Everyone climbs Pacaya. If you spend any time in Antigua, chances are you might find yourself hiking this volcano. Big groups of tourists go everyday — two times a day: in the morning and in the evening.

People climb Pacaya for good reason. Not only is it nearby (an hour’s drive from Antigua) and cheap (around $6); it’s also stunning to witness first-hand an active volcano spewing out lava nonstop.

The climb isn’t especially difficult, though it’s still plenty challenging. The rocks are very sharp and sometimes lava-hot here — it’s all quite dangerous, actually, notwithstanding the mobs of tourists and minimal supervision.

The view from atop is reward enough. The other volcanoes in the region — the volcanoes seen from Antigua — are lined up beautifully amid the clouds. And if you go on the evening hike, you get to take in the sunset and the lights of Guatemala City, which shimmer in the dark.

Lava Flow on Volcán Pacaya

View the Pacaya gallery.


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