Guatemala is a country full of adventure. Even in the city of Antigua, the beautiful outdoors are just a few miles away. The Volcan Acatenango hike is something that should definitely be on your list if you’re a hiker visiting the country. The views won’t disappoint and the challenging hike will be something to talk about for days to come. If this has your interest piqued then keep on reading my Volcan Acatenango overnight hike guide.
There are various companies that offer guided overnight and day-hike tours to Volcano Actenango. These can easily be booked upon your visit to Antigua. When speaking with a company ask to see what is included in the tour. I booked my tour through my hostel and the company provided transportation to and from the trailhead, and also included food, tents, sleeping bags and a mat to sleep on (which is standard). Something to note is that we did not have to carry any of the gear. This isn’t a standard for companies. Upon researching companies most will ask you to carry your gear. This can be a make or break for some people. The added weight can make the hike that much more of a challenge, especially if you don’t have the right backpack that fits you comfortably. You will have to bring your water, your own snacks if you want them and layers of clothing.
Layers of clothing are absolutely essential. The temperatures drop on the way up and when there is no more sun, it’s even colder. I know this is a big contrast to Antigua’s almost year-round warmer weather but trust me when I say that it gets cold at night and you will need a good jacket and at the very least a base layer to keep you warm in the dark hours.
Trailhead to Base Camp
Pick up starts at 9 am from your hotel/hostel and you start the hike around 11 am at 7850 feet/ 2400 meters above sea level. The drive alone will take about an hour. From the trailhead, it takes about 4-6 hours depending on your group to head up to base camp. At base camp, you’ll enjoy watching the sunset while Volcan Fuego erupts in the near distance. It’s quite an incredible sight to see. Enjoy the stars at the campfire as the temperature goes from cold to “why am I camping here again?” Then sleep in your tent so you’re well-rested for the early wake-up call.
At the trailhead, there are “walking sticks” available for a small rental fee. Having a stick was a lifesaver. The hike is steep so having a stick will save your knees a lot of pain. You can also purchase gloves, beanies and even booze if you fancy a little campfire party. Plus, it helps keep you warm!
Sunrise at the Summit and Back to Antigua
Your wake up call will be around 3 or 4 am, then you’ll start the hike to the summit soon after. The guides anticipate it takes an hour and a half so depending on your group you’ll wait for the sunrise, arrive just in time, or see it as you’re still hiking up. The hike is cold and pitch-black so layers and a headlamp are a must. At the summit, you will be at an elevation of 13,044 feet / 3976 meters. You’ll be greeted by the sun and that’s when you’ll realize why you went on this glorious hike in the first place.
Volcan Acatenango Overnight Hike Gear List
Water – at least 4 liters
Headlamp – no one likes hiking in the dark
Extra snacks – nuts, chocolate, and fruit are my go-to snacks!
Layers because it gets COOOOLLLLLD! – a good jacket is an absolute must, a beanie and gloves
*some hostels loan gear to their guests who book the hike through them. Ask yours to see if they offer this service. Also, some tour agencies may also offer gear rentals.
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