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Hike Acatenango Volcano

The Complete Adventure Guide

This epic adventure up Acatenango will test your physical and mental limits, forcing you to overcome many obstacles and challenges. You will encounter exhaustion, changing weather, and high altitude during this two day adventure. Hiking up a volcano is a rare and special experience that words cannot fully explain. You’re reminded of the natural forces at work that created earth, and just how small a space you occupy on the planet. 

Beginning in the foothills below Acatenango you’ll hike gradually into the forest towards base camp taking a few breaks to rest and refuel. Eventually you will reach the base camp where you’ll enjoy your first glimpse of the active and immense Volcan Fuego.

This adventure is not for the faint of heart, and should be well researched and booked with a reputable tour operator. If planned well, it is the adventure of a lifetime and one that you will cherish the rest of your days.

Two hikers on the trail up Acatenango volcano with an erupting Fuego volcano in the distance
A hiker watches eruption of Fuego Volcano in the distance
Fuego volcano erupts in the distance from the campsite on Acatenango volcano in Guatemala
Woman roasts marshmallows at base camp during the hike up Acatenango Volcano
Fuego volcano erupts in the distance from the campsite on Acatenango volcano in Guatemala

3976m Climb

All of the Soy Tours team are local guides that care greatly for their community and clients.

Giving Back To Local Communities

Soy Tours is committed to improving the lives of the people that live in the local villages.

Trailing & Camping

The base camp is well built and situated in the perfect place.

Experinces Like No Others

Hiking up a volcano is a rare and special experience that words cannot fully explain.

Which Acatenango Tour Operator is the best?

The most important decision you’ll make for this trip is deciding which tour operator to go with. After a lot of research, we discovered Soy Tours.

The more we learned about them, the more we realized that they are the best in the business. Lead by Gilmer Soy, the Soy Tours team are local guides and extremely knowledgeable about Acatenango and the entire region. They are also leaders in their community and give back to help the village with various development projects. Something that we were more than happy to contribute to.

Hiking Acatenango volcano is a challenging and a potentially dangerous activity, so having a capable and professional team is critical. Soy Tours places safety as a top priority. They ensure everyone is staying together while keeping the group motivated. The base camp is well built and situated in the perfect place to fully appreciate the grandeur of the volcano and the surrounding area.

Community Projects

Soy Tours is committed to improving the lives of the people that live in the local villages. A large percentage of the money generated from the tours go directly to providing for the people of San Jose Calderas, Gilmer’s home village. Proceeds go to digging wells for drinking water and building schools, Gilmer Soy and his team are working to impact the future of the community and your support goes a long way.

What To Pack

For this two day adventure, you’ll need to prepare for the elements and for energy. The trek to Acatenango base camp is physically taxing, it’s cold at higher altitude, and rain is not uncommon. Be prepared!

You’ll Need:

• Drinking Water (4 litres)
• Hiking Boots
• Waterproof jacket
• Sweatshirt
• 3-4 pairs of socks
• Gloves
• Hat
• Long-johns/leggings (optional)
• High energy snacks
• Waterproof bags
• Walking stick (recommended, and can be rented at the start of the hike)

Green farm fields in Guatemala near Acatenango volcano
Soy Tours Base camp on Acatenango volcano in Guatemala

Day 1

The day begins with an early morning pick up and shuttle to the head office in San Jose Calderas where you’ll learn more about the hike and the current conditions. This is also a final opportunity to rent any equipment you might be missing. We highly suggest a walking stick. Not only will it assist in the ascent, but also for the descent as it can help reduce strain on the knees.

• Pick up at hotel/hostel in Antigua – 7:30 am
• Meet at office at the Volcano base area (San José Calderas community)
• Equipment checks and meals ready (equipment subject of availability)
• Short intro and preparation for expedition
• Start hike to campsite – 10:00am
• Arrive at campsite for dinner and sleep (Approximately 4:00 pm)

Day 2

The second day begins well before sunrise. You’ll have some time to get dressed, eat a quick snack and hydrate. This is the most difficult part of the hike as the darkness and volcanic ash make for shaky footing. Be aware of your energy level as altitude sickness is quite common. Take your time and manage your energy and you will arrive safely. The view that awaits you is well worth the struggle!

• Start hike to Acatenango’s summit – 3:00am
• Sunrise at the summit
• Descent from summit to campsite
• Breakfast and pack before descent to base
• Descent to meeting point at the volcano base – 8:30am
• Back to hotel/hostel in Antigua – 1:00pm

Hikers gather at base camp on volcano Acatenango

Featured Tour Operator

Soy Tours

Soy Tours is the main local guide agency for excursions to the Acatenango Volcano and Volcán de Fuego in Antigua Guatemala.
Their philosophy is framed by the respect of all those who, like you, dream of reaching the top of the Volcano and are always looking for a way to complete this adventure, accompanying them regardless of their physical condition.
Their mission is to offer a complete service, without any type of discrimination, to conquer Acatenango with anyone who wishes to do so. They have a team of certified local guides who love what they do and will accompany you step by step to the top. And who have been trained and certified by INGUAT and INDECAP to comply with all safety standards and requirements.