So this weekend I did something I never in my wildest dreams could imagine me doing. I climbed a vulcano, all the way to the top, 3976 meters above sea level. It was hard, it was painful and it was amazing. Here is a little summary of my experience climbing Acatenango.
Acatenango is one of many vulcanos, located in the area around Antigua and has a great view to, among others, the active vulcano Fuego. I'd met people in my trip who told me about their incredible experience hiking the vulcano and eventually decided to do the hike myself.
The pick-up at out hostel was scheduled at 9, but as everything else in central America, as a bit late. When we finally was on our way, we where a group of 12, with two guides. Despite the fact that they both only spoke Spanish, they were great support and amazing guides(Thanks to the German girl being the translator for the 30 hours of our trip).
The view of the vulcano Agua was beautiful from the camp.
We started off at the base camp at 1200 meter hight and even though I didn't keep track of the time, I was told we used about 5-6 hours, including 3 "longer" stops, up to our camp for the night. The camping area had a beautiful view over Fuego and as the sky changed from blue to shades of pink and orange and the night came, Fuego started its show. Sitting around the bonfire with good company and eruptions happening every now and then, was just magical.
We went to bed early and tried to keep warm in our sleepingbags, the tents, bags and maths provided by the tourcompany was decent for one night's, and after a night of uneven sleep and vulcano eruptions in the backround(not complaining!), We where woken up at 4 am, and short after started our last climb, oy in light of the moon and a couple of headlights, to the very top of Acatenango. At this point I was struggling, the ground lose and slippery, muscles tired, every step forward felt like two steps backwards. After a uphill hike that felt like it lasted forever, but actually lasted about 1,5-2 hours, and with wind so strong at times, that I lost my balance on every step I took, we were finally at the top. Fuego decided to great us with a orange firework, beautifully in harmony with the sunrise happening at the moment
Beeing at the top, no matter how amazing it was, was also super windy and cold, and after a short time we were all shaking like leafes, and decided to run down again. I promise the hike down to the camp was way more fun than the klimb, and with a tour guide at 62, jogging in front saying "vamos, vamos", we where all entertained and impressed by the shape of this man.
Before backing up and heading back down, we all enjoyed breakfast, with breathtaking view around the bonfire. The descend took about 2 hours, believe it or not. I have to say it was a mental and physical challenge for me, but I'm proud and happy that I made it. If you're ever in the area, please don't miss this unique and amazing experience!