Private Plunge Pools and Mountainside Golf Course amid Four Volcanoes
Guatemala's Fuego volcano hasn't had a major eruption in years, but it still likes to put on a show. On an almost daily basis, Fuego emits sputters of lava and columns of smoke. At Hotel La Reunión Golf Course & Residences, you have a front-row seat to Fuego's spectacle along with views of three other volcanic mountains: Agua, Acatenango, and Pacaya. The resort also offers more active ways to get in touch with the landscape, including horseback rides and zipline tours. And at the base of Fuego, a par 72 golf course designed by renowned architect Pete Dye undulates almost inexplicably with the terrain.
Up in the secluded suites, private plunge pools and shaded hammocks overlook the tropical scenery. Hand-carved furniture and native weavings add a rustic vibe, and wireless Internet access keeps modern conveniences at hand. To help you to unwind, in-room massages are available, ranging from aromatherapy treatments to shiatsu and reflexology.
At El Mirador Gourmet Cuisine & Grill, chefs slice tropical fruit for breakfast and grill fresh-caught fish come dinnertime. For a lighter meal, hit up Bar Wayeb. Considered the golf course's unofficial 19th hole, its menu features traditional carne picada and local Guatemalan rum.
Out on the golf course's 18 inedible holes, you can see all four volcanoes—and sometimes the Pacific Ocean—when skies are clear. The fairways unfurl over more than 7,300 yards, presenting several challenging blind shots and varied elevations. The 17th hole skirts a picturesque waterfall and a small pond.
Antigua Guatemala: Spanish Colonial Churches and Exotic Wildlife
Deep in the highlands of central Guatemala, Antigua presents a breathtaking landscape punctuated by volcanic mountains and tropical forests. Both the terrain and the temperate climate encourage scenic outdoor activities—Guatemala is often called the “The Land of Eternal Spring.” Although mountain biking is a popular pursuit, there's nothing quite like riding a mule through a coffee farm, where you can spot hundreds of exotic birds, including Pacific parakeets, tanagers, and teenagers.
Downtown, it's clear that Antigua Guatemala, or "ancient Guatemala," lives up to its moniker. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is lined with colonial-era Spanish churches and convents dating as far back as the 16th century. The downtown streets are mostly pedestrian-friendly, especially the landscaped pathways of Plaza Mayor. Here, a stone fountain takes center stage, and locals dance to live music.
Just a few blocks away at El Mercado, the vibrant open-air market, fruit stands teem with fresh-picked pineapple, papaya, and fruit roll-ups. Artisans also showcase hand-carved masks and traditional jewelry.
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