Guatemala /Dec 21, 2020

Acatenango Volcano

Acatenango volcano in Guatemala

Acatenango is a twin peaked volcano that forms part of the Central American Volcanic Arc as it tracks north to south along the Pacific coast of Guatemala.

The higher of the two peaks, Pico Mayor, tops out at just under 4,000 metres while Yepocapa is a little under 3800 metres (around the 13,000 feet mark in old money).

As well as its own two peaks, Acatenango is joined to nearby Fuego Volcano (also just under 3800 metres) and, together, the two volcano complexes are known as La Horqueta.

While Acatenango hasn’t erupted since the early 1970s, Fuego Volcano is still very much active and spews out molten lava and ash on a regular basis. The picture below is of Fuego volcano, taken from Acatenango.

Beyond The Ordinary arrange fully bonded, tailor made holidays and tours to Guatemala. Contact one of our experts on 01580 764796, email or contact us via our website.

View of Fuego volcano from Acatenango

Although the two volcanoes are joined to each other, Acatenango is sufficiently distant to make it an attractive and popular trekking option for anyone (a) wanting to trek up a spectacular volcano and (b) witness the live show on Fuego Volcano from a superb vantage point.

Being just a short drive from the beautiful, colonial town of Antigua, perhaps Guatemala’s number one tourist destination, arranging a trek up Acatenango is logistically straightforward, although only recommended during the dry season.

Due to its sheer scale and limited road access, trekking to the top of Acatenango does require a modicum of fitness and is an overnight expedition.

Below is a summary of the Acatenango hike package that we can arrange as part of an overall holiday to Guatemala. 

Day 1

This morning, you will be transferred to a collection point for your shared transfer to La Soledad, a small village that represents the starting point of your trek.

The hike to Acatenango volcano can be broadly split into four distinct sections, each of which takes approximately an hour to walk.

Section One follows a steep path through fields of corn, peas and other vegetables that are farmed by local villagers.

In Section Two, you will pass through an ancient tropical cloud forest, home to some of the oldest trees on Acatenango and a wide diversity of flora and fauna. This alpine setting is typical of many of Guatemala’s volcanoes and noticeable for its fresh mountain air.

As you emerge from the cloud forest into Section Three, you will be rewarded with majestic views of many other, nearby volcanoes including Santa Maria, Tajamulco, Santo Tomas, San Pedro, Toliman & Atitlan. There will be time to sit and enjoy these views as you enjoy a picnic lunch.

Continuing up the volcano, you will now pass through tropical dry forest and temperate coniferous forest which will take you to the tree line of the volcano.

Arriving in camp, there will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views followed by a hot dinner. Accommodation is in shared cabins with bunk beds so don’t sign up for this hike if you are expecting a glamping experience with fluffy duvets and a glass of wine with dinner!

Trekking Acatenango volcano

Day 2

Before dawn, if your energy levels allow it, the group sets off on the final 45 to 60 minute climb to the volcano summit, following a gravel trail dotted with the occasional dwarf pines and not an awful lot more.

This final section of the Acatenango hike is steep, exposed, windy and cold so do make sure you are suitably attired.

Those that make it to the top in time for sunrise will enjoy 360 degree views of Guatemala as well as a well-deserved degree of self-satisfaction. How long the group spends at the subject will very much depend on weather conditions. You will then return to camp where breakfast is served.

After breakfast, the group will begin the 3-hour descent back down the volcano to La Soledad. From there, you will be transported back to Antigua, arriving at approximately 12.30.

Of course, Guatemala is famous for its volcanoes and Acatenango is far from being the only option in terms of trekking options.

Nearby Mt Pacaya is undoubtedly the most popular option, and can easily be climbed in a day (not to the summit however) while there are also closer, more convenient options for visitors staying in and around Lake Atitlan or Quetzaltenango.

For more information, please visit our dedicated Guatemala Volcanoes page.

To discuss your plans for a Guatemala holiday, with or without a trek up Acatenango, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01580 764796 or, if you prefer, email us on

View over Antigua to Agua volcano






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