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Volcán de Pacaya Climber's Log

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gimpilatorTrue Summit  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jan 22, 2017


I spent a month climbing volcanoes. On Pacaya I hiked through dense gas and smoke to reach the true summit, even though it was illegal. This was stupid of me and I could have been killed. Down inside the crater I saw lava bursting out of a cinder cone which is still growing. I was awed, inspired, and afraid. Do yourself a favor and don't climb to the true summit of this dangerous peak.

Other peaks I bagged on this trip include...

Volcán La Malinche, Cofre de Perote, Pico de Orizaba (country highpoint, 3rd highest in North America), Volcán Iztaccíhuatl, Pico de Aguila, Nevado de Toluca, Cerro de Ombugo, Pico de Humboldt, Nevado de Colima, Cerro Tancitaro

Volcán Tajumulco (country highpoint, 24th most prominent peak on earth), Volcán Concepción, Volcán Tacaná (2nd highest in Central America), Cerro Chemal "La Torre", Cerro Chemal "Cerro los Cuervos", Montañas Peña Blanca, Volcán Santa María, Volcán Atitlán, Volcán Acatenango

Costa Rica:
Volcán Poás, Volcán Barva, Volcán Irazú, Cerro Chirripó (country highpoint, 36th most prominent on earth), Cerro Piramide, Cerro Terbi, Cerro Buenavista

Trip report with photos and video
Posted Feb 20, 2017 10:48 pm

az_climberGreat hike, past the first part  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2014
The first part of this trail is covered in horse shit and is disgusting. The guys with horses also follow you and every time you stop bug you to pay for their horse...very pushy. Once you get to the point where they stop following and the crap goes away, it's beautiful and a worthwhile experience.
Posted Feb 3, 2015 2:56 pm

ScottPacaya  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Dec 26, 2014


Today Shaylee and I climbed Volcán Pacaya. It was a pretty easy and popular climb, but it was very scenic. The point we actually reached was Cerro Chino, since the highest summit of the volcano was off limits because of potential activity. There was lots of new lava around, but the volcano was actually quiet, though it was smoking. It hadn’t had a real eruption since November 2013.

We got to roast marmallows in the vents of on the volcan. We left super early in the morning (dark) and got back early afternoon.

Obviously climbing an active volcano isn´t enough adventure, so we went bungee jumping, including doing a sling shot bungee jump where they launch you in the air, which is supposedly more thrilling than simply jumping off a bridge. Shaylee did three jumps, but one was enough for me.

The weather was good and it was a spectacular trip.
Posted Jan 18, 2015 6:35 pm

ShayleePacaya  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Dec 26, 2014


Posted Jan 10, 2015 7:03 am

zolaStriking landscape  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 29, 2014
Striking landscape that looms into view at the final approach. There is also a mirador about half-way up with a dramatic view of Volcán de Agua, and a few spots to see the caldera lake nearby.
Posted Aug 13, 2014 1:46 pm

gbrillNear The Top
Date Climbed: Jul 17, 2013


As close as the weather and lava would let us get.
Posted Jun 4, 2014 11:12 pm

royandersonFun Family Hike
Date Climbed: Dec 13, 2010


We went as far as the local guide said was safe. Is that successful? You tell me. This hike is covered in my trip report Guatemala Tourist Hiking.
Posted Mar 10, 2013 8:25 pm

Zenice views
Date Climbed: Dec 20, 2012


got to see great views of the other volcanoes, checked out some caverns and several heat spots. Were not allowed to go to the summit, unfortunately.
Posted Jan 19, 2013 7:04 pm

SocorroGreat show
Date Climbed: Jan 11, 2009


Spent quite a while watching and poking at lava that night. Totally mesmerizing.
Posted Oct 23, 2011 10:25 am

BergrotSummit inaccesible
Date Climbed: Dec 8, 2010


Did the cheap tour from Antigua (13$). Walked to the still warm but not glowing lava field.
For the moment summit climbs are not allowed by the park guards. Maybe one can try it illegally but the summit crater is still emitting a large amount of fumes. So enjoy the view from below and wait for a safer time.
Posted Dec 22, 2010 8:57 pm

RazorRenPacaya  Sucess!


I first climbed Pacaya right up to the top back in November 2005 and it made me feel special doing something most other people didn't. I returned in November 2006 and this time there was lava but we didn't climb up to the top, however I did get very close to a small lava trickle and it was like standing next to a hot oven.
Posted Mar 13, 2010 10:50 am

ncstEarthquake :-(
Date Climbed: Apr 4, 2009


There had been some seismic activity that first week of April, so we weren't allowed get to close to the top nor to any lava. Just saw some lava rolling of the volcano from a distance...
Posted Jul 27, 2009 7:19 pm



Climbed up some back way ducking under barbed fences since according to out guide this was where the red hot lava was. There was no one on the mountain we went up at around 3AM and watched the sun come up. The lava was sooooo hot and just standing near it was intense .. but he wind was blowing alot and the girl that I was with couldnt climb up to the summit but still was awesome standing right over lava and burning wood in it. Besides the trip was only like $20!
Posted Jun 16, 2009 1:11 pm

Date Climbed: Jan 11, 2009


Took a night hike up to within a few hundred meters of the summit to hang out by the lava flows. Stunning, though remember not to keep your cell phone away from the heat or it may stop working(!) :D
Posted Jan 13, 2009 10:09 pm

TrevorMarrsWOW!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 15, 2008


Easy climb, amazing lava show at the top!!!
Posted Dec 23, 2008 5:57 am

dpryan999Great hike  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jan 30, 2006


Excellent hike! The climb was easy and the smoke seeping from the rocks and lava gurgling in the crater were just incredible to see. Spectacular views of surrounding mountains and the ocean, too.
Posted Dec 9, 2008 9:16 am

bellinghamclimberAwesome lava flows  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2008


Easy climb up to the higher slopes of Pacaya. An active lava flow made further ascent impossible.
Posted Oct 12, 2008 6:29 pm

BLongPacaya  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 2, 2006


A great, easily accessible volcano near the capital. I have climbed it 4 times. I only reached the summit twice as the other two times it was far too dangerous. Camping out near the flows is great; you can even roast marshmallows over the fresh lava!
Posted Oct 6, 2008 11:15 pm

ChristianRodriguezLiving Mountain  Sucess!


Around the world are just a few sites where is possible to see the 4 elements working at the same time. EARTH: being twisted and broken; AIR: Carrying all kind of gases; WATER: clouds & rain; and FIRE rivers and lagoons of burning incandescent lava. Agresive explosions with boiled gases. FU--ING AMAZING PLACE... and easy to climb it.
Posted Sep 11, 2008 7:30 pm

mountainmattWow  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Feb 18, 2004


It was amazing to be that close to an erupting volcano. We could feel the heat and the smell was so intense. A real cool but short "climb."
Posted Jul 9, 2008 3:01 pm

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