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Pacaya Volcano
Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano

Escuintla, Guatemala

The Basics

Hike from the base of Pacaya to the lofty shelf just below the smoking cinder cone. The ascent takes about 1.5 hours, and coming down is usually faster. Visitors must hire a guide to accompany them on the climb.

Most hikers go as part of an organized tour; these generally include round-trip transportation from Antigua or Guatemala City, as well as a guide to accompany them during the volcano hike. Full-day tours typically begin with a morning ascent up the volcano followed by lunch and a relaxing afternoon at nearby hot springs. You also can complete part of the ascent on horseback, disembarking for the final walk across the solidified lava fields beneath the cone.

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Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua
Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua
star-4.5
$35.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Very accomodating!
Such a great intro to Guatemala! I booked this tour thinking I'd hike it, but then injured my knee a month ago, but luckily horseback was an option! A little hike at the end, but the hiking stick helped. Great guide, great horse guide and altogether great adventure!
ELIZABETH_G, May 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Antigua

star-5
Pacaya Volcano
Stephen_T, Mar 2022
Climb Active Pacaya Volcano - Collective Tour
Really enjoyed going up Pacaya Volcano. Planned to hike but took the horse up which was so much more fun! Got to roast marshmallows and stand on top of the volcano! Great experience!
star-4
Cloudy Sunset Hike
Lindsay_D, May 2022
Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua
Manageable hike, in loose dirt. Can buy a stick from kids for Q10. Not much information was provided, just a guide leading the way up the trail. Unfortunately it was cloudy, would have been nice to see the views.
star-5
Great experience!
Francisco_D, Apr 2022
Pacaya Volcano Day Trip from Antigua
The visit to Pacaya is a must do in Guatemala. We were accompanied by our 2 and 6 years old kids and they had as much fun as we did. It’s very important to have very good physical condition if you plan to hike the volcano. Otherwise, make sure to rent a horse from the very beginning as the physical effort is intense due to the altitude.
star-5
Definitely worth it
Evan_G, Mar 2022
Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua
Guide was awesome and trip was beautiful. I wouldn’t say the hike is hard but know your personal fitness level. It gets steep at some points and isn’t a cake walk. The view at the top is breath taking and roasting marshmallows was fun.
star-5
What an amazing experience!
Sookyeon_K, Mar 2022
Pacaya Volcano Day Trip from Antigua
First time walking so close to a volcano. It’s very unique experience and we definitely recommend this hiking tour. Horse riding was a best thing we did for our kid. It wasn’t easy hike in the beginning. Our guide Michael Angelo was super nice and helpful. He even dropped off the hat my child left in the bus at our hotel. One of the best things we have done!
star-5
Wonderful!
Laura_D, Mar 2022
Pacaya Volcano Day Trip from Guatemala City
Wonderful tour. Our guide was fun. Although we couldn't go to the summit (since it's an active volcano), the walk up was beautiful. The stopping point was near the top and involved walking on a volcanic rock field to a place where we were able to roast marshmallows from the heat of the volcano. Such a fun experience. Also one final note, if the hike became too much, horses were available to rent for a small fee.
star-5
Like nothing you've ever seen
Ambar_R, Feb 2022
Pacaya Volcano Luxury Horseback Riding Tour
I had one of the best days of my life on the tour. This experience is like nothing you've ever seen before I couldn't recommend it enough and the pizza was fantastic and the booking was easy. This is a must do if you are in Antigua!
star-4
Short and easy hike to a vent of the volcano
MARIAM_M, Jan 2022
Climb Active Pacaya Volcano - Collective Tour
This is a 4 mile round trip, an easy hike. They push riding a horse, asking many many times after saying NO we want to hike. Btw, This does not go to the crater. All in all interesting!
star-5
Great trip!
Lisa_S, Jan 2022
Pacaya Volcano Tour and Hot Springs from Antigua
Volcano hike and tour were great. Loved our guide and our driver. Only thing we were confused about....the tour did not include the hot springs or lunch. When I checked out and paid for the tour, it said "no hot springs", so I had a feeling hot springs would not be part of it. Overall, the title was confusing. Nonetheless, we had a great time. Would recommend to all!
star-5
Hard Hike
Daniela_B, Mar 2022
Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua
I had a great Friday morning doing this hike. It is somewhat difficult but worth it for the views and company.
star-5
Pacaya Volcano sunset tour with my bestie!
MARLENE_A, Nov 2021
Pacaya Volcano Sunset Tour from Antigua
Wonderful experience! Our 3 tour guides Marco, Lucas and Mono were awesome! They walked at our pace and let us take breaks as needed. Very nice and respectful people. Will recommend others for sure and I will definitely be coming back with my family!
star-5
Erwin is the BEST!
Scott_S, Feb 2022
Pacaya Volcano Hike! from Puerto Quetzal
Let me start that I'm picky about my excersions and do as much homework as I can and without a doubt, Erwin's Pacaya Volcano Hike is an incredible excersion. Erwin was kind, intelligent and open, answering a variety of questions about his country and what it's like to live in Guatemala. He's got a nice reliable car with A/C that was clean and comfortable. He was also a safe driver. He prepared us for what we should expect when we got to the base of the trail that would lead us to the volcano. That way we didn't feel overwhelmed by the men selling donkey rides. We hiked with him on a moderate, wide slope while taking in the views of the devastation in the valley and learning more about the area. Once we got higher, we were met with the massive river of freshly hardened lava that had run towards the valley. We then made our way onto the small trail that weaves across. A note here..It would be wise to bring a hiking stick for better stability because of potential loose footing. You will also get to feel the heat coming from deep "vents" on top of the flow. There's a man that sells excellent pizza out on the lava field that will over charge you if you let him. The pizza was quite good but ask for the price first. My only regret was not adding the repelling element that Erwin had also offered after the hike. That would have been cool. Honestly, you can't go wrong with Erwin's Pacaya Volcano Hike he's a kind and intelligent man. Definitely a must do!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Bring cash to pay your entrance fee to Pacaya National Park.

  • Wooden sticks that serve as hiking aids can be bought at the base.

  • Wear shoes with good grip, as volcanic scree (loose rock fragments) can be slippery.

  • While glowing red lava flow used to be commonplace, it is now a rare sight on Pacaya.

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How to Get There

Pacaya is about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of Antigua. Driving from Antigua takes about 60–75 minutes. Getting there by public transportation requires transfers, so if you don’t have access to a car, it’s best to go as part of an organized tour.

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When to Get There

Pacaya is best hiked during the dry season, from November to April. Start your hike in the early morning or later in the afternoon to avoid trekking during the hottest part of the day. During the rainy season, time your hike for morning when skies are typically clearer.

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Ascending Pacaya

The lower part of the trail leads past coffee plantations and through forests, with trees on either side providing welcoming shade. The further up you go, the more barren the landscape becomes, with large parts of the upper slopes carpeted in loose rock fragments ejected during previous eruptions. While these lava fragments have cooled and solidified, small gaps still emit enough heat to cook food or roast a marshmallow.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Pacaya Volcano?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Antigua?
A:
As well as visiting the Pacaya Volcano, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: