Acatenango Volcano Hike
On this unique and iconic Guatemalan experience, you will climb nearly 4,000 meters to the top of Acatenango and camp there, where you will enjoy a stunning all nightlong show of lava eruptions from neighboring volcano Fuego. In the morning, watch a breathtaking sunrise from the peak over a rich landscape of volcanos, nature, and villages, with a view reaching all the way to El Salvador in one direction and the ocean on the pacific coast of Guatemala in another. There is a reason this hike is so popular—it is truly incomparable, unforgettable, and a must-do for all travelers.
Price: Q375 / US$50.00 / EUR€43.85
info You can visit us in Flores for an in person cash discount.
Included in your trip package:
- Round trip transport from your hostel in Antigua to the hike site
- Group of experienced, local guides (1 guide for every 4-5 guests)
- 3 large meals (lunch & dinner the first day, breakfast on the second) plus hot chocolate & roasted marshmallows around the campfire
- Winter coats
- All camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, etc) transported and set up for you
Not included: Q50 Acatenango National Park entrance feeAbout the hike:
What you need to bring:
- The hike is mostly uphill on the first day, but includes frequent rest breaks so everyone can acclimate to the altitude change.
- It takes around 4-6 hours average to reach the top, but everybody should go at their own pace—this is a hike for fun, not a race! There are always guides at the front, middle, and back of the group to ensure the safety of everyone.
- All skill levels are welcome! A wide variety of tourists do this hike every day, and while it can be challenging, you do not need to be an experienced hiker. The guides are there to ensure you feel comfortable and help you push yourself to the top.
- The weather is warm at the start of the hike, but becomes quite cold by the top, so its best if you dress accordingly and bring extra layers.
- The return trip is mostly downhill and goes much quicker. It can be quite dusty from the volcanic ash, so be prepared to get dirty!
- Backpack that you can carry during the hike
- Hiking boots or sneakers (preferably non-slip)
- Comfortable clothes with layers to take on and off
- Drinking water (recommended 3 liters per person)
- Borrow a backpack (free, but should be reserved in advance to guarantee availability)
- Have a porter carry your backpack for Q235 (each way)
- Rent a walking stick, gloves, scarf, or winter hat (available at base camp)
- Pick up at your hotel/hostel in Antigua at 7:30 am
- Travel to San José Calderas, the small village nearby Acatenango
- Prep meeting at headquarters, everyone gets their gear packed, including free winter coats, and other items available for rent as needed
- Begin hiking around 10:00am, stopping for rests, water, snacks, and lunch along the way
- Reach base camp between 2pm – 5pm
- Watch the sunset, enjoy a tasty group dinner, roast marshmallows around the campfire, and see Fuego erupting throughout the evening
- Optional sunrise hike to the highest peak of Acatenango beginning at 430am
- Watch the sunrise over a stunning landscape
- Return to camp for breakfast, then pack up
- Begin descent around 8:30am, reaching bottom around 10 – 11am
- Return to your hotel/hostel in Antigua around 1:00pm
Tourism with respect for the local community:
We work with a group of local guides from the small community at the foot of Acatenango, San Jose Calderas. While tourism for the volcano has grown exponentially over recent years, competition for those tourists has dramatically lowered the payment guides receive to do the trip. While our guides love sharing such a memorable and exciting experience with visitors from all over the world, they deserve to get compensated fairly for their expertise in completing this challenging trip. The guides need to be in prime physical condition to lead this tour, as well as trained in first aid medical assistance—they are even capable of carrying an injured tourist on their back, running all the way down the steep mountainside if necessary. As the group we work with are all locals, they are also dedicated to reinvesting profits into their community and sharing the success of tourism to improve the lives of their neighbors. With that in mind, our tours are priced with two priorities: a fair and competitive cost for travelers, and a fair and respectful wage being paid to the guides.
*Keep in mind