This 2-day hike will take you through cloud forests, sleepy mountain villages and tropical dry forests before you reach the summit at 3,976 m/ 12,044 ft. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic views and witness Volcan De Fuego’s eruption from a distance. The sight of Fuego erupting, spewing lava and ash into the sky, is a sight you'll never forget. Join experienced local guides and summit this bucket-list destination that has the best Guatemala has to offer.
Meet your group at the Old Town Outfitters Shop and start your adventure at 8 am. Before you head out, you can fill up your water bottles and purchase any additional gear you might need. Make sure to eat breakfast beforehand and pack a small snack for the road.
A one-hour drive will take you from Antigua to the sleepy mountain village of La Soledad, perched on the ridge of the Pacific slope of Acatenango Volcano. The trail up the volcano has four distinct microclimates, each of which will take you about an hour to traverse. You will walk up a steep trail through local farm fields that is used by local villagers each morning. The first hour of hiking will help you acclimatize and warm up your muscles. The second phase of the ascent passes through an old-growth tropical cloud forest. In this environmental zone, you’ll find some of Acatenango’s oldest trees, incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna, fresh mountain air and the sounds of local birds and wildlife. After exiting the cloud forest, enjoy the fantastic views of other highland volcanoes such as Atitlan, Toliman, and Tajumulco, along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes mountain chain. Stop for a fresh picnic before you continue hiking to a temperate coniferous forest and tropical dry forest, which will lead you to the storm-beaten tree-line of the volcano.
Your campsite for the night is perched just below the tree line with sweeping views of the Antigua valley and Volcan Fuego. After setting up camp, you are free to rest, relax and enjoy the surroundings while your guide prepares a fresh camp dinner at ~3,750m/ 12,303 ft with hot tea and coffee.
Driving: 1 hour
Hiking: 4 hours
Elevation: +2,012 m/ 6,600 ft
Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner
In the morning, after an early camp breakfast, embark on a 45-minute ascent to the summit on a sand and gravel scree-trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses. The trail up to the summit is very steep and leads to the rocky summit exposed to the gusty and cold winds which constantly pass over Acatenango’s peak.
At the summit, rest and enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the entirety of the Guatemalan highlands – all the way to the border of Mexico. Once you reach the top, the group will begin the 3-hour descent back towards La Soledad. You will have the opportunity to descend through an alternate route down the volcano, experiencing a variety of microclimates and a beautiful trail. From La Soledad, your guides will transport you back to Antigua, arriving in the afternoon (around 1 pm) with plenty of time for you to enjoy the delights of the old Spanish colonial capital!
Driving: 1 hour
Hiking: 4 hours
Elevation: +226 m/ 740 ft and -2,094 m/ 6,870 ft
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local hiking guide from the community of La Soledad
- 2 days of hiking the Acatenango Volcano
- 1 night in private camp
- Round trip transportation from guide’s office in Antigua
- All park entrance fees
- Freshly prepared picnic lunch, dinner, and breakfast
- Juice, coffee, tea and snacks along the trail
- Sleeping bags
- Sleeping pads
- High-altitude 3-person tents
What’s not included:
- Transportation to Guatemala
- Accommodations before and after the hike
- Meals before and after the hike
- Guide gratuities — optional
Your guides are a full-service tour operator and can provide all sorts of logistics from lodging, transfers and other excursions. Let us know if you need help with anything and your guides will contact you with more info.
Hiking to the top of Acatenango is suitable for intermediate hikes with excellent fitness. You will hike for a total of 15.5 km/ 9.6 miles with a 2094 m/ 6,870 ft elevation gain. The high point of the tour is at 3,976 m/ 12,044 ft and the last ascent before the top will be very steep. The terrain will mostly be sand and gravel scree with some exposure.
You will also have to carry a backpack with your personal gear, but you can hire a porter to carry the load, which will make your ascent substantially easier. Each porter can carry 13.5 kg/ 30 lbs which typically is enough to share between two hikers. All camping gear will wait for you at the basecamp so you don’t have to worry about carrying tents and sleeping bags.
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Backpack for your personal gear
- Hiking poles — optional
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (4L total)
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Comfortable hiking boots or trekking shoes
- Spare clothes for layering
- One warm layer and/or windbreaker
- Rain jacket (May thru October)
- Cold-weather clothing for night-time temperatures at camp
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Guatemala has two main seasons throughout the year that are fairly predictable:
- Mid-October to late April is the dry season where you can expect blue skies and clear starry nights.
- Late April through the beginning of October is the rainy season where you can expect afternoon showers and evening rain. This season also brings out the lush forests and flowers along the trails.
Temperatures will vary greatly depending on the various regions of Guatemala but are comfortable year round. In Antigua, the temperature typically varies from the low 50’s°F to low 80’s°F.
Be aware that the nights camping on volcanoes will be cold as you are sleeping at around 4000 m/ 13,123 ft above sea level. Make sure to pack enough warm layers for this part. Thermals, fleeces or light down jackets will be fine.
During the hike, you will have a picnic lunch and a cooked dinner prepared from fresh local ingredients by your local guide. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Let us know if you have any requirements and your guides will prepare ahead of time.
It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the tap. Filtered water will be available to fill up your bottles. It is not encouraged to purchase single-use plastic bottles.
Antigua has a great array of restaurants serving both local and international cuisines and your guides will be happy to show you the best spots.
Your guides have a basecamp on the mountain so you don’t have to carry camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, pad). The campsite is perched just below the tree line at 3,750 m/ 12,303 ft with sweeping views of the Antigua valley and Volcan De Fuego.
Hiking Acatenango is very safe as its last major eruption occurred in 1972. The best part is that you can witness eruptions of Volcan De Fuego—a highly active volcano sitting right across from Acatenango, far enough to be safe for camping, but close enough to give you amazing views of the eruptions. The intervals of eruption are not completely predictable, but if you spend a couple days on the mountain, you can almost be certain that you’ll get to witness multiple eruptions.
Group sizes and prices:
- For this adventure, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 10:1.
- The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family!
- All dates are available for booking to everyone. This allows your guides to operate without fixed departure days and required minimums. If additional people sign up for a certain date you chose, any resulting price difference will be refunded.
- Solo travelers are more than welcome to join!
This adventure can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
To get to Anitgua, Guatemala, most people fly into La Aurora Guatemala City airport (GUA). You will be leaving the guide’s shop (5a Avenida Sur 12, Antigua, Guatemala) at 8:00am on the first day.
Other arrival options include coming by land via Mexico, Belize, Honduras or El Salvador or flights to smaller regional airports. All the major international airlines have flights to Guatemala with many direct flights from major USA and some European hubs.
Your guides have spent years developing adventure tours in all regions of Guatemala. Your safety is their priority and they always keep that in mind when choosing destinations, accommodations, and activities. Antigua is a very safe town and with your typical traveler’s common sense you will feel very comfortable.
We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.
We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to.
Most visitors to Guatemala do not need a visa ahead of time. You will receive a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival at immigration control. Please be sure to check your personal requirements before traveling to be sure.