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Acatenango Volcano Hike – All You Need to Know Before You Go

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

Volcano climbing, specifically Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala. Are you guys ready to make everyday an adventure? Let’s begin. Acatenango Volcano is located outside of Antigua, Guatemala.

That is pretty much where you have to begin. The majority of the Outfitters or the tour operators are all located in Antigua and you could have a pretty good pick of operators. The most important thing to remember every single tour is an overnight tour. The main reason for this is because when you get up to Acatenango, it is located right in front of Fuego. Volcano Fuego.

Volcanoes are the one that is constantly erupting. Acatenango has not erupted since 1972, so it’s a safe volcano to go up and that’s why they’re hiking trails. Everything is located on a quettanango. However, Fuego is the one that is constantly erupting. Sometimes it’s going to erupt a lot more than other times.

So they could even actually close the entire hiking trip altogether. Acatenango. But normally it is pretty safe, especially at that safe distance. So the main thing when you do look for an operator to take you up a Acatenango is the location of their camp. A lot of the operators will tell you that their location is great.

However, you really want to make sure that when you are camping on top and that’s pretty much the only way anything you could do it is super rustic. We’re talking tents. You have to go and do your nature calling duties outside. Literally there are no toilets, there’s nothing. So where your tents are located, you really want to be right there in front of Fuego because that is the main attraction.

Obviously climbing volcanoes in Guatemala. And if you are an avid volcano climber, there’s more to it. But the majority of people go up to Nango because of the volcano. Fuego, which is also called Fire volcano. But everybody knows it as Fuego is for the show that it gives you.

And I mean the lava show is spectacular. You will never see anything that unbelievable. However, if you are camping on the opposite side of the volcano, you’re not going to be able to see it. And it’s really important to be able to wake up and you normally wake up around 04:00 a.m. Because that’s when the real sunrise and all of that magnificence happens.

So you don’t want to really walk too far to see it. You want to be able to literally open up your tent and be able to see it. And that actually also goes for when you arrive. So the entire tour, you start at the bottom, they drive you to the base of acatenango. And then depending on your level, it takes about four to 6 hours to get to the top.

And when I say depending on your level, a lot of operators are going to tell you that it’s for any level. If not, it is a hard ass climb and I’m talking hard. Okay. So you cannot just have a mild hiking ability. We’re talking you need to have hiking ability.

Okay. It is not easy. It could really do a number on you. It is four to 6 hours straight up. Okay.

So definitely be prepared for that if you are training even better. But if you don’t have any training it can be really rough. And then because the majority of the operators take groups up, it’s a very few that are actually doing private and the private ones are almost double the price. And if you don’t have the ability, you really don’t want to be able to be the reason why everybody turns back. Because it is legally necessary for the operators to be with you the entire time.

So really be aware of this. Okay. So there are the guides or you would know as in Mount Everest, Sherpas, which obviously Sherpa is known because of the region. However, it’s kind of the same thing. It’s the helpers and the guides and some of them do if you pay them a little, they can carry your backpack.

They are the ones that bring up all the food. It’s recommended to maybe bring a couple of sacks, but you’re pretty much covered as far as food goes, especially if it’s a good operator. But they all seem to be good with the food. They will give you lunch, you will get dinner and you will get breakfast because the following morning you will be down by noon 02:00 P.m. At the very latest after going down.

And normally going down takes half of the time as obviously going up. So just have that in mind. So the food, I wouldn’t really worry too much about it. They do rent gear if you are not gear, but more like clothes because it gets cold, cold, cold up there and I’m talking really cold. So we went in April when it’s not as cold.

The best time of the year to go is usually between December and March and it is freezing. So if you do not have the proper attire, you can rent from operators, they do rent that out to you. So make sure you arrange that before you go up. They do bring up tents and sleeping bags, but it is not enough. You need to be layered up and dressed up.

It is crucial, very highly recommended. And I think it’s even mandatory to bring between two to four liters of water because they do not provide you with water. And if they do, it’s very minimal and it’s all the way at the top once you have reached the top. So you do need to bring your own water. Okay.

Especially for the hike up. It’s a hard hike, it’s tiring and whatnot. So just be prepared. Okay. A lot of places will try and sell you the most important thing.

Just a quick summary: make sure that the place that you’re going with has a really good camping area that looks right onto Fuego. Make sure to ask those questions. Secondly make sure that you have the proper gear, definitely the proper shoes. You need to be a moderate hiker. If you are a beginner hiker this is not for you at all and also you have to take into consideration the elevation you are going to be getting up there.

We’re talking 13,000ft or what so make sure that you also take that into account. It is really high so once you get there and they do have food for you but if you have special dietary issues vegan gluten free whatnot just to make sure that you tell the operators and that it is arranged and that they have you taken care of and normally it is not an issue. The normal price is between $$65 to $80 per person and that includes pretty much everything that thing is though like I mentioned earlier the majority of them are group so if you want to be sleeping with random strangers in the tent you could pay an extra $20 for a private tent so just have all that into consideration when you go and the best time is usually between December and March simply because otherwise it is the rainy season and the last thing you want to do is to be on top of a volcano in the most rustic type of environment and be rained on all night and not see fuego so make sure you do your homework is a blast. It is something that you will remember forever and bring a good camera.

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