Sunrise Volcano Hike in Guatemala
July 10, 2017Jul 10, 2017By Ginny Figlar, KEEN Editorial Team
2 MIN READ living outside travel
At KEEN, anytime we can get out of the office, we try to make the most of it.
Our last night in Guatemala was a late one—sharing stories and, for some of us, battling stomach issues—when our host, Giorgio, said goodnight and told us he’d be back the next morning to pick us up at 4:45.
After long days filming and conducting interviews, let’s face it…setting the alarm for 4:15/4:30 was a bit painful. But our small KEEN team had traveled to the Volcán Atitlán area of Guatemala for a few days of work, and we definitely wanted to work in some fun—as in hiking through lush rainforest to catch a sunrise view of Fuego volcano, a constantly active stratovolcano in an impressive mountain range that includes all of Guatemala’s 37 volcanoes.
After four-wheeling as far as we could go, we headed up to the overlook on foot for a brisk morning hike. The trail was completely overgrown, the mosquitoes were very happy to see us, and I vowed to bring full-length hiking pants next time.
"Our prize for rolling out of bed in the dark: Taking in the silent beauty of twilight while perched above a still-sleeping town."
We raced the sun up there and won. Our prize for rolling out of bed in the dark: Taking in the silent beauty of twilight while perched above a still-sleeping town. And moments later, Fuego came to life! We were stoked to witness an almost-cyclical exhalation of this fiery giant.
After two hours, it was hard to peel our eyes away from the smoking volcano and head back down the trail. But there was a 3-hour drive ahead and a plane to catch. And I’m so glad we didn’t hit the snooze button.
• A long camera lens: Volcanoes are hot, so you might not want to get too close to capture details. If you’re lucky, you might even see a bit of lava at Fuego’s rim.
• Mosquito repellent: If anything, you at least feel like you are giving yourself a fighting chance.
• Sun Seeker app: Never miss the sunrise or sunset, unless you sleep through it.
• OTC “traveler’s tummy” meds: Unless you speak fluent Spanish, it’ll be way easier to pick up before you go.