In my previous post you can read about my experience on doing the challenging hike up Acatenango. It's a challenging heavy hike were you carry all your stuff yourself, unless you with a tour operator that offers porters but then you also pay for that porter. I would say that having a porter also takes away a bit of the fun and challenge, I would even call it cheating. You sleep in tents and don't expect any five star meals but after a few hours of hiking any food taste delicious. Here are some more practical facts and tips on doing this overnight hike.
What to Wear
At the start of the hike I wore this and found it to be the optimal outfit:
What to Bring
There are plenty of tour companies in Antigua that offers this hike but do make sure to research on who you chose to do the hike with, since there are some not so professional guides out there. Skimming through reviews on TripAdvisor and reading other blogs are great research tools.
Take a walking pole, you don't need to have a fancy one bought in a store but just get one from the local women standing at the start of the hike. I didn't at first but was offered one from a girl coming down the volcano. I probably would have made it to the top somehow without one but it would have been even more challenging.
Make sure to have warm gloves, I only had really thin ones and that was not enough on the morning we did the final hike to the top. My fingers were so cold and painful that I could hardly hold on to the walking pole.
Don't bring to much water and snacks. I think I was the one who drank the most water in our group of 5 and I didn't even finish 3 liters during the hike. Double check what meals you will get and then plan your snacks after that. Remember that everything you put in the backpack makes it heavier, one liter of water = one kg.
Don't be a moody bitch that just want to have the hike over and done with. If you do, then try to keep it to yourself and don't ruin the mood for the others in the group. There is no need to rush up to base camp, you will not have much to do once up there so just take it easy and enjoy the views during the hike up the volcano as well. Same goes for heading down the volcano the next day, of course everyone is tired and everyone wants to get down but still try to enjoy the scenery around you.
Don't expect to have the view of the Fuego volcano erupting. Didn't happen when I did the hike but a friend saw it when he did the hike two days after me and that made me feel even more disappointed then when I was at the top not seeing it erupting! Saying that though, still well worth it all.
What I Payed
Hike: GTQ 300/ USD 40/ EUR 38
Includes: Guide, warm sleeping bag, tent, three meals and hot chocolate.
Jacket rental: GTQ 25/ USD 3.40/ EUR 3.20
Entrance to the volcano: GTQ 50/ USD 6.80/ EUR 6.40
Tour companies in Antigua charge anything from USD 25 to USD 130 for the hike. My guide was arranged through a guy called Guilmer, this is not a tour company but a guy with a network of guides from his village nearby Acatenango. Guilmer's guides are all very experienced and know the volcano really well. Best of all; a lot of the money from the hikes goes in to the local community as well and the food that is provided is prepared by women in the community. So this is not a tour company just looking at how to get rich from tourists. Guilem can be reached on What's App +502 416 922 92.
I decided that it was time for a career break. So handed in my notice to the company who I worked with for the last ten years. It's time to pack my bag and depart from Amsterdam which been my home town for the last 4.5 years. -"Amsterdam, it's not you it's me and I need a break!". Read more
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