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Guatemala: Antigua & Climbing Volcano Arcatenango

semi-overcast 2 °C



Climbing Arcatenango is a must do for intrepid trekkers!
It's a full day/next morning climb to the top.
To the most amazing views, I've ever witnessed.

It's a tough trek, and I'd definitely recommend some training, or warm up treks before taking it on.

The Trek

We took off from Antigua in the morning and arrived at the base of the hill.
Thankfully there were kids selling beanies and gloves, because I wasn't well equipped.
We then took on the steep ascent, almost 2700 metres in 1 day!!
There were a few times of struggle where I had to channel that relentless Muay Thai training months ago...
...go hard, and there's no way home, so keep going hard


We finally arrived at the camp, lower viewing point for dinner and rest.

The views from here were truly incredible.


With Pacaya errupting right in front of us.

You get a real sense of height too.

Below we could see right across Guatemala... and we could see the sun continue to set far across the horizon, Guatemala was already dark below.
Just magic!


It was a cold night in the tents, with really crumby sleeping bags.
Everyone wished they had brought more clothes, or even hired a proper down sleeping bag.
Some opted to keep the fire going and slept by it.


We rose again at 3:30 a.m to continue the climb to the top.... arriving just in time for sunrise.


Views From The Top


Volcano Fuerte decided to go off just as we arrived!!



The descent was the toughest part of the trek!

We had to carry the tents, sleeping bags, etc down; coupled with the slippery, muddy and steep terrain, lack of sleep etc...
most of the crew were running on elation from the sheer magnitude of what we had just seen and experience!!

What to Take

  • More water than you think you'll need
  • Toilet paper
  • More clothes than you think you'll need (it's freezing at night)
  • Down sleeping bag (the ones provided are very thin and non insulating) or thermals
  • Travel friendly food - museli bars, etc....
  • Pre conditioned legs!!
  • Trail runners or hikers with good trail grip.


Antigua is a lovely, albeit mega touristy city.
It's a nice haven for before/after treks, has a lovely general atmosphere, and feels pretty safe.
You'll find yoga retreats, gyms, health food shops, boutique hotels and spas, etc ,etc.
I recharged here for two days after the climb, and readied for the next adventure in Flores.....

I did the El Mirador jungle trek next, and will publish shortly!

Posted by SkinnyFists 13:44 Archived in Guatemala Tagged volcanoes trekking guatemala arcatenango

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