Cerro San Cristobal, Antigua Guatemala Visitors Guide

Cerro San Cristóbal Antigua Guatemala

Restaurant Cerro San Cristobal is a neat place to visit if you want to get away from Antigua Guatemala for a while. It’s a relatively recent attraction in Antigua that opened its doors on October 2014.

Cerro San Cristobal doubles as an organic farm and vegetables from its farm are sold at Nim Pot, the highly-recommended handicrafts market on Calle del Arco / Arch Street / 5a Avenida Norte.

This restaurant/farm is hard to miss, as the hill it sits on can be seen from nearly anywhere in Antigua – just look for Agua Volcano, then look left of it for the small hill nearest to the city (to the southeast).

view of Cerro San Cristobal Antigua Guatemala

View of Cerro San Cristobal from Caoba Farms

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Getting To Cerro San Cristobal

Getting to the restaurant is not very complicated if you want to drive up. Just head south on the road towards Santa Maria de Jesus and before you begin the steep ascent towards Agua Volcano, take a detour (left) towards San Cristobal El Bajo. Once there, anyone will be able to point you to the dusty, hilly road that climbs towards San Cristobal El Alto, a village atop the hill and the restaurant’s location.

A much easier option is to take head to Nim Pot, which offers shuttles to the restaurant – the roundtrip costs Q10 per person. There isn’t a set schedule, so be prepared to wait. The shuttles run daily, from 8 am to 6 pm.

Alternatively, you can call them directly at 7832-2681 and arrange for the shuttle to pick you up directly at your hotel.

Arriving At Cerro San Cristobal

The restaurant’s grounds are stunningly beautiful and very well done, as is the entrance leading up to the restaurant.

Cerro San Cristobal Antigua Guatemala

Entrance to Cerro San Cristobal

Cerro San Cristóbal Antigua Guatemala

Stone steps leading to the restaurant

Views From Cerro San Cristobal

The views of the Antigua valley from atop the hill were fantastic and much better than those at Cerro Santo Domingo – no knock on the latter’s views, which are excellent if you’d rather see volcanoes.

view from Cerro San Cristóbal Antigua Guatemala

View from Cerro San Cristobal

By the way, if you want to see New Year’s fireworks, this is a great place to do it. Check out this video, taken from Cerro San Cristobal at midnight on New Year’s Day:

While there’s the main dining area in front of the restaurant, there’s also a covered bar and lounge area below the main seating area, as well as quieter areas near the edge of the hill. I took the time to poke around and take some photographs of the gorgeous setting.

Cerro San Cristóbal Antigua Guatemala

Lower-level seating area

Cerro San Cristóbal Antigua Guatemala

Lovely plants throughout

Cerro San Cristóbal Antigua Guatemala

Lunch with a view

Restaurant At Cerro San Cristobal

The restaurant has its organic farm behind the main building, and it’s where vegetables used to prepare the food are harvested shortly before consumption. Feel free to wander around and check it out.

There are tours of the farm daily in Spanish – call the restaurant for times. There’s also a greenhouse onsite with over 200 varieties of orchids.

Organic Veggies - Cerro San Cristobal

Cerro San Cristobal’s organic farm

The restaurant usually has live music.

live music at Cerro San Cristobal Antigua Guatemala

Live music – upper-level seating area

Service Reviews

*** This is an account of my first visit in 2014. Read below for my newest review ***

Since we were checking out the place after lunch, we weren’t particularly hungry – a good thing, considering that between the time we waited for the shuttle and the time we arrived, almost an hour and a half had passed.

When we arrived, there was no one to greet us nor the elderly couple that had come on the shuttle with us. We scampered about looking for a table and quickly discovered that, unfortunately, the only seating places available where those without umbrellas. If you’ve ever been to Guatemala, you’ll know the sun here is murderous between the hours of 11 am to about 4:30 pm – the reason those tables were empty in the first place.

At first, I was just content to take pictures and look around, but my wife, mother, and daughter were getting antsy. My wife went up to a waiter near the restaurant to ask when would tables become available and the server replied there weren’t any right now and promptly turned around never offering to help her find one.

As more people arrived via their vehicles, it became a ridiculous game of musical chairs, where people just milled about staring daggers into people that had apparently finished their meal and were taking their sweet time to get up and let others have a seat.

