Conquering the top of the third highest volcano in all of Central America is a stunning experience. Even though Volcano Acatenango is a calm sleeping colossus, its neighbor is one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, Volcano de Fuego – Fire volcano -, making this trek a real adventure.
Volcano Acatenango towers at 13,044 feet (3,976 meters). It is at the top of the bucket list for thrill-seeker travelers. In addition to giving breathtaking views of the volcanic chain, Acatenango gives travelers a birds-eye-view of the nearby – and very active – Volcano de Fuego. This hike is the best plan to experience the volcano as it gives travelers unbelievable nighttime views of running lava, and volcano eruptions.
Volcano de Fuego
Volcano de Fuego
Day 1. The adventure begins
Hikers should eat breakfast beforehand and pack a small snack for the road. A driver will pick you up to drive to La Soledad community, a sleepy mountain village perched on the Pacific slope of Volcano Acatenango. The trail up to our private campsite in this beautiful volcano has four distinct microclimates.
It will take you about an hour to traverse each one of them. At midday, you will enjoy a short break and a fresh picnic is prepared to rest and take in the views. The first part of the hike to Volcano Acatenango is through local farm fields. This first hour will help you acclimatize and warm up your leg muscles.
Further in the ascent, we will pass through an old-growth tropical cloud forest with some of the oldest trees of the Volcano. It has incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna and is home to the famous Quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird. Along the way to the campsite, you will enjoy fantastic views of the other volcanoes like Atitlan, Toliman, San Pedro, Santa Maria, Santo Tomas, and Tajumulco, along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes mountain chain.
Once at the campsite, you will enjoy our camp meals. There is plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the most incredible sights and sounds of nearby Volcano Fuego’s eruptions.
The sunset from Acatenango Volcano’s base camp is one of the most amazing sunsets you will ever see with the red lava spewing out of the volcano next door also. It is the best show you will see once the lights begin to fade, and it is the best prelude to a fresh camp dinner with hot tea and coffee.
Day 2. Captivating sunrise
The next morning, after an early camp breakfast, we will summit the peak of the volcano. This part of the hike is even more challenging than the day before with a 45-minute ascent on a sand and gravel scree trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses.
After the steepest trail up to the summit, we are rewarded with an incredible sunrise over Volcano Fuego. The colors of the lava against the changing sun are breathtaking. After some rest and enjoying the unparalleled 360-degree views of the Guatemalan highlands, we will descend back down through a myriad of microclimates to return to La Soledad.
From here, we will have transport back to Antigua Guatemala where this unforgettable hike to Volcano Acatenango will end. By early afternoon, you will be arriving in Antigua with plenty of time for you to enjoy the delights of this beautiful colonial city.
2 days & 1 night
$85* per guest
Private transportation, door to door service
Equipment: sleeping bags, sleeping pads and comfortable tents for camping at high-altitude
Food: freshly prepared picnic lunch, dinner, and breakfast with juice, coffee, tea and snacks
Local certified onsite guides
Park entrance fee
Price varies by group size
Not included: flights, personal and travel insurance and other expenses than indicated
WHAT YOU NEeD TO BRING
- Hiking boots or trekking shoes. Do not bring sandals.
- Large-capacity backpack (50L+) with rain cover
- One warm layer and/or windbreaker
- Rain jacket
- Cold-weather clothing for near-freezing night-time temperatures at camp
- Personal toiletries and/or medications
- Camera, flashlight, hat, sunglasses & sunscreen
- 4 liters of water (minimum)
Explore colonial towns and the Museum of Indigenous Costume with beautiful samples of the colorful and meaningful costumes of several ethnic communities that inhabit Guatemala. Visit also the Jade Museum, the beautiful semi-precious gemstone that was so important to the Mayan culture was used both in art and in religious and ceremonial pieces. Duration: Half day. Price from $50
3 days & 2 nights
2 days & 1 nights
6 days & 5 nights