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Review of Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano
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Pacaya Volcano Tour from Guatemala City
Ranked #3 of 86 things to do in Antigua
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Reviewed January 15, 2014

Hiking this Volcano was one of the greatest experiences I've had. It had just become active, so we couldnt get to the very top, but high enough to feel the heat, roast marshmellows in the ground and see some of the most amazing views. It's about 8km return hike, but totally worth it. They do provide horses for those that are not keen to walk it, but it's a satisfying hike.

1  Thank Mshelzy007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 14, 2014

I am adventurous. I am tolerant. I am flexible. All of the above were tested on the trip to and from Pacaya. The hike itself is NOT moderate, as some reviews claim. If you are over 40 and do not work out every day, do not book a group tour!!!

This is not a "moderate" hike. If you like a marathon-pace death march for 5 miles of 6,000 ft. steep feet terrain, then book a standard tour. It was too much for me and my husband, and both of us are typically fit.

In retrospect, I wish I would have listened to friends who suggested that we hire a private driver and tour guide for this trip. The former because, unless you like being crammed into a small van jump seat, the ride is long and bumpy, and the latter because you can't stop and enjoy what you want if your guide has a pre-set agenda.

If I had to do over again, I would hire a private driver and guide.

In any case, the views are amazing and any experience is worth getting there.

Just do it.

4  Thank Lisa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

I visited Pacaya in 2009 so my review might be outdated. As a volcano lover I have based a few holidays around them and this was probably the most exciting volcanic activity I experienced. The volcano is continuously active and we climbed it as it spewed out molten rock. We were able to actually toast the marshmallows on lava. It is a decent climb and you would definitely need good runners/climbing boots or something suitable. The first hour and a half was by bus from Antigua. Then there was an hour hike and the final hour was scrambling on your hands over loose rock and scree. The last part is not an easy climb and could be dangerous but well worth it when you reach the top. It might be warm but I would suggest wrapping up to protect yourself from the heat that comes from the lava. If the wind blows over it in your direction it will burn you. Just a light long sleeved tshirt/jumper and shorts you can role down or leggings under shorts would be perfect. Sunglasses and a hat would probably be a good idea too. And even though they might seem like a complete rip-off but the sticks that are been sold at the bottom - they are so useful for checking the next step. Also buy the marshmallows. Enjoy!!:)

Thank Sinead B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We started early for this trip as the sun was coming up, but as usual a lot of time was wasted collecting people and stopping for breakfast etc. so by the time we left Antigua it was around 8am, we were meant to go at 6am.. It's about an hours drive away, so there is a chance for a nap in the minibus on the way. When you get there you walk up hill for about an hour and you get to the volcano. There are some great views of the surrounding 3 volcanoes and the valleys between them on the walk up. It's not a terribly hard hike but is a good work out. When you get to the top you can see the active volcano erupting some small black material out of the top which is cool. I guess if you came when it was dark you could see more of a firework show. The lava fields are interesting the whole area is beautiful. This is a cheap trip and I would recommend it, if you've got the money for a private trip before the sunrise then do that, whatever you do it's worth a visit.

Thank EdBS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

We visited Pacaya in early Jan 2014, on Jan 10 (note that later that day Pacaya erupted and tours got canceled). We arranged a private tour starting at 4am to see the sunrise, and were not at all disappointed - we got to see quite a spectacle before the sun came up! The reason why we preferred the (much more expensive) private tour was that we had heard numerous times that with the "standard tour" you only get very little time at the top and you're part of a large group (up to 40 people) and we didn't like that thought :-) When we arrived at the top (took us about 50 min) the volcano was spewing lava high up, and it was very visible thanks to the darkness that still surrounded us (at around 6am). Once the sun came up the spectacle became less distinguishable, so our recommendation is to either take the afternoon tour (if you want to be part of a large group) and wait till sunset to see the same, or well arrange for a private tour (we paid approx. Q700, make sure the park fee is included). The morning tour in our opinion is a waste of time and money since you only get to see Pacaya throw up some smoke and that's about it, you won't see any lava since there's too much light.

Thank bmarcoa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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