After more than 25 minutes of this, we headed downstairs and sat at the corner of the bar, having to look for additional chairs ourselves, as the two people manning the bar seemed unconcerned about us. Eventually, we resigned ourselves to sitting at the bar with our child. Not ideal, but also not a big deal since we weren’t about to order a proper meal.

After requesting a menu (none was offered), I decided to order a ceviche – it was delicious. Something to note here is that there’s no chicken or beef on the menu – only a selection of shrimp-based dishes that Bubba Gump would love: there’s breaded shrimp, shrimp pasta, shrimp skewers, shrimp salad, shrimp pizza, shrimp ceviche, shrimp quesadilla and shrimp smoothies. Ok, I made the last one up, but you get the point.

Cerro San Cristobal Antigua Guatemala

Tasty shrimp ceviche

There’s a tilapia farm being built on premises, which will broaden the menu. For now, a lot of the food on the menu relies heavily on vegetables and cheese – pizzas and quesadillas are your best bet.

After two enthusiastic thumbs up for the ceviche, we ordered some coffee, which was unremarkable and rather pricey at Q20.

Cerro San Cristobal Antigua Guatemala

Cappuccino at Cerro San Cristobal

*** This is my newest review (2018 visit) ***

I’m glad to report that I’ve visited a few times since my first visit. They’ve sorted out the seating arrangements and now a hostess makes sure that visitors are promptly seated or at least given an estimated time.

The service is has been courteous and prompt. I’ve also had the chance to try their pizzas. I highly recommend the shrimp pizza (lots of olive oil, so it may not be everyone’s cup of tea).

Prices At The Restaurant

Prices are for the most part affordable – at least much more so than at Tenedor del Cerro. You can check out the menu here.

The highest-priced item is the fettuccini pasta and salmon at Q125. Twelve-inch pizzas cost between Q70 and Q90, while plates of pasta range from Q50 – Q75. You won’t find red meat or chicken in any of the dishes, only fish or shrimp.

Quesadillas range from Q50 to Q55 and salads are Q40. They also have blooming onion starters, nachos, and other appetizers. Breakfast mains cost between Q30 to Q50.

The bar offers a limited selection of cocktails, shots, wine and other drinks, which should be more than enough to find a drink to pair with your meal.

As for the service, it left a lot to be desired. Granted, it was on a Sunday, and they were somewhat busy, but it didn’t look like there was anyone running the place or looking after visitors. It’s the sort of laid-back place that invites you to linger and spend a few hours in – which is hard to do if you have your mother, wife, and child in tow and no place to sit under the shade.

After we were done, we headed towards the exit to wait for the shuttle, which also took almost 45 minutes to arrive. Again, both shuttles arrived at the same time, almost empty, which speaks to lack of coordination, something that should’ve been sorted out after two months being open. After the driver arrived, we had to wait a bit while he unloaded boxes of frozen shrimp from who-knows-where.

As I got on the shuttle to head back, I was wondering whether we just had bad luck on that day. It turns out a very chatty group from Guatemala City got on the bus, and I was able to eavesdrop on their experience. They too had trouble finding a place to sit. When they tried to order some shrimp-based dishes, they were told the restaurant had run out (at 3:30 pm!). They also recounted how another time they visited, the restaurant was nearly out of everything, including pizzas. That said, they did mention that other occasions they were able to order food, it was marvelous, especially the pizzas.

I look forward to visiting on another, less-crowded day, maybe during the week, as I saw enough that made me want to give the place a second chance.

The shuttle and service issues seem to have been sorted out. I highly recommend checking Cerro San Cristobal out.

San Cristobal El Alto

There’s a small town just a quarter mile up the road from the restaurant. While the town isn’t that picturesque (it’s really tiny), it makes for a pleasant after-meal visit on Sundays, when the town hosts a crafts fair in the tiny main plaza. Their marmalades, made with regional fruits, are great if you have a sweet tooth.

*****

Want more options? Go here: https://www.okantigua.com/antigua-guatemala-restaurant/

*****

Cerro San Cristobal on Facebook

http://www.restcerrosancristobal.com/

Shuttle from Nim Pot (5ta Avenida Norte #29) – 10Q per person round trip

Shuttle Hours: 8 am to 6 pm, daily

Open daily from Monday through Thursday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Friday, Saturday and Sundays 8:00 am -8:00 am

Call for reservations or pick up 5941-8415.

