Hiking Pacaya Volcano with Old Town Outfitters
If you are familiar with any Central American guidebooks, then the town of Antigua will be of no surprise to you.
I arrived in Antigua with minimal exceptions and so far it is one of my favourite cities in Latin America. Surrounded by volcanoes, talk-about architectures, good vibes and stunning sceneries, Antigua is worth a few, good, full-days to explore if not weeks. I personally could say here for a while.
After the 1773 Earthquake and shuck the city, leaving behind several ‘damaged infrastructure’, many travellers pay a visit to see the aftermath and just to enjoy a few days roaming the colourful streets.
Volcanoes, Volcanoes and More Volcanoes
With so many volcanoes in sight, Antigua has become a hot spot to get up close and personal with the stunning views of the Volcanoes.
No one had to tell me twice that I should save whatever energy I had for a few good ‘volcano adventure’. I was eager to get up there and experience a part of nature I probably will never get the chance to do again.
Of course, hiking a volcano is not the easiest task. Thinking about the steep inclines will make you second-guess.
At approximately 8:30 am we were on route to the trailhead of Pacaya Volcano. Since the last eruption took place in June 2015, I was a bit nervous but more so pumped and excited.
The hike up to the base of the Volcano was moderately easy but maybe a tad bit more challenging for those who are not accustomed to the high altitudes.
Hiking Pacaya Volcano
Trodding along the dark, black volcano soil already sets the mood a few minutes in.
After a while, maybe a little more than an hour going up into the mountains, I was walking along the base of an active volcano.
The summit was first engulfed in puffs of clouds, but after a few minutes, all that was cleared up and the views were stunning.
Since Pacaya Volcano erupted 3 times over the last 5 years, walking along its base means walking on lava fields. Molten enough to be quite an experience and safe enough to walk around without any worries.
How many times have I toasted marshmallows from the heat/fire produced from the lava fields? Never, until this hike.
The deeper cracks in the ground would give off a stronger heat sensation. We (my group and I) made use of this by toasting a few marshmallows. Once again, something I’ve never done before and probably will never get the chance to do again.
By late afternoon I was back in Antigua just in time for an afternoon coffee. Antigua is also known for its richly grown coffee mainly because of the volcano enriched soil. Here for a visit, I recommend trying a cup.
Hiking volcanoes is a popular activity here. Two days after Pacaya Volcano, I was on to hiking Acatenango Volcano to get up close and personal to one that is erupting.
In a few days, I will be sharing my experience of how I spent a night at a campsite watching an active volcano erupting from my tent. One word: Unbelievable.
Information on Pacaya Volcano:
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Tour: Pacaya Volcano
Tour Operator: Old Town Outfitters
Thanks to Old Town Outfitters for the complimentary tour.