“Officially this is one of the most dangerous places on the planet and its also known as the land of disasters. Hurricanes rage through here, earthquakes rip it up and molten lava spews from its volcanoes. Welcome to Guatemala!” – Bear Grylls, ‘Man vs Wild‘ (S04E09)
That kind of thing would normally put people off going to a country, and in truth I wasn’t even aware of such info when I booked the trip, but I was very excited about visiting a volcano. It was on my second full day (Dec 23) that I went on an afternoon trip to see the active Volcan Pacaya (2552m) which is 25km away from Antigua.
The posters on display in the travel agency (no pamphlets available) were all showing pictures of lava running down the volcano which is kind of false advertising as there’s been no such activity for many years now not that I knew that at the time. As well as the climb itself it was actually nice to be able to chat with a few other travellers among the tour group. Some people took a donkey ride up to the top but of course I was determined to climb it under my own steam not that it was too difficult.
Near the summit after about 90 minutes climbing we were given marshmallows on a stick to toast under a natural hot rock. There was also the little hole in the ground you see below which was steaming hot inside and too good a photo opportunity to turn down. We had to descend quickly after this as the sun set and it turned dark which added to the excitement for me.