Escuintla Department
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Escuintla Department Outdoor Activities

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

1. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

Walk for 2 hours to the summit of Pacaya Volcano and enjoy stunning views. Leave from Antigua for a 1-hour bus journey to the volcano's base before immediately starting your 2-hour trek with your local guide. Hike through wonderful pine forests up to the trickier volcanic ash section and finally to the sulfur smoking cone. On occasion, you can even see small eruptions and lava flowing, depending on the activity of the volcano. From the summit, you can enjoy great views of the nearby volcanoes, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, the pacific lowlands, and all the way to El Salvador. To ensure your safety you won’t be able to visit the crater, but you will get an amazing view of red-hot lava flowing and steam baths created by the heat of Pacaya. Take a break and relax here as you take in more scenic views before hiking back to the base of the volcano, from where you will transfer back to your accommodation. 

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

2. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

Volcano Pacaya (8370ft/2552m) may not be Guatemala’s highest peak, however its slopes and unique landscapes are certainly of some of the most impressive volcanic landscapes in all of Central America. Set in its own National Park, Pacaya is a storybook volcano with a continuous plume of smoke drifting from its summit and a massive dried lava field forming the valley at the base of its caldera. The group meets in Antigua at 08:00 (for a morning hike) or 14:00 (for a sunset hike) – where drinking water, bathroom facilities, and retail outdoor equipment are available. Your drive to the trailhead is just over 1 hour in private transport from Antigua to the Park Office. As the group moves up the myriad of trails on the mountain, Guatemala’s impressive vistas open up before you. As you reach the base of the caldera, your guide will direct the group through the rugged dried lava fields, recently reformed by a massive eruption in 2010. No matter what conditions you encounter on the mountain, the group will have the opportunity to traverse unique volcanic-rock landscapes as you ascend towards the peak. Here the group will stop for a freshly prepared picnic to enjoy along with views of nearby volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. There will be plenty of opportunity to explore geothermal hot-spots on the cooled lava formations – which are always available to help roast marshmallows! The hike down brings across the remaining dried lava fields before you begin your descent through Pacaya’s lush and lesser known forests and farmland. After your hike down to the trailhead, the group returns to Antigua by private transport to arrive in town at roughly 16:00 (day hike) or 20:30 (sunset hike).

From Antigua: 1-Day Guatemala-Pacaya Active Volcano Hike

3. From Antigua: 1-Day Guatemala-Pacaya Active Volcano Hike

After pick-up from your hotel in Antigua arrive at the foot of the volcano. From there your expert guide will lead you on a 1-hour hike from the San Vicente de Pacaya village up to a distance of approximately 50 meters from the crater. Look down into the crater at the lava as you experience the energy of an active volcano. Note the fumaroles, vents in the earth through which gases escape. Learn about Pacaya Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, and observe how it has shaped the country around it. At 2500 meters above sea level wander through an unusual landscape of humid forest and rocks.  Before transfer back to your hotel in Antigua visit the Lava Store to buy souvenirs made from the volcanic ash produced by the mountain. 

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Hiking Experience

4. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Hiking Experience

You will be picked up at your hotel in Antigua and transfer to National Park Pacaya. Upon arrival at the park, your local guide will be waiting for you and ready to fill you in with everything you need to know. Start hiking from the San Vicente de Pacaya Village and begin the adventure with a 1-hour ascent to the top of the Volcano. Around the middle of the trail, you will find the Lava Store. Here, you can get a beautiful souvenir of volcanic material that's been crafted by a local artisan. As you continue walking on the trails, you will soon leave behind the paths full of vegetation and leafy trees, arriving at a flat, open clearing. This means that you have reached the top of the volcano since, due to the continuous eruptions that the volcano makes, the plants can not bloom in this area. When we get to the top of the volcano, enjoy the experience of roasting marshmallows on volcanic rocks and sharing them with others. After the visit to Pacaya Volcano, the local partner will return you to Antigua and your hotel.

Guatemala City Pacaya Volcano Hike Experience

5. Guatemala City Pacaya Volcano Hike Experience

After being picked up from your hotel in Guatemala City, transfer to Pacaya Volcano National Park which contains Pacaya Volcano, the most active volcano in Guatemala which reaches 2500 meters above sea-level. Upon arrival at the park, you will be greeted by an expert local guide. Begin the adventure from the San Vicente de Pacaya village and hike for 60 minutes to the top of the volcano along the trails. On the way, appreciate the beautiful landscape and take in the views of the Agua Volcano and the Fuego Volcano. Learn about the local vegetation and animal species that live in the area from your guide. Halfway up the trail, visit the Lava Store, where you can purchase a beautiful handmade souvenir made from volcanic material which supports the work of local artisans in the community. At the top of the volcano, enjoy the opportunity to explore, roast marshmallows on volcanic rocks and take in the incredible views. After the hike, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Guatemala City.

Pacaya Volcano Hike from Quetzal Port

6. Pacaya Volcano Hike from Quetzal Port

Meet your guide at Quetzal Port and begin your tour one hour after the cruise ship arrives at the port. Be transferred from the port to the village near the volcano in a comfortable car, which takes two hours. You do not need to have hiking experience for this activity as the volcano is very accessible and it is easy to reach the top. It takes just two hours to reach the top, which is it at 2,500 meters above the sea level. Here, the environment is created by the humid forest. See the fumaroles escaping from the open volcano on this unique experience.  Descend for an hour and a half then return by car back to get the Quetzal port. 

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What people are saying about Escuintla Department

Great experience for a great price. Guides are very professional, transport was clean and dependable for the journey. They even brought marshmallows for us to roast at the top of the volcano! Would definitely recommend this tour. Our only complaint was that transport was set to arrive at 6am but we stood outside the meeting point for 40 minutes. I understand that it takes time to pick up people from all over town but they should let customers know so they can grab coffee or sleep a few more minutes. However the contact number provided was very useful in helping to keep us updated on the status of the transport. Overall still an excellent experience and would definitely recommend to any travelers looking for a half day tour to Pacaya!

Vinicio was our tour guide and he was AMAZING! We had the best time! Vinnie was kind, accommodating, full of information and offered wonderful conversational. He showed and taught us so much about the area! Vinnie also prepared a wonderful picnic lunch for us and was always down for a good photo opportunity. Would absolutely 100% recommend to anyone and will definitely be back again!

The trip was great. We got picked up by a large van in Antigua's town center. The stops were more and longer than expected within Antigua as we picked up more guests. However after that, we arrived at Pacaya promptly and had a great time. As a bonus, the tour guide brought us marshmallows to toast on the volcano. Overall, it was a great experience for the money.

Pretty cool to roast marshmallows on the lava fields’ vents. The hike is pretty easy and the guide was easy to understand with minimal Spanish

Esta brutal.. la altura me afectó pero lo bueno es que hay caballos q te llevan si no puedes con la caminata.