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Most visitors come to Antigua for the history, culture, dining, and shopping, but outdoor enthusiasts will find there's something here for them, too.

Biking -- The rural back roads, volcanoes, and mountains around Antigua are perfect for mountain biking. Old Town Outfitters (tel. 502/5399-0440; www.adventureguatemala.com) has quality equipment and offers a variety of rides and tours, ranging from half-day mellow rides to multiday excursions. "The Spinal Chord" journeys along a narrow ridge through the mountains above Antigua. Multiday tours include a 2-day pedal (mountain bike) and paddle (kayak) around Lake Atitlán. Rates average around Q263 ($35/£18) for a half-day tour to Q1,125 to Q1,875 ($150-$250/£75-£125) for the 2-day excursions.

Hiking & Climbing -- Building on their success in the mountain bike arena, the folks at Old Town Outfitters have also emerged as the best agency for those looking to hike one of the nearby volcanoes such as Acatenango, Pacaya, or Agua or do some rock climbing. These hikes range from Q225 to Q375 ($30-$50/£15-£25) for a day hike to around Q525 ($70/£35) for overnight camping trips to any of the volcanoes.

Horseback Riding -- The same back roads and trails that are so well suited to mountain biking are also perfect for horseback rides. If you want to explore the region by horseback, contact Fred and Paula at Ravenscroft Riding Stables, on the road to Santa María de Jesús (tel. 502/7832-6229). Rates run around Q113 ($15/£7.50) per hour.

Jogging -- Be careful jogging around Antigua; if the tight streets and unforgiving drivers don't get you, muggers just might. The popular and attractive Cerro de la Cruz makes a great jogging route. However, I know of several incidents in recent years when joggers were attacked. Single women in particular should be on guard.

Spas & Gyms -- A few of the higher-end hotels have a small gym or spa. If yours doesn't, and you're looking to burn some calories or get pampered, there are several options around town. For a good workout, head to Antigua's Gym (tel. 502/7832-7554) at 6a Calle Poniente, #31, or La Fábrica Gimnasio (tel. 502/7832-0486) at Calle del Hermano Pedro, #16. Rates for a specific class or day pass run between Q30 and Q75 ($4-$10/£2-£5).

For some pampering, head to the Casa del Conquistador (tel. 502/7832-9195), 4a Av. Sur, #28, or Skin Deep Day Spa (tel. 502/7832-5836), 1a Av. Sur, #15. Both offer a wide range of massages and spa treatments.

Swimming -- If your hotel doesn't have a pool, you can use the one at the Portotel Antigua, 8a Calle Poniente, #1 (tel. 502/7832-2801), for Q50 ($6.65/£3.35) Monday through Friday, and Q60 ($8/£4) Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 are half-price.

Going Nuts: Valhalla Macadamia Nut Farm

The Valhalla Macadamia Nut Farm (tel. 502/7888-6308; www.exvalhalla.net) is an interesting project working toward reversing global warming, assisting local indigenous populations in finding alternative and sustainable sources of food and income, reforesting tropical forests, and providing public education in the areas of conservation and sustainable development.

The folks at this farm offer a free educational tour of their macadamia farm. They also offer up their very famous macadamia pancakes and other macadamia and homemade chocolate products. If you're willing to commit a full month to the task, ask about volunteer opportunities here. The farm is located at Km 52.5 on the route to San Miguel Duenas.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.