If you visit Guatemala, you cannot leave the country without climb a volcano. It is one of the highlights and with hindsight I can say a very impressive and unforgettable experience.
We decided to climb the Vulcano Acatenango. The stratovolcano is one of the highest in Central America with a height of 3,976 meters. It is right next to the Fuego, which broke out on 3.6.18.
From Antigua numerous tours are offered with overnight stay (costs with admission are about 350 quetzales). But if you have your own camping gear with you, it should also go without a guide – we thought. So we went to Parramos (Q3) with the first Chickenbus and from there we wanted to go to La Soledad (Q10). Of course we would have had to wait a lot of time for the second bus and so we got the fantastic offer of a local to drive with him to San Jose de Calderas and from there to to the start (thanks Marvin :-)).
Since we started early at 8 o’clock, we had the whole way for us, most tours start a little later. Up to the first hut (collection and final point of the tours), are about 500 meters, which lead only in one direction – uphill and sometimes very steep. Good hiking shoes are a blessing in retrospect. In between, there are always places to rest. Who goes without a guide, should perhaps first ask for the easiest way. Of course, we just went up and get over the toughest way to the top. On the way there it already started to get foggy and windy. Once at the top, it was difficult to localize where we had to go. The first campground at the top was out of the question for us – only more nasty people put up their tent in the freezing storm and at temperatures around freezing. The second place according to Maps.me was an open roof and a small patch of ground for the tent.
So we tried to get to the next campsite. At this time we were already for 6 hours with luggage on the way completely knocked out and on the top we went around completely without orientation, have frozen incredibly and desperately decided to go back to the village and safely arrive downstairs.
Completely finished we met Daniel, who was with his group just on the way to their private campsite. From him we also got the information that we would not get a bus down in the village and he offered us instead to walk down to come with him and help with the translation as compensation. What a hero who saved our butts 🙂
The campsite was also right next to the Fuego and we got a fantastic view. We also got mats from him for our tent floor. The night was icy, the wind murderous, and the idea of having to get out of the sleeping bag at four in the morning horrible.
The sunrise is then the last piece of energy, what you have to give in order to have a unique experience above the clouds. Back we also went with Daniel, who always had a watchful eye on us tired and crazy girls, because we slipped away due to lack of sleep and perfect shoes and landed on our butts.
He also took us on his scooter to San Jose de Calderas where we took a chicken bus back to Antigua. Unfortunately, we have this experience with three backpacks on the scooter not in a photo, but anchored in the heart.