Did you ever see an active volcano up close? Did you ever hear the explosions of an erupting volcano and had to cover your face afterwards because of the massive ash rain that follows shortly afterwards? Did you ever sit by a bonfire and watch glowing lava run down the sides of a volcano?
If not, get to Guatemala and do as I did. Hike Volcano Acatenango who stands with his 3976m the third highest volcano in Central America. I happened to have the pleasure of this trip because of Jamie. We first met in Nicaragua where we figured out we both like hiking. So while I was still in El Salvador preparing for another beach day to fight of the baking 34°C, I got a Facebook message asking if I`ll come to Guatemala any time soon to climb a volcano. Exactly what I looked for. The next day I was off to Antigua. Arriving at 8 pm and leaving for the volcano 8 am next morning. Kickstart.
First thing you gonna recognize is that your backpack is way huger and heavier than expected. But sleeping bag + mattress, tent and food + water have to be carried somehow. So you start your 1500 meters of height difference and gonna be confronted with one of the hardest parts straight away. It`s steepness combined with the loose volcanic gravel and the baking hot sun will make you question yourself why you are doing this again. With all the volcanic gravel the motto is: Two steps forward, one slide backward…. But our 5 people strong group made it under the watchful eye of “Eddie – The Guide” in under 4 hours to the top. The mildly altitude sick conversations about ash rain, lack of food and German words will be remembered.
But the view of the sunset with your neighbor volcano Fuego (what a suiting name) erupting loudly and majestic every 15 minutes are defiantly worth the hike. All of this was crowned by a nice little Bonfire prepared by “Machete-Eddie” cutting down trees with a… well, machete. Thanks for saving our gringo asses from freezing 😉
And if watching sunset and glowing lava are not enough of beauty for you. Do like we did. Get your freezing butts out of that tent at 4 am and hike the last bit to the top and watch the sun slowly rise over Guatemala. Everything again with a nice little side note from Fuego.
Since this is indescribable with words take a look at the pictures and maybe (hopefully) the video which will follow soon.