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An update from Evaneos

Payaca (Guatemala)

Practical information about Payaca

  • Viewpoint
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • Volcano
  • Essential
  • Off the beaten track
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
It's a 1 hour 30 minute drive from Antigua
When to go

From November to April

Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Payaca

David Debrincat Travel writer
459 travel articles

A 1 hour drive from Antigua, the Pacaya volcano is still active. It takes 2 hours to climb it.

My suggestion:
Remember to bring some sweets to grill on the lava for an unforgettable taste.

At 2,500 metres above sea level, Pacaya is one of the most famous volcanoes as well as one of the most accessible volcanoes that I came across while on holiday in Guatemala. You're not allowed to visit the volcano alone, so I organised a climb with a guide from Antigua.

Soon after we set off, the vegetation gave way to vast darkness. The sides of the volcano are covered in sand and lava dust. The landscape is unique. Totally lunar, it's an endless desolation where nothing can survive. The volcano had erupted three months before I arrived. For safety reasons, I was unable to get to the crater. It was too dangerous. With my guide, we dug beneath the layer of ash to see the magma up close. When we dropped hot stones, fumaroles escaped. It's an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend.

Pacaya's lunar landscape