Guatemala: 3 Volcano Challenge

This Guatemala itinerary includes a journey up and down three separate volcanos- an impressive feat that will leave you feeling accomplished. An undoubted highlight is sleeping on the side of 13,000ft Acatanango Volcano as the lava erupts from Fuego Volcano right before you. We also visit the impressive caldera lake of Atitlan and tackle a summit of the impressive Atitlan Volcano. And our tour up Pacaya Volcano includes the highlight of a delicious pizza grilled directly on the hot rocks of the volcano. This is a day- trekking journey, across a wide variety of climates, including higher altitudes, and challenging days, with well-earned hotel rests almost every night. We have curated the best guiding staff with over 20 years experience and one-of-a kind insights into the country and culture of remarkable Guatemala. No technical skills are needed on the volcanoes.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO world heritage city, Antigua
  • Sleep on the side of 13,000 ft Acatanango as the lava flows off nearby Fuego Volcano
  • Explore a 5,000ft high caldera Lake Atitlan; home to a myriad of Mayan Villages
  • Cook pizza baked in the hot lava stones of Pacaya volcano

Trip Summary

$Starting at $1,750 for 6 people
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Day 1
Arrive Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua

Private airport transfer to Antigua, the tranquil and historic capital of Guatemalan tourism. Take time to explore this quaint World Heritage Site nestled in a mile-high equatorial mountain basin. Tonight is a group breifing with your guides.

Day 2
Pacaya Volcano

Today our adventure begins! We will hike one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, in search of stones heated by mountain lava where we will bake one of the best pizzas you’ve ever had! We start in the morning, driving an hour outside of Antigua and past the small mountainside villages that pepper the foothills of Pacaya. Once we get to the trailhead make sure your boots are laced properly and you're not over-dressed as this hike starts out with a steep incline. The good news is that this initial push is short-lived as the trail evens out after only about a half mile. The rest of the hike is more of a gradual ramble; though we will be at almost 8,000ft in elevation at our high point, making this an excellent way to start our 3-Volcanoe Challenge. We restore lost calories with a truly memorable experience: eating pizza roasted in the lava rocks of Volcan Pacaya. We return back to Antigua in time for some dinner and restful sleep before our endeavors tomorrow.

Difficulty: Easy
Day 3
Overnight on Acatenango Volcano

Immerse yourself in the mountains today, with a private transfer to Acatenango volcano. Today is a challenging hike through four distinct microclimates, sharing trails with local farmers as you pass their field, emerging in an old-growth tropical cloud forest. Ultimately, we ascend to our campsite with sweeping views of Antigua and the justly named Fuego volcano, still spitting fire. Rest or explore the slopes of Acatenango until sunset. After dark, the show really gets started with spectacular lava flows cascading down Fuego volcano; sights and sounds so rare you will not soon forget this unique experience. Your impression of Mother Nature and her immense power will be a lasting one!

Difficulty: Moderate
Day 4
Summit Acatanango Volcano

After breakfast, we undertake the short but steep climb to the chilly summit of Acatenango, scrambling up a trail of gravel scree to views that stretch all the way to Mexico. We will descend down the entirety of the volcano where our private vehicle transfer awaits us. This afternoon we can relax for a few hours during our drive to Tecpan where we have an overnight in a cozy hotel.

Difficulty: Difficult
Day 5
Transfer to Lake Atitlan- Boat to Hotel

Take in the landscape on the way from lush Antigua to astounding Lake Atitlan. This ancient massive caldera lake is a sight to behold. The views as we wind our way from the crest of the caldera to the lakeshore will be among the most unique you've ever encountered. It gets even better with a boat ride across the water, over which multiple mountains loom. This magical lake is peppered with indigenous villages and the locals are intensely connected to the land that their ancestors have inhabited for thousands of years. Indeed, the pull of the lake can often be felt by more than the locals. Tonight we overnight in a beautiful lakeside hotel with captivating sunset views.

Day 6
Sunrise Hike of Atitlan Volcano

Today is our final, and most difficult volcano challenge. We leave before sunrise for an early morning transfer to the village of Santiago where we meet up with our local guides and hit the trail. With over 5,000 feet to ascend we've got our work cut out for us. We ascend with the sun revealing ever more impressive lake views as we make our way up this active stratovolcano. Atitlan, along with the other volcanoes we have climbed, is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc. The trail takes us up a fairly direct ascent of the mountain, without many switchbacks. After an arduous morning and a steep final ascent scrambling up rock and scree, we reach the summit of Atitlan Volcano. Views of the volcanic arc unfold before us, as well as the picturesque lake below. We will enjoy a well-earned mountaintop lunch and celebrate our big accomplishment. Our descent can be steep at times so it will take some time to return back to the trailhead. We will be back at our hotel in the late afternoon, in time to embrace one last mystical sunset on Lake Atitlan before a much-needed night of rest and recuperation.

Difficulty: Difficult
Day 7

Morning transfer to Guatemala City for your return flight home. Book flights for after 2pm to allow for transfer time from the lake.

Dates & Pricing


Double Occupancy
  • Nov 5
    Nov 11
    $1750 (6 people) USD
  • Jan 6
    Jan 12
    $1750 (6 people) USD

Above Costs Include:

  • All airport transfers as per the program by private vehicle
  • All domestic transfers by private vehicle
  • 5 nights accommodation in hotels in Antigua and Lake Atitlan & breakfasts while at the hotel
  • All park fees
  • All meals and accommodations while on trek
  • Accommodation, meals, insurance, equipment, transportation and allowances of guide and porter
  • All applicable government taxes

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Lunch & dinner in Antigua and other locations when not on trek.
  • International airfare
  • Bottled drinks (mineral water, any cold drinks, and alcoholic drinks).
  • Travel insurance & overseas medical insurance coverage
  • Expenses of personal nature (tips for guide, porter and driver, laundry, bar bill, etc.)
  • Liability for expenses against sickness, flight cancellation, road blockage, accidents and other occurrence beyond our control
  • Any other expenses not mentioned above

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