Guatemala is with no doubt a volcanic country, we have around 32 volcanoes of the stratovolcano type, this means that they have conical shape with a central crater, the volcanic building is formed by successive layers of deposits of lava, slag, sand and ashes product of eruptions. Currently there are 3 active volcanoes in the country: Pacaya, Fuego, Santiaguito.
Today I’m going to tell you about the Pacaya that attracts so much for a day trip; this volcano is located 36 kilometers from Guatemala City, in the municipality of San Vicente de Pacaya, has a height of 2,550 meters and its relative proximity to the capital or Antigua Guatemala, is a very appealing attraction for those who like a good walk, an adventure and good views, both for nationals and foreigners, it is also catalogued as a National Park.
What does this volcano have to offer that makes it so attractive?
Tourism is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for the country, in addition to a country rich in natural and cultural resources so here we are very good at climbing volcanoes and mountains in addition to exercising test your physical condition, you also get intoxicated with breathtaking and unforgettable landscapes.
It is one of the most active volcanoes in all of Central America, its ascent is relatively easy and offers beautiful views. The Pacaya Volcano and Laguna de Calderas National Volcano has a territorial extension of 2,221 hectares.
We have two authorized trails for the ascent and we must always be accompanied by our local guide.
La Corona Trail: we left Concepción El Cedro Village and reached the Cerro Chino, which is considered one of the oldest craters of the volcano. Here native flora and fauna species adapted to these dynamic ecosystems are developed.
Main trail: we depart from the village San Francisco de Sales and starts in the visitor service center, entering the subtropical humid temperate forest, within the tour we can see the beauty of the Laguna de Calderas in the Mirador la Laguna and 150 meters above we find the Mirador Majahue from here we have a beautiful view of the volcanoes of Agua, Acatenango and Fuego. We continue and we find the Mirador Los Tres Robles, a special place that allows us to see the majesty of the Mackenney cone, 500 meters above is the plateau, perfect for a picnic, rest and the breathtaking view of the colossus and Mackenney crater. **
For those who want to make a two-way trip in just 4 hours approximately entering through the visitor center in Aldea San Francisco de Sales and leaving the Sendero la Corona in Aldea Concepción el Cedro or vice versa.
** Do you know why the crater is called Mackenney?
It was named in honor of Dr. Alfredo Mackenney, doctor and surgeon, model builder since the 50s, photographer, videographer, passionate mountaineer and a lover of the Pacaya volcano who has dedicated his life to study this volcano climbing it many times, more than 1,500.