Things to do in
Pacaya Volcano

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Pacaya Volcano: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

1. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

Walk for 2 hours to the summit of Pacaya Volcano and enjoy stunning views. Leave from Antigua for a 1-hour bus journey to the volcano's base before immediately starting your 2-hour trek with your local guide. Hike through wonderful pine forests up to the trickier volcanic ash section and finally to the sulfur smoking cone. On occasions you can even see small eruptions and lava flowing, depending on the activity of the volcano. From the summit you can enjoy great views of the nearby volcanoes, Agua, Fuego and Acatenango, the pacific lowlands and all the way to El Salvador. To ensure your safety you won’t be able to visit the crater, but you will get an amazing view of red-hot lava flowing and steam baths created by the heat of Pacaya. Take a break and relax here as you take in more scenic views before hiking back to the base of the volcano, from where you will transfer back to your accommodation. 

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Guatemala Pacaya Volcano Day Tour

2. Guatemala Pacaya Volcano Day Tour

Come and see the Pacaya Volcano: the most active volcano in Guatemala at 2,500 meters (more than 8,000 feet). Witness spectacular views of the lagoon of Calderas and three other volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. The surrounding area is an experience unto itself, composed in large part of humid forest and rocks. After a walk through volcanic sand paths, with great views of the volcanoes and unique vegetation, you´ll arrive at the plateau where you can see the main crater of the volcano. Today, you can't visit the crater of the volcano for security reasons, but you will see the lava (if active) and some steam baths created by the heat of the Pacaya Volcano. At the volcano, you'll have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the volcano. After a thrilling day of exploration and dramatic views, you will arrive back at your hotel.

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From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

3. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

Volcano Pacaya (8370ft/2552m) may not be Guatemala’s highest peak, however its slopes and unique landscapes are certainly of some of the most impressive volcanic landscapes in all of Central America. Set in its own National Park, Pacaya is a storybook volcano with a continuous plume of smoke drifting from its summit and a massive dried lava field forming the valley at the base of its caldera. The group meets in Antigua at 08:00 (for a morning hike) or 14:00 (for a sunset hike) – where drinking water, bathroom facilities, and retail outdoor equipment are available. Your drive to the trailhead is just over 1 hour in private transport from Antigua to the Park Office. As the group moves up the myriad of trails on the mountain, Guatemala’s impressive vistas open up before you. As you reach the base of the caldera, your guide will direct the group through the rugged dried lava fields, recently reformed by a massive eruption in 2010. No matter what conditions you encounter on the mountain, the group will have the opportunity to traverse unique volcanic-rock landscapes as you ascend towards the peak. Here the group will stop for a freshly prepared picnic to enjoy along with views of nearby volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. There will be plenty of opportunity to explore geothermal hot-spots on the cooled lava formations – which are always available to help roast marshmallows! The hike down brings across the remaining dried lava fields before you begin your descent through Pacaya’s lush and lesser known forests and farmland. After your hike down to the trailhead, the group returns to Antigua by private transport to arrive in town at roughly 16:00 (day hike) or 20:30 (sunset hike).

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Pacaya Volcano Hike from Quetzal Port

4. Pacaya Volcano Hike from Quetzal Port

Meet your guide at Quetzal Port and begin your tour one hour after the cruise ship arrives at the port. Be transferred from the port to the village near the volcano in a comfortable car, which takes two hours. You do not need to have hiking experience for this activity as the volcano is very accessible and it is easy to reach the top. It takes just two hours to reach the top, which is it at 2,500 meters above the sea level. Here, the environment is created by the humid forest. See the fumaroles escaping from the open volcano on this unique experience.  Descend for an hour and a half then return by car back to get the Quetzal port. 

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From Antigua: 1-Day Guatemala-Pacaya Active Volcano Hike

5. From Antigua: 1-Day Guatemala-Pacaya Active Volcano Hike

After pick-up from your hotel in Antigua arrive at the foot of the volcano. From there your expert guide will lead you on a 1-hour hike from the San Vicente de Pacaya village up to a distance of approximately 50 meters from the crater. Look down into the crater at the lava as you experience the energy of an active volcano. Note the fumaroles, vents in the earth through which gases escape. Learn about Pacaya Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, and observe how it has shaped the country around it. At 2500 meters above sea level wander through an unusual landscape of humid forest and rocks.  Before transfer back to your hotel in Antigua visit the Lava Store to buy souvenirs made from the volcanic ash produced by the mountain. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Pacaya Volcano

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What people are saying about Pacaya Volcano

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 97 reviews

This experience exceeded nearly every expectation. From meeting the guide at the shop in Antigua, to arriving back afterward I was blown away. The customer service and dedication were excellent. Just what I came to expect in Guatemala. The van ride was comfortable and all were masked. All the paperwork was in order and we had one stop to check in and get me a wristband before starting the hike. Our local guide spoke decent English and was wonderful to have along. He stopped to point out the lava flows from a few months earlier and various unique plants and wildlife. Oh, be sure to bring extra cash: there's a Lava Store just before the main site! Also, you'll want to tip your guide. He hikes the whole way! I had a tasty gooey marshmallow, got wonderful pictures of Pacaya and a nice, simple picnic before returning down. It's a challenging hike, but not crazy hard.

Great trip, would happily recommend! There were two guides, one at the back, one at the front, the main guide spoke English and Spanish. It's a steep walk up but if it gets too difficult you can take a horse the rest of the way. If you do the afternoon trip I would recommend taking a headlamp if you have one, it was dark when we were descending so everyone had their phones out for light. Good walking shoes are recommended (my sneakers were fine), and I really appreciated my walking pole, especially in the rocky bits, but you can get poles before the walk.

From the moment Davis picked us up, we felt safe and very excited. His English is perfect and he was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the country and the tour. The hike was challenging for us, but not difficult. We are experienced hikers who refused the horses, but I did rent a hiking stick, which I found to be incredibly useful. The tour was worth every penny and I highly recommend it.

It was perfect and the tour guide was excellent! He was very patient and shared his knowledge about the volcano throughout the hike. Definitely recommend it!

Superb good experience. Easy hike and great organization from start to finish. I recommend