When we talk about once in a lifetime experiences, all the senses are included, from hearing an amazing sound to seeing something unbelievable. In southern Guatemala, we find the perfect place to do and feel the ultimate experience for travelers and adventurers: Watching a volcano erupt. You don’t have to be insane to try something like this, in Pacaya thousands of people visit this place every day to be part of this breathtaking show given by the power of nature. There are visits each day that get close and personal to see this profoundly dynamic spring of spewing lava, allowing gutsy explorers.
There are two courses up Pacaya and tour departures adhere to the less demanding alternative, leaving from San Francisco de Sales. As soon as you start climbing, all your senses awaken and experience the adventure as well. You can hear the volcano speaking to you with the thunder-like sounds hint of eruption high above. Your skin feels the literally warm welcome to the McKenney cone, where you find a hot remainder of the nice view you are about to admire after climbing for a while. You can see its bustling vent bubbling and boiling, sometimes even spilling and spitting red bursts of hot magma over its sides and up to the sky 100 meters into the air. Look for a place upwind of the cone so that you can get a little break from the overpowering stink of sulfur.
Your skin, your nose, your ears, and especially your eyes are now experiencing one of the craziest and most majestic adventures ever. Your adventure does not need to last a lot of time, because the Pacaya will let you know with all its amazingness that a place like this would never run out of beautiful destinations and the people like us would never quit traveling, discovering and experiencing once in a lifetime adventures.
How to get there
Lying 30 km south of Guatemala City, Pacaya is easy to reach by a simple drive from Antigua, another world legacy site. With scores of holy places and religious communities, Antigua is a beautiful place full of gorgeous landscapes and a country’s culture. It was the intensity of serious seismic tremors have struck Antigua over hundreds of years that brought about the seat of government being moved to Guatemala City in 1776. Filled with celebrations, art, and culture, this place has held its beauty through the years, and the people would protect its integrity while this gorgeous land protects its culture.
When to visit
It doesn’t matter the time you visit Antigua, there’s no way you will lose the Pacaya breathtaking experience. They offer tours for you to enjoy the moment whenever you want, plus the famous pamphlet merchants in the Plaza Mayor. As if watching is not enough, you can even try to climb the volcano, it is not easy at all, of course. With almost 2600 meters high and forward, maybe the best option (and the safety one) for you is take one of the numerous visit flights that are planned with the goal of touching base at the cone of the difference between the ejecting red magma and the obscuring sky.
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