Volcano Acatenango Overnight Hike

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On this overnight hike you will summit Volcano Acatenango just as the sunrises, for a breathtaking view of the Guatemala landscape. You will be able to see the Volcano de Fuego and other volcanoes stretching for miles. This tour includes the cost of food and supplies for the entire night and morning.

 

This 2-day/1-night hike brings you up the slopes of beautiful Volcan Acatenango to our private campsite – bench-cut into the side of this towering mountain. From here we enjoy our camp meals, incredible views, and plenty of room to stretch out. In camp there we will have ample time to appreciate the sights and sounds of nearby Volcano Fuego’s violent volcano eruptions. On the morning of the 2rd day, our group will summit Acatenango’s peak (3,975m/12,720ft – the third highest volcano in Guatemala), taking in panoramic views from atop the summit. Finally, we will descend back down through a myriad of microclimates to return to Antigua by early afternoon.

Day 1: Hike to Camp

 

We will pick you up from your hotel in Antigua at 8:00AM where you can fill up your water bottles and purchase any additional gear you might need. Hikers should eat breakfast beforehand and pack a small snack for the road. A one-hour drive takes us from Antigua to the sleepy mountain village of La Soledad, perched on the ridge of the Pacific slope of Volcano Acatenango. The trail up Volcano Acatenango has four distinct microclimates, each of which will take you about an hour to traverse. We’ll begin by walking up a steep trail through local farm fields – the same trail used by local villagers each morning to access their corn, snow pea and lily fields. Our first hour of hiking will help you acclimatize and warm up the leg muscles for the day’s hike.

The second phase of our ascent passes through old-growth tropical cloud forest. In this environmental zone, we find some of Acatenango’s oldest trees, an incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna, fresh mountain air and the sounds of local birds and wildlife. This type of high-alpine cloud forest is found on the upper slopes of many of Guatemala’s tallest volcanoes and mountains, and is home to the famous Quetzal.

 

After exiting the cloud forest, we will be rewarded with fantastic views of the other highland volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman, San Pedro, Santa Maria, Santo Tomas, Tajamulco), along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes mountain chain. A fresh picnic is prepared mid-day for our group to enjoy.

Temperate coniferous forest and tropical dry forest characterize the 3rd phase of our ascent, which will lead us to the storm-beaten tree-line of the volcano. Our campsite is perched just below tree-line with sweeping views of the Antigua valley and Volcan Fuego. After setting up camp, hikers are free to rest, relax and enjoy their surroundings while our guide prepares a fresh camp dinner at ~3750m with hot tea and coffee.

 

Day 2: Summiting Acatenango

In the morning, after an early camp breakfast, our group embarks on a 45-minute ascent to the summit on a sand and gravel scree-trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses. The trail up to the summit is the steepest we will have seen, and leads to the rocky summit exposed to the gusty and cold winds which constantly pass over Acatenango’s peak.

 

At the summit, our group will rest and enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the entirety of the Guatemalan highlands – all the way to the border of Mexico. After 45min at the top (depending on conditions and time considerations), the group will begin the 3-hour descent back towards La Soledad. Our group has the opportunity to descend through an alternate route down Volcano Acatenango, experiencing a variety of microclimates and beautiful trail. From La Soledad, we will transport back to Antigua, arriving in the afternoon with plenty of time for you to enjoy the delights of the old Spanish colonial capital (~13:00hrs).

 

Trip Information

 

Included in Trip Price:

  • Round trip transportation from Old Town Outfitters office in Antigua
  • All park entrance fees + local guide from the community of La Soledad
  • Freshly prepared picnic lunch, dinner, and breakfast + juice/coffee/tea & snacks
  • Sleeping bags, sleeping pads and comfortable tents for camping at high-altitude
  • Full tour of Volcano Acatenango by a local, bilingual guide with certified 1st-Aid training

 

Not included (what you need to bring):

  • Hiking boots or trekking shoes (no sandals)
  • Large-capacity backpack (50L+) with rain cover
  • One warm layer and/or windbreaker
  • Rain jacket (May thru October)
  • Cold-weather clothing for near-freezing night-time temperatures at camp
  • Personal toiletries and/or medications
  • Camera, hat, sunglasses & sunscreen
  • 4 liters of water (minimum)
  • Flashlight

TIP for great service from your guide!

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