Last Updated on January 13, 2022 by Guest Blogger
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One of the most popular things to do in Guatemala is to do a volcano hike and among the volcano hikes, the overnight Acatenango Volcano hike is one of the best options. If you are interested in hiking Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala, you need to book it with a professional tour company that will pick you up from your accommodation in Antigua and take you to the volcano.
So in this one, we wanted to share what the experience is like!
Hiking the Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala
The hike begins with a small group including two professional tour guides. You can walk at your own pace and the guides will organise the group according to the average speed of everyone. Halfway into the hike, you will stop to have lunch and then continue to the base camp. The hike to the base camp where you will spend the night takes between 4 and 7 hours depending on the speed of the group. At the base camp, you will have dinner with the group.
After spending the night in the tent, your guide will wake you up around 4 am to hike to the peak of the volcano. One of the best things about hiking the Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala is to see the other volcano, El Fuego erupt throughout the night and in the early morning. The views alone are the reason why this once-in-a-lifetime experience is totally worth trying. In addition to volcano eruptions, you will also see a sunset and a sunrise during your hike.
You can also see volcano craters on the peak. Getting to the peak from the base camp takes about an hour and a half. This is the hardest part of the whole hike! You can be proud of yourself when you go back to the basecamp to have breakfast. Then, going down would take no more than three or four hours so you can expect to be back in Antigua around 12 pm.
How Much Does the Acatenango Volcano Hike Cost?
On average, tours purchased locally cost as low as 250 Guatemalan Quetzales (around 32 USD) and includes the bus ride to and from Antigua, three meals you will have during the hike (breakfast, lunch and dinner), two litres of water, gloves, scarves, sleeping beds and the tent.
There is an extra cost of 50 Guatemalan Quetzales that you will need to pay at the entrance of the volcano. At an extra cost, you can ask your tour guides to carry your backpacks but it is better to check with them as you book the tour.
Tips for Visiting Acatenango Volcano
Almost everyone who does the Acatenango Volcano hike stays in Antigua since it is very close. Besides, there are a lot of things to do in Antigua and it is a very beautiful city!
The most important thing to know about hiking the Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala is that it is very difficult if you are not used to hiking. Don’t let this bring you down though – not everyone on the hike will be a professional hiker. This is the reason why there are two guides: one guide will lead the group and the other one will stay at the back to make sure that there is no one left behind.
Although your booking will include scarves and gloves, it is important to know that it is extremely cold up there and it doesn’t hurt to bring more layers. Bringing a big and comfortable backpack is also necessary as you would carry all the meal and the two liters of water all the way up to the volcano.
The tour companies also offer sticks, sometimes it is included, sometimes if it is at an extra cost. Definitely take the stick no matter what! It will make the hike so much easier.
In addition, it is optional to climb up to the peak of the volcano – this means you can stay in the tent at 3 am and continue sleeping until the group comes back to the base camp before going down. But honestly, you would be missing some of the best views of your life! Also, the sleep you will get during the hike will not be the most comfortable one as the Fuego Volcano keeps erupting every thirty minutes.
I’m not a mountain person and I’m definitely not a professional hiker but I managed to do the hike! If I can do it, you can too. I think that it is definitely worth it as you will see an active volcano eruption really close. I was happy with the quality of the tour and what we got for what we paid.
Looking to hike Acatenango Volcano and want to book with a tour company? Check out options on Viator!
Images were provided courtesy of Bug in Our Bag.
About the Author: Jeremy is a full-time travel writer based in Pittsburgh and primary author of this site. He has been to 70+ countries on five continents and seeks out new food, adventure activities, and off-the-beaten-path experiences wherever he travels.