One of the great things about living in Antigua Guatemala is that you can “get away from it all” by heading in almost any direction for about five minutes.
Since Antigua Guatemala is located in a valley, there are a few spots in the surrounding hills that afford great views, all with free admission. There’s a hill for every taste and mood you’re in.
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Spots Overlooking Antigua
And also Cerro de la Cruz, a no-frills, barely landscaped and nevertheless gorgeous viewing spot.
And then there’s tourist-friendly Earth Lodge, a “mountain lodge and avocado farm” just outside Antigua Guatemala.
Earth Lodge is located 6,000 feet above sea level and it’s the highest vantage point of the three hills. The air is definitely chillier up here.
Drew and Brianna, a Canadian-American expat couple, have an interesting story. The came to Guatemala in 2003 and built their own little slice of paradise, with no construction or farming experience. Similar to what Pauline over at ReachFinancialIndependence.com is doing with her property in Peten, Guatemala.
From up here, the views of the valley are amazing.
View of Finca Filadelfia below
Getting to Earth Lodge
To get to Earth Lodge, you first have to reach Aldea El Hato, a small hamlet about 3.5 miles north of Antigua.
The easiest way to get to Earth Lodge Antigua to call Earth Lodge and they’ll arrange someone to pick you up at Antigua’s Central Park. Costs are as follows.
If you’re arriving from 6 am to 9 pm: For one person, 60Q. For two people, 35Q each. For three people, 25Q each. For groups of 4-9 people, 20Q each.
If you’re arriving from 9 pm to 6 am: For one person, 120Q. For two people, 60Q each. For three people, 40Q each. For four people, 30Q each. For 5-9 people, 25Q each.
The public bus stops in front of the church
You can arrive via public chicken bus (camioneta) – cost is only 2Q each way. However, you’ll be dropped off at El Hato village, in front of the church. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the parking lot for Earth Lodge. Buses bound for El Hato leave the back of the bus terminal every hour and a half or so. Make sure to ask when the bus returns, so you can time your exit from Earth Lodge properly.
Driving to Earth Lodge
To drive to Earth Lodge, just follow the same road that leads to Cerro de la Cruz, drive past it, and about 2 miles later you’ll reach El Hato.
Right when you get to the small main plaza, there’s a small one-lane road that will lead to Earth Lodge. There isn’t what you can call a parking space per se, but you can leave your car on the side of the road. There were two other cars when we visited and a fourth car would’ve been hard-pressed to find a spot.
UPDATE: Earth Lodge now has a secure parking lot just a few yards from the spot pictured below. It costs 15Q for 12 hours (good for overnight parking).
Free parking on the side of the road
Word of advice: If staying here, don’t even attempt to arrive late at night. The road, pleasant during the day, can become treacherous at night because it’s narrow and there isn’t any illumination (that I could spot) anywhere along the path.
Walking Down the Hill to Earth Lodge
Car safely parked, we made our way down the dirt road that leads to the property.
It’s an easy walk downhill – uphill, not so much
It’s not a good idea to stagger down this beautiful path drunk or late at night, or if you have bad knees.
Dirt path – more steps have been added since the photo was taken
After a pleasant walk downhill, we arrived at the nicely paved driveway, useful if you have a flying car and need a runway.
The path becomes nicer as you get closer
One more set of stairs to go
Earth Lodge has a laid-back atmosphere. The staff was really friendly and the food outstanding. The fruit smoothies, salad, and sausage burger were worth the visit. They also have great vegetarian options. Take a look at their menu here: Earth Lodge Menu
Unfortunately, I couldn’t try their famous guacamole because I was a week too early and avocados hadn’t fully ripened yet.
There are a few quiet places inside the property, Adirondack chairs, and hammocks to lounge around.
Volcanoes look impressive from here – when there aren’t any clouds
Lodging and Camping
Earth Lodge Antigua has lodging options at all price levels.
From dorms with shared bathrooms…
Cabins at Earth Lodge
… to camping spots…
Nice, flat areas for camping
Good views from the camping spots
… and even tree-houses!
Treehouse – there are several on the property
Shortly after we arrived, the skies got cloudier and a light rain began to fall.
We could literally see clouds rolling in and forming around us.
Pretty soon, the view of the valley gave way to clouds and even trees a few hundred yards away started to get lost in the mist. Such is winter weather in Antigua Guatemala. Sunny mornings followed by cloudy and often rain-filled afternoons.
Getting concerned about having to navigate a muddy, one-lane road, lacking guard-rails, we high-tailed it out of Earth Lodge before we really wanted to.
Leaving Earth Lodge
Don’t even want to imagine what navigating these roads look like during torrential rains.
The road can get muddy
The road can get treacherous if two cars are trying to get by
The road looks narrower than it is
At last, we finally made our way to the main road and into the main plaza of El Hato. It was awesome to spend a few hours among the clouds.
See our list of activities: https://okantigua.com/things-to-do-in-antigua-guatemala/
What’s your favorite thing about Earth Lodge?
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