Antigua Guatemala is famous not only for its colonial ambiance, but also for the three volcanoes in its vicinity. In fact, if you are lucky and the house you are staying at faces south, you can see them right from your bedroom window!
The Fuego volcano is arguably the most impressive volcano in Central America due to its intense eruptions. Historically, Fuego is the most active volcano in the region. Its name literally means Fire Volcano. The Maya call it Chi’gag, which could be translated as “where the fire is.”
Fuego is still active and its eruptions can be seen from Antigua. At this time it has an altitude of 3,763 m (12,340 ft), although it grows a bit with every eruptive episode.
The Acatenango volcano is right next to the Fuego volcano. Its height of 3,976 m (13,040 ft) makes it Guatemala’s third highest volcano and the highest one visible from Antigua.
Acatenango last erupted in the 1970s and is dormant at this time. The view from the top is simply spectacular and it has become a popular spot to take stunning photos of Fuego’s eruptions.
The Agua volcano is the closest one to Antigua and located due south of the city. With a height of 3,765 m (12,350 ft), it is almost exactly the same height as its cousin Fuego.
Agua has never erupted in historic times and is considered extinct. It did play a role in the destruction of Guatemala’s second capital, though. In 1541 a stream of water and mud came rushing down the slopes of the volcano after several days of heavy rain and buried large parts of the town. Many people, including the governor of Guatemala, lost their lives in the disaster and the capital was subsequently moved to present-day Antigua, where it remained for more than 200 years.
The three volcanoes give Antigua Guatemala a spectacular panorama. Particularly the Fuego volcano with its frequent eruptions, which can be seen from Antigua, will make your stay in Antigua truly unforgettable!