Are you feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of information out there about preparing for the Acatenango hike in Guatemala? I can relate! When I was getting ready for my own Acatenango adventure, I found myself in the same boat.
I had so many questions before my hike to Acatenango:
What should I bring? How should I prepare? What could I expect along the way?
That’s why I created this YouTube video where I cover EVERYTHING I know about the Acatenango hike. I’m sharing my personal experience in order to help you to simplify the preparation process for your adventurous overnight hike.
In the video, I’ll also dive into the details of different tour operators, discuss the prices, and provide insights into what you can expect during your hike. We’ll explore the accommodations, the meals, and all the essential factors that will shape your Acatenango experience.
Walking up to an active volcano that erupts every 15 minutes was one of the most breathtaking and exciting experiences I’ve had while traveling for about the last 15 years. I hadn’t planned it, but after hearing other travelers talk about it, I couldn’t resist. I was unsure about my fitness and safety, but with some encouragement from fellow travellers, I decided to take on the challenge of this incredible Acatenango hike.
Before starting the Acatenango hike, it’s essential to be well-prepared. The volcano is really high, about 3976 meters, and the climb takes around six to seven hours, covering around 1600 meters. Taking breaks during the hike is important to avoid altitude sickness, so it’s best to go slowly. Rushing is not safe and not necessary.
As someone traveling alone, I felt worried about climbing the volcano by myself. But when I joined a guided tour, I felt safer and supported. I really suggest being part of a tour. Hiking with others is more fun, and it’s also much safer. Please don’t forget that climbing Acatenango has some serious risks.
You have to know that you’re hiking a volcano right next to another really active volcano, Fuego. Fuego’s eruptions can be predicted, but it’s still a very powerful and dangerous thing.
I read that in 2018, Acatenango had a big eruption (source: Reuters). It’s a reminder that even if tours take precautions, there are still dangers when you’re close to an active volcano.
In 2017, some really sad things happened when six hikers died on Acatenango because of the sudden drop in temperature (source: Express). That’s why it’s essential to be prepared, informed, and have professional guides during this hike.
So, when you think about hiking Acatenango, put safety first by joining a guided tour with experienced guides who know the area well. Remember, safety is super important, and making smart choices will give you a fantastic and memorable adventure.
Many companies offer trips to Acatenango, from one-day to overnight options. I chose a two-day, one-night tour, which allowed me to see Fuegos lava at night and the beautiful sunrise the next morning (4 am hike) from the top of Acatenango. We stayed in tents within some containers with other hikers, which kept us warm during the cold night.
Here you find a list of tour operators. They all have different prices and offer similar hikes but just feel which one suits you best! 🙂 (PS: I’m not affiliated with any of them)
I went with SOY Tours and was really happy with them. In my YouTube Video, you will find out why!
1. Stay Hydrated: Bring at least three to four liters of water, and consider bringing drinks with electrolytes to stay hydrated during the tough hike. High altitudes and physical effort can make you dehydrated, so drink plenty of water.
2. Wear Good Shoes: Wear strong shoes with a good grip to avoid slipping on the loose volcanic sand. Safe shoes are essential for a fun hike.
3. Be Ready for Altitude: If you’re worried about feeling sick from the high altitude, bring altitude sickness tablets just in case. The guides will check on you, but it’s better to be prepared.
4. Protect from Ash: Bring a cloth or scarf (buff) to cover your nose and mouth during the descent to protect yourself from volcanic ash and sand. It can be bothersome to breathe in.
5. Sun Safety: Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses to shield yourself from the strong mountain sun. At high altitudes, the sun can be harmful to your skin and eyes.
6. Dress in Layers: Wear clothes that can absorb water and layer up for changes in weather during the hike. Temperatures can change a lot, so having layers helps.
With Soy Tours, they will provide a sleeping bag and tent, food and you can also choose your warm clothing for free! – so you won’t need to bring those items.
Remember, packing light while covering essential needs is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable Acatenango overnight hike.
When hiking in such beautiful places, it’s important to be responsible. Take all your trash back with you and leave no trace. Respect the environment. Volcanic ecosystems are unique, and protecting them means others can enjoy them too.
Despite the challenges and risks, the Acatenango hike is incredibly rewarding. The amazing views of an erupting volcano right in front of you, the friendship with other hikers, and the sense of achievement make it an adventure of a lifetime. Seeing the Fuego volcano erupt from the Soy Tours Base Camp and the next morning from the top of Acatenango is a memory I’ll cherish forever.
After completing the exciting Acatenango hike, you can expect a mix of feelings and unforgettable memories. You’ll feel proud and accomplished for conquering such a challenging climb, but also be prepared for some tiredness and muscle soreness as your body recovers from the physical effort.
The stunning views of Fuego’s eruptions and the breathtaking sunrise from the top of Acatenango will stay in your mind long after the hike. You’ll cherish the friendship with fellow hikers and the sense of unity with nature throughout the journey.
Take your time to rest and recuperate, fully embracing the experience. Share your stories and photos with loved ones, inspiring them to embark on their own adventures. The memories of the Acatenango hike will remain with you, igniting your wanderlust and reminding you of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.
After the hike, your tour operator will provide transportation back to Antigua, dropping you off at your accommodation.
The Acatenango hike is an adventure of a lifetime, offering stunning landscapes, exciting experiences, and cherished memories. If you love hiking and want a unique journey, I highly recommend going to Acatenango. Remember to be prepared, stay safe, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Happy hiking!
Introducing Tanja Vanessa: Your guide to Slow Solo Travel, Well-being, and Exploration
I’m Tanja Vanessa, a passionate advocate of slow solo travel, an experienced digital nomad, and a certified mental coach and Reiki therapist. With my expertise, I blend well-being and the joy of traveling, making it my mission to guide and inspire others through my work as a coach, blogger, and vlogger.
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