Guatemala and its 32 volcanoes
The country is a real paradise for nature lovers and adventurous souls: together with its abundant nature it has also the highest concentration of volcanoes, 32 recognized as such by The National Geographic Institute of Guatemala. The majority of them are extinct, some are still active, such as Volcanoes Pacaya and Fuego (Fire), near Antigua. Together with Volcanoes Agua (Water) and Acatenango, they are part of Guatemala’s Pacific Ring of Fire.
At 2.552m (8,370 Ft) above sea-level the PACAYA is the easiest volcano to climb and the most spectacular one, because of its incandescent bursts of lava and its unique panaromic views. PACAYA has been active for over 25 years and is now part of a natural protected area of 2.065Ha (5,102 Acre), counting numerousindigenous plants and trees and over 100 species of birds This is a perfect outing to reconnect with Nature’s wilderness and it is quite an emotional experience. Look out for the beautiful wild orchids next to your hiking trail.
Optional climb of the VOLCANO PACAYA (hiking or by horse back)
The ascent is for the physically fit person.
The excursion itself leaves from Antigua, where you’ll be picked up at your hotel, at your choice: either at 06:00 am. or at 1:00 pm. The whole excursion lasts approximately 6 hrs. At the end of this side-trip, you’ll be brought back to either at your hotel in Antigua or to the Parque Central (Central Plaza).
Practical details about hiking on the PACAYA Volcano
A chartered micro-bus will drive through the PACAYA NATIONAL PARK and bring you at the foot of the Volcano where there is a visitor’s center. There you can purchase refreshments and order a horse if you feel your physical condition is not the best. The actual ascent – on a relatively steep and tree-covered sinuous path – takes over 2 hrs. (with short pauses in between) to an arid plateau at approximately 600 m from the top. This last pure volcanic and strenuous stretch has to be done by foot; it takes approximately another hour. If you don’t feel that fit, you can relax and admire the amazing panoramas. If you are more adventurous, you can climb close to the crater and watch the incandescent rocks.
The Volcano’s activity is being monitored daily by 6 radio stations and by Guatemala’s Meteorological and Sismic Institute (Insivumeh). Emergency plans are managed by the National Coordinator for the Reduction of Disasters (Conred), with the support of local authorities and mountain guides of the surrounding villages. Mountain rangers will accompany you in your climb on the Volcano and the National Police is patrolling the trail to give security to the hikers.
Things you need to wear and bring with you:
- Comfortable hiking boots (covering above your ankle), gym shoes nor sandals won`t do!
- Light and warm sport clothing: at the beginning of your ascent you`ll feel warm, but with the height it gets cold and windy up there!
- Water and light snacks: this is vital
- Sun cream, sun glasses and a hat (you should be able to tie it under your neck)
- Your camera and/or binoculars
- A light backpack with your things in it
- During the rainy season : a rainproof jacket
Medical Tourism Guatemala organizes this trip at discounted rates for its (physically fit) clients.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The text and images contained in Medical Tourism Guatemala’s website are for informational purposes only. Its content is not intended to substitute the medical diagnosis or treatment from board certified MD Specialists. Always seek advice from your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment. Medical Tourism Guatemala does not warrant that the information provided is complete, accurate or up to date. Medical Tourism Guatemala‘s website does not provide medical advice.