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“Worth the walk up (8 km) to see for it's still active.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano
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$17.00*
and up
Pacaya Trek Volcano Round-Trip Transportation from Antigua
Ranked #3 of 80 things to do in Antigua
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Panama
Level Contributor
102 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Worth the walk up (8 km) to see for it's still active.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2013

The shuttle wasn't comfortable (but those little vans are not - not much leg room and they are always full). It took 2 hours to get there. Watch the crap from the horses. Some men on horses follow you half way up to try to sell you a ride. Which is ok if you like horses and not allergic. I have not been allergic to any animal in my life but I could not breath and my eyes were running. The 500 meter increase in altitude also didn't help. But I'm glad to see one of 3 or 4 active volcanoes in the country.

Visited December 2013
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1 Thank stanvia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great views, may be difficult if you haven't adjusted to the elevation.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2013

The hike itself isn't that steep, but the elevation can make it feel a lot more difficult than it actually is. It's almost all uphill with maybe 30 feet of flat land or small downhills (pretty negligible.) Be sure to stop throughout your hike and get great shots of the other volcanoes in the background.

We got there around 7AM and hiked Cerro Chino with our local tour guide. The round trip took a little under 2.5 hours, but we took a nice long stop at the top to roast some marshmallows in a small cave that was emanating heat. It's very windy the closer you get to the top, so a windbreaker and layers are definitely recommended. Some energy snacks on the way up would benefit you, as well as water. The closest we could legally get to the top was just outside of 300m, which is a huge bummer. You can see the smoke coming out of the top of the volcano. However, due to high winds and they fact that it's an active volcano, people are limited to the 300 m mark.

We also stopped at the souvenir shop midway to the top of the volcano that sold volcano jewelry with proceeds that are given to support the local Mayan culture. The guy who was volunteering there was originally from California (like me!) and spoke perfect English. There are a few stray dogs that hang out near the shop that followed us to the top of the mountain. The shopkeeper says that the dogs are sensitive to the seismic activity of the volcano and will let him know that it might be time to run down if the volcano is about to erupt.

At the base of Cerro Chino, they do offer horses for those who are less inclined to hike. We brought our hiking sticks so the horse peddlers didn't approach us. Besides, on our way up, I saw a granny wearing sandals hiking the volcano like it was no big deal. If she can do it, so can most of us! On our way down, we did see a lot of lazy people taking the horses.

Cost was 50 Quetzals for foreigners. Forgot what it is for locals.

Visited December 2013
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1 Thank enginerdette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broome, Australia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great views, bring warm clothes”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

The hike wasn't very challenging, but it is still a decent ascent uphill. Our tour was free as part of our spanish school. Entrance to the volcano path is 50Q. If ur not in at least average shape, you may need the horse (one of the girls in our group tried to keep pace, but after 5mins he was struggling and they persuaded her to get the horse - bring something to feed them, skinny things.
The views are amazing and it's great to get up close enough to roast marshmallows :)
The wind is a killer. We were ok, but some other really didn't wear enough warm/wind proof gear. And maybe gloves if you need.
The views of the other volcanoes (Acatenango and Fuego) and the Pacific Ocean are great (if the cloud holds off).

Visited November 2013
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2 Thank JPescape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC
Level Contributor
86 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Nice little hike with beautiful views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2013

We did a sunset hike of Pacaya on a tour coordinated from our hotel. One of those small minivans packed with folks picked us up, and we drove for an hour to the volcano. Upon arriving, we paid 50Q each to enter the park. There are well kept bathrooms at the entrance point, and a bunch of little boys trying to rent you walking sticks.

As for the walking sticks, they really aren't necessary. If you have bad knees or a really bad back and need the extra support they may be useful, but the path itself is really nice and not at all technical. It is straight up the side of the volcano with no switchbacks, so a great calf workout. The incline isn't bad though, so it's not terribly difficult. Most of the trail is finely packed volcanic dirt, and towards the top it becomes smaller stones. They are not slippery and it's easy to navigate. You will have to navigate horse poo along the route as the "local taxis" like to leave little bombs along the trail.

The hike is about 1 1/2 hours to the top at a brisk pace. The views at the top are stunning. As I said, we did a sunset hike, which provided simply amazing views. At the top, there is a little store that sells hot coffee, beer and snacks. Our guide bought marshmallows and we roasted them over one of the steam vents. Eating volcano-toasted marshmallows was definitely a first!

It was freezing at the top of the volcano. Some folks in our group did not come well prepared--they were in shorts and light jackets. And it was really cold with the wind whipping everywhere. So if you do this hike in November/December, remember to bring layers. I had a t-shirt, wind-stopping fleece jacket, and my raincoat and was still a bit chilly.

We walked back in the dark, and flashlights were a must. Thankfully enough folks in our group had flashlights so everyone could see. But had that not been the case, the decent would have been much more challenging. It took about 45 minutes to walk back down.

All in all, a great hike. It's physically rather easy, provides great views and some interesting experiences (coffee on top of an active volcano?!). Definitely worth the trip!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank travelerparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic trip!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2013

This trip to the Pacaya Vulcan was amazing. We were a group og 15 with a local guide who was very interesting and friendly. He also had a nice dog who followed us all the way up to the vulcan and down again. The landscape turned totally different as we approached the top of the vulcan. It was an amazing scenary, just like if you were on another planet! There were some holes from where some hot air came out and you would feel very warm. I did get down into one of these holes and it felt very warm like in a sauna! A very nice experience and a nice trek.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Josselyne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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