Hiking Acatenango to watch Fuego erupt is the must do activity in Guatemala. After having visited South America two years ago and paying a lot of money for guided hikes I was adamant that we would do this unguided. Majority of the treks are well maintained and easily accessible if you have your own camping gear.
Jake aka mountain goat (MG) is well trained and a man of the mountains so I thought he would be more than capable of navigating us up the mountain. Which he did!
The benefit of doing this unguided is saving ALOT of money, the pace and ability to spend your day how you choose fit! Only downside was that for the first time I would have to lug up all my own gear which of course included wine. Seeing this was only a 2 day trek I thought it was justified in hind sight it is definitely going to be the first thing cut or replaced with whisky when we do our 4 day hikes in South America.
We set off fir the hike in the early morning, being a volcano it was straight up and within 30 minutes I had already declared I was quitting. After MG told me I was being pathetic and needed to get a grip we found a nice pace and managed to make it to the crater before the clouds rolled in whilst acquiring a new dog along the path. A proud moment was managing to make it up to the camp spot within the normal time limit for trekkers who don’t carry gear!
Boy oh boy it was freezing at the camp spot but we managed to watch Fuego erupt without clouds for over an hour, we both felt so bad for the tour group who arrived later than us to only view cloud cover.
I had heard that sleeping on Fuego can be quite terrifying but both MG and I were so exhausted that we slept fine and awoke at 4am to summit. We debated for over an hour on whether to summit or not due to the poor weather conditions but when all the tour groups did I knew I would be super pissed off if we didn’t and they got clear views..
So we set off and as Jake predicted the clouds did not clear but looking back we both still think it was worth the scramble not only to see the top of Acatenango but being at such high altitude and hiking is always an experience!!