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“See it at night! ”
Review of Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano
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US$17.00*
and up
Pacaya Trek Volcano Round-Trip Transportation...
Ranked #5 of 93 things to do in Antigua
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Wow!!! We climbed the mountain beside it at midnight and it gave us the most incredible views of the lava being spewed from within. If you get a chance, this is one of the most amazing natural phenomenon you will ever see!

Thank MFC31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"roast marshmallows"
in 125 reviews
"lava store"
in 62 reviews
"lava flow"
in 68 reviews
"steam vents"
in 21 reviews
"toast"
in 50 reviews
"horse ride"
in 33 reviews
"great hike"
in 77 reviews
"walking stick"
in 64 reviews
"volcanic rock"
in 28 reviews
"half day trip"
in 19 reviews
"national park"
in 24 reviews
"volcanic activity"
in 17 reviews
"steep hike"
in 17 reviews
"hour hike"
in 31 reviews
"up hill"
in 16 reviews
"coming down"
in 22 reviews
"decent shape"
in 22 reviews
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4 - 8 of 2,232 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We booked the morning trip to Pacaya through our hostel in Antigua. I believe most accommodations are able to organize for you. It cost 80 Q each (kids too).

We were told there was a morning and evening tour. Apparently the evening tour is excellent as well because you get sunset, but at this time of year (mid May) it rains most every evening and you likely won’t get a sunset anyway.

Our tour started with pickup at our hostel in a small van at 6:00 am. The van drove around town picking up other people until it convened with a larger bus. Everyone shuffled off the van and onto the bus.

The drive to Pacaya was uneventful and took just over an hour. We could see the volcano steaming off in the distance for a good portion of the trip.

When we arrived at the entrance to the park we deboarded the bus, got a chance to top up water bottles, use the bathroom, and buy our park entrance tickets (50 Q/adult, kids are free).

Then our guided upward hike began. The path is fairly steep and the ground can be soft at times. There were a few people who struggled with the climb and opted to take one of the horses (aka taxis) to the top. I’m not sure about the cost of a horse ride because we didn’t use one.

I’d say you don’t need to be fit but you can’t be unfit either. My 6 & 7 year old daughters made it up and down without a single complaint.

It takes about 1.5-2 hours to get up to the main viewpoint at a reasonable pace. The guide makes sure nobody gets left behind, so don’t worry about that. The guide also stopped a few times for people to catch their breath and to explain a few things about the volcano, the local agricultural practices, the geothermal power plant, etc.

Once you reach the top you get to watch the volcano’s cone spewing rocks and smoke. Sadly you can’t see lava with the naked eye but I was able (and encouraged by the guide) to fly my drone up there and got some video of the lava in the caldera.

We stayed at the viewpoint for 15 minutes or so and then walked downhill to check out the solidified lava flows. There’s a few
spots where the rocks are still hot and we roasted marshmallows for a few minutes.

Then we hiked back up to the viewpoint and back down to the bus. The hike down took us 50 minutes but others were a bit slower so we had to wait for them at the bottom.

We drove back to Antigua and arrived around 12:30.

It was a fun excursion and a good way to get some exercise. My entire family loved it.


1  Thank Randy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It is a 2 to 3 hour hike uphill but worth the effort. If the climb is too much you can rent a horse with guide. When the weather is clear you may be able to see at least three other volcanoes in the distance. Bring very good hiking shoes that can withstand dried lava, sometimes mud and maybe even hot dried lava if you´re close to a heat vent. I destroyed a pair of leather hiking boots by standing near a vent too long. You´ll need a guide to go but they´re worth the price.

1  Thank Chapingros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We bought a tour package from a hotel in Guate that included the round-trip ride out to the volcano (1.25 hours each way). The driver got us a guide and we started up the 400 meter (1300 foot) climb to the shoulder of the volcano. The hike starts at about 1800 meters and ends at about 2200 meters (roughly 6000 feet to 7300 feet). I'm 64 in decent shape and had no trouble with the climb on the sometimes steep and stony path. There was a man with a riderless horse that followed us all the way to the end, hoping that I would cave and ask for a ride... He even followed us a little way down before giving up. The place is full of horses and guides, so don't be worried about the climb. The volcano is amazing. It was erupting while we were standing on a shoulder of the mountain. Based on the distance to the peak (about 1/2 mile), I estimate that pickup-sized rocks were being thrown 100 meters into the air. The sound of the eruptions were amazing. As is typical in central-American countries, your health, safety and well-being are at least somewhat your own responsibility. You'll have an excellent guide, but this is not at all like a National Park in North America. It's rough and raw at the edges, which I find wonderful.

Thank StarryRidge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

No switchbacks. So that makes this climb more challenging than comparable treks in the United States mountains. It's pretty much straight up and a very dusty trail - but dust is just part of hiking (although this is volcanic dust so it's somehow more powdery). If you're a senior citizen you can probably do this hike (like we did, one person with a recently injured ankle), but give yourself breaks along the way. Also if you're hiking down in the dark it's extremely dangerous so bring a very bright flashlight. Headlamps won't really work because of the steep angle descending the trail.

Thank biscuitCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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