Share on Pinterest
Volcan Pacaya

A Field Trip to Volcan Pacaya

Hiking a volcano in Antigua, Guatemala.

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Remember those bus-safety drills we used to have to do as children? The ones where they’d pile us all onto a bright yellow schoolbus one afternoon a year and we’d have to practice hopping off through the back door in case we ever rolled off a cliff and the front was blocked by a roaring fire? Seventeen years later, those drills have finally become useful.

Don’t worry, I haven’t rolled off any cliffs (yet). But I have already had to hop off the back of my share of packed to the brim old schoolbuses while taking day trips here in Guatemala.

But I digress.

One Saturday afternoon, as an excuse to escape the busy Semana Santa filled city, my classmates and I piled into a school bus and headed up Volcan Pacaya, an active volcano about an hour and a half outside of Antigua. (There were often times when we needed to escape the busy city, like when we took a weekend trip to Monterrico Beach.) Out of all the volcano-climbing options the numerous travel agencies offer, we opted for the “easiest” hike. Of course the “easiest” hike still involved hiking uphill in god-awful heat for an hour and a half. And my out-of-shape-from-too-many-cocktails-and-too-much-pizza-in-Chicago body was not too happy with me.


Of course, I could have rented a horse to take me. For only 100 quetzales. Or 80. Or 50. They kept dropping the price the whole way up. And by that I mean I was followed, the entire hour and a half up, by a man with a horse asking, “taxi? Taxi?” But how else will this out-of-shape-from-too-many-cocktails-and-too-much-pizza-in-Chicago body ever whip itself back into shape if I don’t power through the excruciating pain of hiking upwards for an hour and a half? Diet and regular exercise? Don’t kid yourself.

In the end, though, or at least the middle (there was a downward hike too), I made it to the top. Or at least a sweaty, smelly, weak-in-the-knees version of me made it to the top. Or at least to the pre-determined this-is-as-high-as-we-go point. And then we trudged back down a bit, watched the sunset, trudged back down some more, and fell asleep on the bus ride home.

And no, the bus didn’t go flying off the road into a ditch. But, the next day, my body probably wouldn’t have known the difference.

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Hiking Volcan Pacaya in Antigua, Guatemala

Did you enjoy this post? Share it!


Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends










Submit

Enjoy this post? Check these out:

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.