Hiking Acatenango Volcano, Antigua

Hi I’m Dora, together with my husband we’re currently on a mission to travel the world. I want to share with you one of our top travel moments so far. Hiking Acatenango Volcano to watch a nearby volcano erupt through the night was an epic experience and a must do when travelling Guatemala. Below are exerts from our blog; if you’d like to read the full adventure of Acatenango and a helpful guide, please follow this link… Acatenango Volcano – The Hike that Nearly Broke Us.

“It has long been a dream of ours to glimpse an erupting volcano, so when we heard of hiking Acatenango Volcano; just outside Antigua, we knew had to go. There is no better place to watch the majestic Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) erupt! Volcán de Fuego is one of the world’s most consistently erupting volcanoes. However, we were completely unprepared for how utterly epic it was going to be. Hand on heart, this really was one of the most incredible spectacles either of us have ever seen…”

“As we gained altitude and began to curl our way around the hillside, we began to hear the deep grumbles of volcanic eruptions. From this point we knew we were going to be in for an incredible night! Four and a half hours of gruelling climbing from start to finish, we reached camp and settled in at 3,776m. Leaving a mere 200m to summit in the morning!”

“It is a strange thing how people respond to high altitudes, it seems irrelevant how fit and healthy you are. But you are likely to be more tolerant to altitude if you are female and/or older. People will be affected at different heights, but above 2500m the effects become more evident. Michael struggled to reach camp, and once the tent was up it took him nearly an hour to become comfortable again.”

“But what a campsite, the views were out of this world! We’d hiked above the cloud line and along with the altitude it seemed like we were aeroplane level. The sight from Acatenango was magnificent. Volcán de Fuego put on a mighty display. BOOM, a huge plume of smoke and a loud grumble. It’s hard to see the vibrancy of the lava during the daylight, but by darkness the red glow of erupting lava was intense. Watching a volcano erupt is like nothing else in the world. A totally unique experience. As the daylight subsided we huddled around the fire, captivated by Fuego erupting time and time again.”

Hiking Acatenango was an incredible experience, but I’m not going to lie, the climb was really tough going! Don’t underestimate this trip, it’s a pretty serious endeavour and you should think about taking altitude medication (we didn’t and wish we had). I would consider both of us very fit individuals – this hike nearly broke us! The trek is perfectly safe and with the correct guide and equipment, most enjoyable. Just do your research on which company to go with.

But most of all, enjoy the beauty of nature, this was a truly unique experience and we would highly recommend taking a trip up Acatenango.

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