Everything you need to know to see the famous Fuego Volcano.

If I could choose anywhere to throw a wedding, I would choose Antigua. It is one of the most stunning small towns in this part of the world. With Italian-esque architecture, a beautiful backdrop of volcanos, and plenty of outdoor adventure in the area, it is the perfect place for a celebration of life.

Antigua is an amazing little town in terms of outdoor activities. The amount of fun you can have in and around this spot is endless. From an overnight hike to watch an active volcano erupt to motorcycle rides through the country side, this is an adventure-junkies dream. 

While here, I stayed at the hostel, Casi Casa. This is one of the most well-operated hostels I’ve stayed at. Even though the price is a little high for a hostel (around $26 for a dorm), the overly friendly and helpful staff as well as the plush duvets and massive mattresses, make the price worth it. 

I decided to do the volcano hike with the hostel Tropicana. They have their own operation that offers shuttles to the base, gear rental, sleeping bags & covered cabins, as well as four separate meals. There were 38 people in my hiking group. This is obviously a larger group. I didn’t mind this, because I knew that meant that we would be ascending at a slower pace. If your an avid hiker who wants to reach the top as quickly as possible, then it may be smarter to go with a smaller tour or even a private group. 

Some of the gear that’s recommended for this hike is as follows:

  • 4 Liters of Water
  • Snacks 
  • Rain jacket/poncho 
  • Sweater
  • Baseball cap
  • Snow hat 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Gloves 
  • Scarf/neck warmer
  • Sleep wear
  • Head Light
  • Warm socks
  • Hiking boots (not tennis shoes)
  • Hiking pole/walking stick

 Authors note: I did not wear hiking boots, rent a hiking pole or head light. I regretted this, as the slope up is heavily touted with gravel and is tough to climb up and down with out the proper foot wear and hiking pole. When you summit and hike an hour/hour and a half in the morning, it is pitch dark. The light is essential for confidently maneuvering upwards. 

Some of the other tour groups that are popular:

  • Soy Tours
  • Wicho & Charlie’s 
  • OX Expeditions
  • Old Town Outfitters
  • Eco Expeditions

A breakdown of how the hiking operation is coordinated:

  • 8:30-9:00: Breakfast & gear rental 
  • 9:00-10:00: Shuttle from Antigua to Base Camp
  • 10:00-10:30: Bathroom breaks, Agenda rundown
  • 10:30-4:00: Hiking to Cabins
  • 4:30: Snack
  • 6:00: Dinner
  • 8:00: Chill & Sleep
  • 3:30-4:00: Wake up & Watch Volcano Erupt
  • 4:00-5:30: Hike to the Summit for Sunrise
  • 6:00-6:30: Hike back down to the Cabins
  • 7:00-8:30: Breakfast
  • 8:30-10:30: Hike back down to Base Camp
  • 11:00-12:00: Take Shuttles back to Antigua

This is an intense hike, but the experience of watching an active volcano erupt so close to you, is an experience that is one in a million. To feel the vibrations and hear the rumbling as you walk through the fog, is so surreal. And then to wake up in the early hours of the morning and watching bright red molten lava shoot out from the earth and into the dark sky, I can’t describe the feeling.

If you are going to do anything in this country, do this. Do this and you will get the opportunity to feel this once in a life time feeling.