I have climbed Acatenango twice, sleeping on the summit on the second occasion. It is currently a VERY DANGEROUS hike. The second time I hiked it I was robbed at gun point. I know that lots of other foreigners have been robbed, including an incident where a french guide was shot in the head and a woman was raped. Climbing it is not worth the risk until Guatemalans get the security situation under control. If you must climb, do it during the week and DO NOT leave a vehicle in La Soledad (it's an obvious tip to the robbers that someone with $ is on the mountain).
I climbed Acatenango a thousand times, I really love it!!... In 1996 normal route was pretty rough. At this time is a maintain trail easy to climb. My record time in ascend is 3 hours to summit. But I prefer take my time and enjoy it. 7-8 hours is ok with full backpack. views are really amazing.
I climbed Fuego many times too. I made summit just once many years ago, at this time is to risky. Big explosions very often. from Alotenango town spent 10 hours at least.
With no tent or cookware I made summit in just 5.5 hrs I started at around 5pm so it was nice and cool and easy to move fast. Slept on the summit with just my bag on top of a pad. Epic view watching it erupt all night.
One of the most beautiful climbs in Guatemala and perhaps Central America.
We left from the village of La Soledad at noon on Friday with the intent of sleeping in Acatenango's crater. An afternoon storm forced us to make camp just below the lower summit though. The next morning, we woke to clear skies and managed to get to the summit of Acatenango just before dawn. Then we went over to bag Fuego in the early afternoon. (Well, we got to within about 200 meters of the peak anyway.) Back to La Soledad by about 3 pm.
Only did Acatenango, from the road sign that says Yepocapa 19km and Acatenango 9.3km Up the hill above San >Miguel las Dueñas, we cut straight up through corn and bean fields belonging to Sr. San Martin. Up through the forest, then the pine forest to the false summit where you get a great view of the vulcan. down a piece then up to the top, took our groug around 5hrs. Back at the car at 2pm, it was getting really hot by then, get an early start.
Incredible hike up, very easy. Slept on top in the bottom of the crater, extremely windy and cold. watched Volcan Fuego errupting in one of its most active periods in years, need I say more. Incredible sunrise. Didnt hire a guide just went with buddy, guides definetly not necessary because easy trail following, possibly for security reasons. Better than a guide, bring a machete.
Climbed with Eduardo (see above :-) an Jaime Vinals.
Beautiful hike and great scenery!