Volcán de Pacaya
San Vicente Pacaya
Ever roast marshmallows over a red-hot current of lava? Try out this improbable activity at the summit of Pacaya, one of Guatemala's active volcanoes and the most frequently climbed around Antigua. Guides lead groups of around 25 people to the top every morning and evening—a hike that takes three to four hours in total, as compared to the overnight stays required to climb most of the volcanoes. Despite this accessibility, Pacaya is a real hike: be prepared with good shoes, water, warm clothes to combat the continuously violent winds, and a flashlight for the harrowing nighttime descent from afternoon climbs. The highlight of these evenings is nightfall at the summit, as the streams and pockets of lava gain brilliance in contrast to the darkness. The trip takes about seven hours from Antigua, start to finish.