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Tour to Pacaya Volcano

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The Story of a Tour to the Active Pacaya Volcano and Lava Flow in Guatemala

I have turned tourist in Antigua. I have grown to realize that I really do not really have much else to do here. So I went out to the Pacaya Volcano, took a few (hundred) photographs, and donned the hat of the tourist.

A mere $5 bill got me a ride out to the Pacaya Volcano, a guide, a hike up a volcano, the opportunity to play around with some red hot lava, and a ride back to Antigua. Lava, and lava flows, can be one’s entertainment for an entire day. Mira and I carried up a highly processed store bought muffin so that we could feed it to the volcano. The plan was to toss it into the lava and watch it explode.

It did not quite happen this way.

The lava flow of the Pacaya Volcano of Guatemala

It was decided that I have a better aim than Mira, who seriously just learned the art of throwing last summer, so I crept up really close to the lava flow as the heat scalded my face, my exposed chest, and hands. I got as close to the boiling lava flow as my body could handle, and tossed the muffin directly into the scorching sea.

What happened?

Nothing. The darn muffin stood its ground and just bounced around a little on the thousand degree lava. We stood in shock, as a mere muffin refused to be burned in red hot lava. Eventually, the muffin gave way a little and burst into flames. Mira and I watched with eyes open wide, as it became apparent that molten lava streaming out from the core of the earth was no match for the processed food of humankind. It took the lava over ten minutes to burn down the outer core of the muffin.


The Hot lava of the Pacaya Volcano


We then grew a little bored, and just walked away, as the muffin continued burning in our wake.

I will now think twice ‘ere eating processed food.


For a $5 tour, this hike up Pacaya Volcano was pretty good. We went on a nice hour long ride out into the Guatemalan countryside, hike up a volcano on some nice cloud covered trails, and force-feed a roaring lava flow a muffin. I also had a funny Guatemalan man, whom, I presume from the way that he liked to point to everything we passed, was my guide. I must say that his jolly company was more of a necessity than his guiding services, as we just walked right up a path to the top of the volcano. I do not usually go on tours, but for $5 I had to at least check out what was being offered.

I thought that there would be a catch, I thought that I would get out into the countryside and my driver would demand a “tip.” I simply did not believe that I could pay a mere five dollars for an all day service. So I signed up for the tour thinking that it would give me something to write about. It didn’t. Everything worked out as planned. I walked up the mountain, threw a muffing in the lava, got really excited as I watched it burn, and then came back to my comfortable room in Antigua.

“Adventure only happens when things go wrong.”

There were no bandits on Pacaya Volcano, nor were there any rip-offs, or car crashes, or breakdown.

Everything happened as it should have. I must say that I am a little disappointed.

The only hassle that I encountered was that I was mobbed at the trail head by a gang of five year old Guatemalan kids who wanted to rent me walking sticks. I fought them off, and then walked up to a burning volcano.

The kids with walking sticks were the biggest obstacle to scaling the Pacaya Volcano.

The Pacaya Volcano of Guatemala.

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Filed under: Guatemala

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3126 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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