Me standing and watching the sunrise over volcan fuego

Hiking Volcan Fuego in Guatemala

Week 8 – Antigua

This week’s journal entry is all about the 24 hours of experience hiking Volcan Fuego in Guatemala. This experience deserves its own blog. This has to be my highlight so far. I am not sure if my words can truly sum up the magical experience I had.

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Arriving at the Starting Point

From the city of Antigua which is stunning, cute, and filled with charm. We set off early to reach the starting point of the hike. The very bottom of Volcan Acatenango. This was where we had our safety briefing and picked up some warm clothes. We chose to go with one of the more expensive companies because after cutting costs on tours before; I really didn’t want to on this one. We chose Soy Tours.

What sold us on this one was the fact it was one of two that camped on the sunset side of the volcano plus the cooked pancakes in the morning. Yes, someone runs up the volcano in the morning with pancakes so they are waiting for you for when you return from sunrise.

Starting the Hike

Anyway, let’s not skip ahead. We have to talk about the hike. Oh wow, it was a hike. It was tough. There is no sugarcoating just how hard I found this. The altitude and the steep incline of the volcano really didn’t do me any favours. We hike all day through clouds upon clouds. The cloud forest we passed on our way up was misty and magical adding to the atmosphere. The clouds kept the temperature down which made the hike just a little bit more bearable. I couldn’t imagine making it to camp if that sun was blaring down on us too.

Volcan Fuego erupting at Dusk
Volcan Fuego Erupting at Dusk

We had regular breaks on our way up, the guides were great at setting a good pace for us all to follow. I do have to admit I did opt to pay extra for someone to carry my bag. Simply because we had to carry all our own water. This meant no backache. Plus, I was already unfit so the extra weight wouldn’t have worked out. When we all reached camp the clouds were still hanging about. Therefore, we all took a well-earnt rest.

When the Clouds Lifted

After, a little rested and only a little one because it wasn’t long before we could hear Volcan Fuego erupting. We were about to have the best luck because just like that the clouds that had been there all day started to slowly lift. Revealing Volcan Fuego in all its glory. Then, from that moment on the volcano didn’t disappoint. It kept going. It erupted as the sunset gave us a view for miles across the exposed valley. A valley lined with volcano after volcano. We were finally weeping the reward from my toughest hike to date.

Lava Flowing from Volcan Fuego at Nightime
Volcan Fuego at Night

Mother nature was showing off and I was all here for it as dusk turned to dark. Although, it was cold and I was happy. Hiking Volcan Fuego in Guatemala was amazing and I just sat there watching the volcano into the night just like it was a television. The night was clear and Fuego was giving us a show shooting lava up into the air, then watching it tickle down the sides. It didn’t seem real. This moment is definitely one of those surreal moments in life.

Hiking for Sunrise

Hiking up for sunrise was a difficult one, tired from yesterday and I had a lack of sleep. However, the lack of sleep was worth listening to the volcano erupting all night long. There were some very loud bangs ringing out around the valley. However, this part of the hike was more like scrambling over rocks than following a clear nicely craved-out trail. Yet, I made it up for sunrise (just) but I did miss the break of the day. Again, Volcan Fuego was performing spluttering ash cloud after ash cloud up into the sky.

Coming Back Down

Volcan Fuego Erupting at Sunrise
Sunrise Over Looking Volcan Fuego

You would think it was easier, it was in some ways but at this point, my legs were jelly so just trying to stay upright and not slip on the stones was the mission when coming back down. Also, this time the sun was out so we got to see all the views we missed out on, on the way up. Oh my… they were pretty! All in all what an incredible experience.

Summary of Hiking Volcan Fuego in Guatemala

Wow. What a truly raw experience something I didn’t think I would see in my lifetime. The company provided great guides, good food, and a perfect camp. I fully recommend using them. This is a unique experience camping on the side of one volcano whilst watching another erupt. There are no words, to sum up, the fierceness of mother nature.

Read about another exciting Central American adventure here!

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