A definite "must-do" if you're on Fogo. Waking up in the dark, starry night in Cha das Caldeiras, having breakfast at candlelight and then hiking up the steep volcano cone while the sun climbs behind the volcano and clouds roll in over the caldeira's edge - it's magical.
We climbed the peak using the "regular" route, but then circled around the crater's edge and went down towards the 1995 peak. This way you get the achievement and cracking views of climbing the Pico and also get to see the interesting and colourful 1995 peak. This route is not for the unfit or those suffering from vertigo though: circling the crater takes some climbing on all fours and the route down is longer and tougher. The second half of the route down is easy, through the lava ashes. It's loads of fun to run and jump down the steep slope through the thick cushion of lava.
- Take plenty of water (1,5L per person) and food (lunch and cookies) with you.
- Wear layers of clothing: early in the morning it can be quite cold, once you warm up you'll want to take a layer off. Once the sun rises behind the volcano, it can become quite hot. Short trousers suffice.
- Wear old clothes - you'll get - very - dusty and dirty.
- Protect your camera, especially when running down through the ashes, from the dust.
- Bring high factor sunscreen! The sun is powerful which you may not notice due to the wind and colder altitudes. A hat is not a bad idea.
We arranged our guide (called Ja) after arrival in Cha das Caldeiras. He knew the route well, adjusted his pace to ours, pointed out where to watch our step and was pleasant company.
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