Hard hike! I was not in shape for this one, got separated from the group on the descent, and ended up hiking down in the dark with no light and a dead phone battery. We all made it out alive :-P
We started our ascent late at 12:30pm thanks to my hungover friend.
We took a taxi from the market in Antigua to the cemetary in Santa Maria de Jesus for 90q. Once you get past the cemetary you will begin to see blue signs directing you to the summit or just follow the trail of litter to the top. I reached the summit by 4:30pm and spent an hour enjoying the views and watching Volcan de Fuego burp up some ash. There is also a small store at the top amidst the shacks and communication towers selling canned juice, water, gatorade and junkfood. I met a few comm tower workers who were concerned about me descending in the dark and were willing to offer me shelter in a small bunkhouse. I began my descent with views of de Agua's shadow casting over Guate city. I descended in the dark from 1/4 of the way down and arrived back in Santa Maria de Jesus by 7:30pm. I took an unmarked shuttle back to Antigua for 4q. We did not use a guide and every tour agency said it was too dangerous from robberies.
-carry a machete in plain sight.
-Take a taxi directly to the cemetery(trailhead). If you walk through the town the locals will tip robbers that hikers are coming and to set up an ambush on the trail.
Due to notorious crimes on Agua I chose for a tour from Guatemala city including security guards from INGUAT Antigua. Including longer breaks we climbed it in the night from Santa Maria de Jesus within 5hrs. Had fantastic views of the illuminatd capital and all the towns and villages around. From the summit one has a perfect view on the capital and all the volcanoes from El Salvador to Tajumulco, to the Cuchumatanes and many other ranges. It´s a pity that so much garbagge is polluting that mountain. It´s especially a shame for the stations of INSIVUMEH which just dump everything down the slope.
We descented on the west side down from the highest point of the crater rim. In the cloud forest even with guides we got lost for a while in the dense bushes. Finally, we arrived in the early afternoon in the town of Alotenango. The rest of the group finished the Trilogy while I had other plans.
Altogether: Agua could be a fantastic hike and a main tourist attraction for Guatemala if it would be safe and clean. Come on Guatemala - change it.
When I first went to Guatemala in 2005 we attempted an ascent of Volcan Agua but had to abandon it due to weather and the locals warning us that there were thieves with machetes. Then we tried again in 2006 and this time I got alot further whilst the others decided to call it a day halfway up. Apparently, I was only an hour away from the summit but had to abandon my ascent due to time and feeling very thirsty.
I have climbed Agua three times. One was on a failed attempt to climb the triple in one day (Agua, Fuego and Acatenango). The backside of Agua stumped us as we lost the trail and got stuck in thick brush for 4 hours. It is a fun climb but dirty, dangerous, and as stated full of cell phone towers.
Hi, TRIPLE is Acatenango-Fuego and Back to Acatenango, while AGUA-FUEGO-ACATENANGO is call it TRILOGY. Trilogy is really long and hard trip, last time I was made it in 35 hours, sleeping just 5 hours in all the trip.
Easy climb, I am agreed with Mmcquigan, a lot of towers on top and a lot of people too.
Nice climb. Steep in some sections. A little disappointed with all the towers on the rim.