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  • Konrad Tillman

What It's Like To Hike Pacaya Volcano In Guatemala

Before I came to Guatemala, I had no idea about what to expect in terms of the landscape. Now I know that this country has one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world with countless volcanoes one can hike up. While I didn't have too much time since this was just a weekend away from college, I decided to hike up Pacaya for the sunset tour.


How I Booked


If you are reading this and wondering the best way to book a day tour from Antigua to hike this volcano, look no further than getyourguide.com. I had never used this service before so I was a little skeptical. However, for only 22$, everything ran without a hitch during this journey.


Getting To Pacaya


I was picked up right outside my hostel by a shared bus. The bus was about 15 minutes late but this wasn't the end of the world.


This town is gorgeous

We had a few more pickups to do and we began the hour-long drive to Pacaya.


Everybody on the bus was so friendly!

A tip for anyone with motion sickness, the drivers drive fast and the roads are extremely windy on the way to Pacaya. Just be aware of this as at some points I felt a little queasy, and I tend to not get carsick.


80kmh around the bend

Hiking Up Pacaya


Once we arrived at base camp we had to buy our tickets separately (around 11 USD). Our route today would see us hiking 7km to the crater and to see the sunrise. We embarked up the trail.



Passing by some fields, while overlooking Guatemala City.


View is to die for

After about an hour of hiking, we arrived at a gorgeous view of Pacaya volcano. Simply breathtaking.


Beautiful way to spend a friday afternoon

We spent about 20 minutes at the point where we then continued down into a crater to roast marshmallows in LAVA!!!! The Marshmallows were provided by the tour operator and roasted by the guide!


Best marshmallows I have ever had

Once finished in the crater we hiked back up alongside the mountain range to go and see the sunset.


Unreal

Funnily enough, we had to go down this dirt slope where I slipped and fell a couple of times. It seemed to be quite difficult getting down as others in the group were falling as well. Once we down the dirt slope (skidded) we arrived at a viewpoint to watch the sunset.


Volcano therapy

If paradise were a picture, this would be it. We were on top of the clouds, watching the sun go beneath, with a volcano erupting in the background. I had a conversation with a man who recommended I write an essay about "volcano therapy".


I and a few other members of the group took some pictures of each other to have some memories of this spectacular experience.


Eruption!

Once soaked in the rest of the sunset, it was time to head back down. This seemed to be quite challenging as for the last 20 minutes it was pitch black. I wish I had brought a headlight as it would have been extremely helpful. We arrived back at the base camp at around 7 pm. When we got there, a police car was waiting by our bus 😂.


It was a shorter drive back to Antigua, which came in at about 50 minutes.


Final Thoughts


Hiking Pacaya quite frankly blew my mind. It was the highlight of my trip down to Guatemala and if you happen to be in the area I highly recommend doing this tour. The hike wasn't too treacherous in general. To add I met so many new friends by going on a group tour. I cannot recommend this tour highly enough.



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