Christmas in Antigua Guatemala: A Night at Calle del Arco

Christmas in Guatemala

I love Christmas festivities and Antigua has so far exceeded expectations this year. Celebrations kicked off with the traditional burning of the devil. With that out of the way, it was time to bring on the fireworks – Guatemalans thoroughly enjoy them. Took this pic at last weeks firework show:

Christmas in Guatemala

Fireworks show in front of San Jose Cathedral

This week? More fireworks! I’m at home, it’s a little bit past midnight, and I can still hear fireworks going off in the distance. By the way, how did I know these things were happening? Easy, I checked my /your very own Antigua Events page (click to open in new window). No excuse to miss out on events now. Here’s a pic I took from Parque Central this weekend:

Christmas in Guatemala

Fireworks show in front of Palace of Captain-Generals

But I didn’t go to Antigua on Saturday just to see fireworks. I was – I mean, my daughter was there really there to see Santa :

Christmas in GuatemalaSanta Claus in Antigua Guatemala

Turns out there were quite a few mini-events going on in Arco Street this Saturday – including an appearance by Santa. All 100% free! It was nice to hear some Christmas carols…

Christmas in Guatemala

Choir at Arco Street

… see the three wise men – which I grew up with as a Christmas tradition, not Santa…

Christmas in Guatemala

Three wise men – or wise teens – in Antigua

…and see a live nativity scene, something I can’t recall ever seeing before. Pretty cool.

Christmas in Guatemala

Live nativity scene

And of course, there had to be a nice Guatemalan touch. It ain’t a celebration here until marimbas are making music.

Christmas in Guatemala

Marimba music at Arco Street

Since the night was chilly, we headed towards La Merced for some hot ponche, the traditional fruit drink of Christmas. On our way back, the live animals for the little ones were already out.

Christmas in Guatemala

Live animals in Antigua

And before you ask, yes, I did touch that… donkey. They also had sheep. Or was it goats? What I do know is that it was also a good photo-op.

Christmas in Guatemala

Riding the donkey in Antigua.

The streets weren’t very crowded…

Christmas in GuatemalaChristmas at Calle del Arco

…because most people were hanging out at the other end of the park at the free concert. Even Santa stopped by to say hello to the crowd.

Christmas in Guatemala

Free concert in Antigua

And this being Antigua, of course, there had to be a procession making the rounds, albeit a tiny one – well, not really a procession, but a posada. This one was honoring Virgin Guadalupe, whose celebration was held on Friday, December 12th. Maybe they were making up for having missed the big one the previous day?

Christmas in Guatemala

Guadalupe procession at Christmas

And that was as good a Christmas-season day I’ve had in a while. No malls, no crazy crowds, just traditional Christmas carols to get you in the mood for the season.

*****

What’s your favorite part of Christmas? 

Santa Catalina Arch Wallpaper: Antigua Guatemala

Arco Santa Catalina antigua guatemala

December’s desktop wallpaper calendars are now available! Featuring Santa Catalina Arch and Guatemalan handicrafts. Instructions on how to download below.

***Looking for a list of Events happening in Antigua this month? Click here***

Santa Catalina arch

Santa Catalina Arch

Guatemalan handicrafts

Guatemalan Handicrafts

These desktop calendars are available in a US-friendly version that features Sunday as the first day of the week. National holidays (Christmas and New Year’s Eve) are highlighted.

To apply the calendar to your desktop, follow the instructions below:

1- Click on the following links to get your preferred version; each of these links will open a new window (or tab) displaying the wallpaper calendar in the screen size selected.

Saint Catalina Arch:  1920 x 1200 -&- 1920 x 1080

Guatemalan Handicrafts: 1920 x 1200 -& 1920 x 1080

2- Right-click (or Ctrl-click for most Mac users) on the image. Choose the option that says, “Set as Desktop Background,” “Use as Desktop Picture,” or something to that effect. Keep in mind that the exact wording will depend on the browser you use.

3- If the image does not fit your desktop background as it should, you may have to go to your preference options. On a Mac? Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop. Using Windows? Go to Control Panel > Display > Desktop) and choose “Fit to screen” as the display mode of your background image.

I hope you enjoy these and feel free to share with friends or comment on our Facebook page.