[Review of the Acatenango Hike November 2017]
Q: Was watching a volcano erupt lava on my bucket list?
A: What, you can do that? Then YES.
That’s pretty much how it went down for me.
WHAT IS IT?
- A 2 day, 1 night hike to the top of dormant Acatenango volcano to watch active Fuego volcano erupt every half hour or so.
- Overnight stay required to see the lava clearly.
- You need to be in Antigua the night before since the companies begin pickups at 7.30 AM. The hike doesn’t actually start until about 10:00 AM.
- Going rate is 400 quetzales (about $55).
Some companies charge more but in my opinion you’re still tenting at the end of the day. And I got a Marmot tent, so there. Baller.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
- Transportation to/from your guesthouse/hostel
- Guide(s) fees
- National Park entrance fee of Q50 (about $7)
- 3 meals (lunch, dinner, next day’s breakfast) and hot cocao
- The use of sleeping pad, sleeping bag and tent (already set-up at base camp)
- Warm jackets to borrow. My company let us borrow daypacks too.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING?
- Water. 2-4 litres of it. 2.5 litres was enough for me (I even had a little leftover and could have probably survived on 2) but I did the super hydration technique the day before in preparation where I drank 4 litres of water the day before, a technique I use before races or any dehydrating event. Try it yourself.
- Warm Clothes. For the night and the early morning hike up to the summit.
- Headlamp / flashlight
WHICH COMPANY TO CHOOSE?
I chose to go with Gilmer Soy. He organizes a co-operative model (not company) with profit sharing in the village employing single moms to cook and local guides.
The hikes are available every day, even on All Saints Day which was a holiday. As of now, he relies solely on email and Whatsapp but replies at lightning speed:
phone: +502 4169 2292
I am very happy with the way it was run. For me, the important thing is communication and professionalism. I cannot recommend them enough.
Many companies run this tour as well and you can find them all over Antigua. The guesthouses will use their own companies. At the end of the day, after you see the volcano erupt, you’ll be rating 5 stars anyway.
In the interest of keeping each post to the point, I’ve include extra tips and information in a separate post here.