Awesome Pacaya Volcano

Antigua Travel Blog

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Antigua
I signed up for the Pacaya Volcano tour today that started at 2:00PM.  I decided to walk around the small colonial town of Antigua and explore a little bit before the tour started. I ended up having lunch at the McDonalds, I needed something familiar and they had free internet. The La Boquero market was right next door, which is a HUGE market that has almost everything. I took out some Quetzales and bought some items for the hike.

I got my things ready for the hike up the Pacaya Volcano. Met the driver at the front door and proceeded to pick up the other people on the tour. The drive took about an hour and a half to reach the base of the volcano.
Hiking up to the Lava
Once we parked the van we were bombarded by a bunch of people selling hiking sticks, ponchos, and horse rides up to the lava.  Buying the walking stick for Q5 was the best idea ever, I totally put that stick to use.  The hike up to the Volcano was about 4km. It started off pretty good, but I soon became very tired. The loose gravel and incline made it difficult for me to keep up with the rest of the group.  I felt so out of shape and it didn't help that this group of horse riders kept trying to offer to take me to the top for I don't remember how much. I'm blaming my weakness on the anit-malaria pills I've been taking while here because I managed to climb the Great Wall of China in 100 degree weather for 14km without feeling this bad.  Eventually the horse riders left and we continued on the trek up to the lava.
Lava
  It also started to rain, so we took shelter in a shack until the rain passed. 

We finally reached the top and you could see the lava glowing, it was AMAZING.  Our guide told us that the lava flow looked a lot better this morning, the rain might have decreased the flow.  The lava was glowing bright red and big chuck were crumbling at a few places. It wasn't the flow that I saw in the pictures, but it was still really awesome.  One of the girls on our tour had brought a bag of marshmallows, so our guide roasted some for all of us. There was a big chunk of lava that rolled down and almost hit one of the guys standing around. It was so hot standing there, we were so close that you could literally touch it if you really wanted. We hiked back down to the van and it was so much easier hiking down hill. The drive back to Antigua was really nice too, on the way down you could see the lava glowing on the side of the volcano.  I was totally hating myself while hiking up, but being able to get so close to actual lava was totally awesome and worth it.  The trip to Pacaya Volcano was an amazing experience.
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Antigua
Antigua
Hiking up to the Lava
Hiking up to the Lava
Lava
Lava
Up close to the lava
Up close to the lava
Roasting marshmallows
Roasting marshmallows
Hiking back down in the rain
Hiking back down in the rain
Sunset
Sunset
Pacaya Volcano
Pacaya Volcano
Antigua
photo by: monky