Day 52: Volcán Pacaya
Antigua Travel Blog› entry 70 of 120 › view all entries
It was time again to climb a volcano. After all, it had been quite a while since the last one. Close to Antigua lies the volcano Pacaya, which is one of Guatemala’s most active volcanoes, and one of Antigua’s most popular excursions.
And of course, where there are tourists, there are bandidos, so once again we were accompanied by two armed guides and two very heavily armed policemen. All this security seemed a tad ridiculous, I mean, with so much police around, how stupid would one be to still try and rob tourists on the volcano. But apparently it still happens. Only last week two American guys had decided they wanted to save the $5 for a guided tour and went to the volcano by themselves, only to be relieved of their money, cameras and watches within less than half an hour!
Anyway, the advantage of such a tour is that it is usually a great way to meet other people as well, just in case I felt lonely now that I am on my own again after travelling with my sister for 5 weeks.
The climb itself was quite tough. Not only because the last part was very steep and difficult to walk over the loose sandy surface, but it was also very cold and windy. The top of the volcano was covered in clouds, so you couldn’t see much at the top. And this being a very active volcano, there was a lot of smoke coming out of the crater, further obscuring the view.
We didn’t get to see any lava flowing or anything, but we did hear the volcano rumble every once in a while. The lack of view from the top was made up for by a stunning sunset on the way down, and great views over Guatemala City.
Back in Antigua I had a quick shower and went for a bite to eat with part of the tour group. We had great fun. In fact it was a little bit too much fun, as before I knew it, it was already 12:30 when I remembered I had booked a bus for 4:30 the next morning! And I still had to pack!