It is called Pacaya and is not the highest one in Guatemala but if you have little time and not much experience doing extreme hiking then it is right for you. It is heavy but entirely possible.
A month before going to Guatemala I located OX expeditions and we booked a tour where we could climb the volcano and sleep on it. The idea of being able to see the stars while we were on top of an active volcano called us, but in the end we didn’t do it and it turned out better. The idea that one has of something is rarely a reality. Then we did a one day climb at the Pacaya the last day that we would be in Antigua and it was the perfect way to say goodbye to that part of Guatemala; by conquering a volcano.
We arrived at the Pacaya volcano and we started instantly to climb it. We paid for some wooden sticks that we believed we would not need but we were wrong (those sticks help much when the descent). We had been warned that we would see a lot of fog, so it did not surprise me that it join us for almost the entire trip. First it was all green, tall trees that greeted you from above and the fog came and went at his pace. It was three hours going up, up and up with some momentary pauses to retain information, take some photos and get some rest. At the peak we could see the volcano and less green. On one side looked black and other part it looked green, it was a strange contrast. The sky was clear, blue and with playful clouds that leave for a moment so we could have the best view of all sky. Walking down the volcano was complicated, it was a rocky and rough black sand that covered everything. If you approached you could feel steam and heat out of the rocks. I was standing on an active volcano. Stop on dry lava that two years ago was red. I conquered a volcano and to celebrate we burn marshmallows and hotdogs on it and we ate them. It was the perfect culmination; snacks made with volcanic heat. Delicious.
The descent was hard. Those rocks made you lose your balance. The sticks were very helpful as support, and back in the mountain with trees and leaves it became easier but still we must be careful. The sun went down and we had no light, our eyes and our legs were suffering too. And after three hours we reached the starting point, now the end. We went back to Antigua all tired and talking about Colombian food, bananas and with a delay of almost an hour for a pilgrimage to a saint. That was our last night in Antigua and the next day we went to a place touched by God; Lake Atitlan.