Guatemala

Night ascent to Acatenango volcano

Overlooking the raging Fuego

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Night ascent to Acatenango volcano
Inserted: 17.06.2020
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com
Suitable for:
Adventurers

The ascent to the volcano ** Acatenango ** should definitely not be missing from the list of a true adventurer. The hike itself is very demanding, but the well-deserved reward in the form of the turbulent neighboring volcano „Fuego“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/] is clearly worth it.

Exit

The trip started in the town of Antigua, where we chose a night variant from one of the local offices in one of the local offices. Early in the morning, their van arrived for us, and together with three other people we drove to a local guide, where less equipped members of the expedition (two boys from El Salvador who had never seen snow) took out their jackets and gloves. We also all received food packages for a day and a half. From there we drove to the foot of the mountain and set out for adventure. The first day we had „only“ 7 km to the camp with a total elevation gain of 1300m, of which a good 1000m will run during the first half. The terrain is quite demanding, most of the route leads through loose volcanic ash, so good footwear is really suitable. The first quarter of the route leads through the fields and when the sun is roasting, there is nowhere to hide. The second quarter is a bit more pleasant – it leads through the woods and there are also a few places to rest or take a break for lunch.

Exit
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

The first views

In the second half of the way, the landscape opens up to fantastic views, dominated by the nearby volcano „Agua“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…vulkan-agua/]. This part of the route is no longer so steep and demanding, but the fatigue is noticeable.

The first views
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Fire

Volcano „Fuego“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/] will appear at the very end of a difficult and long hike.

Fire
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

At the campsite

After arriving at the camp, we observed the volcano „Fuego“ for a while: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/], which spewed clouds of volcanic ash at 10–15 minute intervals. After that, however, we were overcome by fatigue, so we took a moment of well-deserved rest and woke up just before sunset.

At the campsite
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Agua Volcano

From the east side above the clouds rises the volcano „Agua“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…vulkan-agua/].

Agua Volcano
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Fuego after sunset

After sunset, it becomes clear why „Fuego“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/] in translation means „fiery“.

Fuego after sunset
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

After dinner

After the dinner prepared for us by the guide on fire, the real spectacle began. On the ridge to the volcano „Fuego“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/] it was possible to see a group of adventurers with headlights, who were to observe the volcano a little closer.

After dinner
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Pacaya volcano

In the distance on the east side behind the volcano „Agua“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…vulkan-agua/] was seen lava flowing from the volcano „Pacaya“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com / misto-volcano-pacaya /], to which we were the day before: „Hike to the volcano Pacaya“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…opku-pacaya/].

Pacaya volcano
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com
Fuego - night photography
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Fuego - night photography

Night photography of „Fuega“ eruptions: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/] with a starry sky was a fantastic experience that I would not be afraid to call the most amazing natural phenomenon I have ever witnessed.

Fuego - night photography
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Fuego - night photography

The photography took a little over two hours. Most of the eruptions were smaller, others were stunning.

Fuego - night photography
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Fuego - night photography

It was not easy to capture the right moment, often requiring very long exposures, which, together with the low temperature, quickly drained the batteries.

High above the clouds

In several places below the clouds, illuminated towns shone through and the starry sky above them.

High above the clouds
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Fire

After a few hours of shooting, the temperatures began to get close to zero and it was time to go to bed. We went to bed relatively early, as it was necessary to gain a lot of strength for the morning ascent to the top of the volcano „Acatenango“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…-acatenango/].

Fire
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Conquering the top

Getting up in the morning around 4 o'clock was quite difficult in itself and the ascent to the top was even more difficult. One member of our group stayed in the camp, apparently he did not manage to acclimatize and got altitude sickness – no wonder, he was a Dutchman and this was his first ever hike to a mountain.

Conquering the top
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Conquering the top

The terrain for the ascent was even worse than the first day, volcanic ash and dust were everywhere. Each step up meant slipping half a step back. Around 6 o'clock we reached the crater „Acatenanga“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…-acatenango/], from where we observed the eruption of „Fuega“: [https: //www.gigaplaces. com / misto-volcano-fuego /], waiting for sunrise.

Conquering the top
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Sunrise

Looking east, the volcano „Agua“ rises above the clouds: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…vulkan-agua/] and the more distant smaller „Pacaya“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/misto -vulkan-pacaya /].

Sunrise
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Sunrise

Waiting for the sunrise seemed long and uncomfortable due to sub-zero temperatures, but it was definitely worth it.

Sunrise
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Around the crater

Then we marched around the giant crater of the volcano „Acatenango“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…-acatenango/], where a strong and freezing wind was blowing.

Around the crater
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Around the crater

Even from here, the views of the raging „Fuego“: [https://www.gigaplaces.com/…ulkan-fuego/] were fascinating.

Around the crater
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

West view

There are many other mountains and smaller volcanoes on the west side.

West view
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Around the crater

Inside the crater, someone even set up.

Around the crater
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Last views

After going around the crater, we went down – back to the campsite.

Last views
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com

Descent

We picked up a Dutchman at the camp, collected things we didn't take with us to the top, and continued down. Along the way, we met other groups who had no idea how challenging but beautiful hike they had in front of them.

Descent
Author: Tony Výborný © gigaplaces.com
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