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Volcan de Pacaya is a favorite hike for visitors to Guatemala. It last erupted in 2000 so you can experience the effect of a recent volcanic eruption. Awesome! You can heat your lunch up at the top, so bring the leftovers. Cache requires an admission fee to the National Park. Well worth it.
This is a long and steep hike, but very do-able if you are reasonably fit and take your time. It important to hire a local guide if you go on your own (about $10 US), although there are plenty of inexpensive small tour groups you can join locally in Antigua and Guatemala City. If you hire a guide on your own, check his credentials, he should have a laminated card to show you, (usually hanging around his neck) The cloud forest is a beautiful hike before you get above the treeline. Take LOTS of water and a flashlight in case you run into twilight. The park closes at 7 PM and you need to be out by this time or risk a fine. Hike should take about 5 hours at a relaxed pace. Standing next to this active crater is a once in a lifetime experience. I don't believe an ammo can would last too long here, so send me a photo from this location. The photo should be taken while standing facing the direction of Guatemala City and include the building on the opposite hill (also an old volcano) If you can't send me a photo, tell me an interesting fact about the last volcanic flow; just take a close look at it on your way up! Watch your step and practice your scree skiing skills on the way down!
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