This was originally a post I wrote for Tucan Travel’s blog, The Chasqui, which you can see here.
As I pulled myself up the steep hill to the next view point, still shrouded in cloud, I wondered really why I was bothering to climb this volcano at all.
The tour had arrived in Antigua, a city in the central highlands of Guatemala. The cooler temperatures were definitely welcomed by the group after nine days of humidity. It’s a charming colonial city to wander around, sight seeing and taking in the Spanish Baroque architecture, which was what most of the group had opted to do on our free day there. Antigua has a reputation for great coffee and chocolate, so it’s very easy to while a way a day between coffee shops, people watching at the market and the main square. Other members of the group took a chocolate making tour, proudly showing off their creations when we met in the evening for dinner.
Volcan Pacaya is a short drive from Antigua and a hike on it is offered by most tourist agencies around the city. It’s only a short hike of less than two hours although there is no let up in the steep track until you reach the more barren area near the crater. Because of the current status of the volcano it wasn’t possible to reach the crater, with a sign system signalling to the guide which paths were safe to take. The last significant eruption here was only in May 2013.