Day 25, Central America trip, Dec 2012 – Feb 2013
After living in the highland village of San Pedro at lake Atitlan for more than 3 weeks, I have now returned to Antigua, for the 2nd time. Although not the capital city of Guatemala, Antigua is Guatemala’s tourists’ hub, often as a base to continue to other parts of Guatemala since almost all organized tours or private shuttles will pass by Antigua. I wanted to go to Lanquin for caving and to visit Semuc Champey natural park, but didn’t feel like sitting in the shuttle for 10-12 hours. Sadly, the road condition in Guatemala is nothing like back home in the USA. The tourist shuttle, by Guatemala comparison is very expensive, and speedy because they only serve the tourists, and not picking up additional customers along the way. However, Guatemalan’s comfort zone is not necessary the same as where I’m from (USA). Therefore, I decided to break the long trip up by spending a night or two in Antigua and possibly check off some more famous landmark spot that I didn’t have the chance to do so on my first visit to Antigua 3 weeks prior.
Cerra De La Cruz offer sweep your feet off panoramic view of Antigua from above
and looking South toward Volcán Agua.
The stair steps are leading to a hill so it’s quite an elevation, especially in the mid afternoon tropical heat.
In the past, this cross up in the hill overlooking the city of Antigua were famous for muggers waiting to pound on tourists for their valuables. To counter this bad rap, tourism police were form and offer group escorted tours to this hill side vista point.
The Policía Municipal de Turismo offer free escort (twice a day), each at 10 am or 3pm to lead group of tourists up to the cross north of town. Interested tourists should meet at the tourist police office just north of the parque central.
At first, we intended to use the FREE tourism police escort at 10 am but didn’t a few things came up that we couldn’t make it in time. I couldn’t wait for the 3pm escort since my shuttle to Lanquin is leaving at 2pm. After checking with the in-house travel agent at Yellow Hostel and with 2 of us, we felt confidence to hike up the Cerra de la Cruz mirador without the police escort. We intentionally brought nothing of too much values with us, except the point and shoot camera to capture the view.
It is a fairly easy hike from center of town up to the cross at Cerra De La Cruz and takes about 30 minutes. However, it is very hot so make sure to bring water to keep you hydrate during the walk from center of town to the park’s boundary. Once you reach the park’s entrance (the stair steps) from town, there are mild elevation once you reach the cross’ park (parameter). The stair steps are wide and some large trees with shade so take a breather if needed to. If you didn’t bring water, once you reach the cross, there will be some vendors selling drinks/refreshment.