At least ten years ago we cruised to the Panama Canal with a stop at Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. Our plan at that time was to hike the active Pacaya Volcano. Via the ship’s excursion we made it to the trailhead. But Marnie’s suspected case of Norovirus sent us back to the ship before we even took a step towards the lava. We’ve had this on our bucket list ever since.
Today we embarked on the same excursion, feeling 100% and ready to tackle the trek. Along with 21 other Island Princess passengers we conquered the relatively steep two mile hike up through the jungle until the volcano appeared before us.
Pacaya is very active with the last big flow occurring in 2014. We watched in awe as rocks and smoke shot from the top of the mountain and red lava flowed from its sides.
The so-called “ring of fire” runs through Central America with many active volcanoes throughout the region. We visited several during past trips to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and now we can add Guatemala’s craters to the list.
In total we hiked about four miles and being down close to recent lava flows was a highlight. Now Guatemala is on our list of places to return, as there are many more volcanoes to explore.
Now we’re on our way to the Panama Canal!