Earlier than arriving in Guatemala’s Antigua I used to be informed mountaineering the lively Pacaya Volcano was a must have expertise. I learn articles and talked to locals, most touting the tour as thrilling and speaking of gorgeous sunsets and attending to see purple flowing lava.
Standing at 8,373 toes (2,552 meters) it was one among Central America’s most lively volcanoes and one among solely three lively volcanoes in Guatemala (Pacaya is touted as probably the most lively). And, in keeping with locals, there had been exercise simply two weeks previous to my go to. I used to be excited.
After mountaineering Pacaya myself, I can actually say this isn’t what I skilled.
And on this Guatemala journey information, I’m going to be very open with my opinion on this tour.
Whereas I loved the hike (regardless of the 40-person group dimension) and located it offered an honest problem traversing steep hills, after we reached an infinite expanse of flat volcanic rock I used to be stunned when the information informed us we’d quickly be turning round to move again.
The place was the lava and smoke? What concerning the sundown? Why weren’t we going additional?
Whereas I figured security would maintain us from climbing to the precise crater I used to be informed we might nonetheless see the flowing magma.
What I noticed was nothing however black rock.
One of many views alongside the Pacaya path
Don’t get me unsuitable, I obtained to see distinctive Guatemalan vegetation up shut — together with the world’s oldest tree at 400 years previous. Plus, the volcanic panorama had an otherworldly really feel and I’m glad I skilled it, particularly for the equal of $16 USD together with information, transportation and park entrance; nonetheless, I had been promised a finale that wasn’t delivered and it was disappointing.
Perhaps it was as a result of two days prior I had hiked the lesser-known Indian’s Nostril from San Pedro and had skilled probably the most surreal dawn of my life. Sitting above a blanket of effervescent clouds, San Pedro Volcano shrouded in black dragon-shaped clouds and streaked with neon pinks, purples, oranges, yellows and reds, I felt like I used to be sitting in heaven trying down on Lake Atitlan. As a result of Pacaya is much more well-liked and beloved than Indian’s Nostril I anticipated one thing a minimum of equally superb, if no more. It wasn’t.
Roasting marshmallows on volcanic rock at Pacaya
One spotlight of the Pacaya Volcano trek I’ll point out is roasting marshmallows on scorching volcanic rock. With out fireplace, you’ll be capable of toast marshmallows over stones utilizing the volcanoes warmth steaming up from beneath the earth. The photograph of my boyfriend and I consuming marshmallows was in all probability my favourite photograph from the tour. Whereas I’m joyful I obtained a cute image out of it, I hoped my most memorable photograph can be of one thing really referring to the volcano and its exercise.
Am I saying don’t do the hike? No. I discovered it satisfying and was glad I did it. That being mentioned, don’t go anticipating it to be something actually out of the extraordinary. I’m certain there are a variety of things affecting what you’ll see, just like the climate and up to date exercise, however don’t assume you’ll positively see lava or a smoking crater. In the event you solely have restricted time in Guatemala there could also be different methods you possibly can spend your time extra properly: mountaineering Indian’s Nostril, having an eco-retreat at Earth Lodge, visiting the Mayan Villages round Lake Atitlan, and going again in time at Tikal, to call just a few.
Among the many nice candies at Antigua’s ChocoMuseo
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