimum for airfare when I travel.