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.
Inadvertently, I created a series I should’ve called “Antigua From Above” or something much cleverer (well, what did you know? “Cleverer” is actually a word. Learned something today).
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.
There’s Santo Domingo del Cerro, with it’s open-air art gallery and white-tablecloth restaurant (Tenedor del Cerro).
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 Antigua Guatemala
The 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.
If you have a dream, and add determination and persistence, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
From up here, the views of the valley are amazing.
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 the Earth Lodge and they’ll arrange someone to pick you up at Antigua’s Central Park. 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 Aldea El Hato.
Right when you get to the main “plaza”, if you can call it that (see pics at the bottom), 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.
Car safely parked, we made our way down the dirt road that leads to the property.
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.
Not a good idea to stagger down this beautiful path drunk or late at night…
After a pleasant walk downhill, we arrived to the nicely paved driveway, useful if you have a flying car and need a runway.
The 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.
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.
Earth Lodge Antigua has lodging at all price levels.
From dorms with shared bathrooms…
… to camping spots…
… and even a treehouse!
Shortly after we arrived, the skies got cloudier and 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.
Don’t even want to imagine what navigating these roads look like during torrential rains.
At last, we finally made our way to the main road and into the main plaza of Aldea El Hato.
It was awesome to spend a few hours among the clouds.
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