Pacaya Volcano - Guatemala

Climbing an active volcano was one thing I insisted on doing during my week in Guatemala, and I accomplished that goal on Pacaya, a volcano near Antigua. The volcano was certainly beautiful, but it was a little nerve racking climbing on the smokey summit. But that's what makes a great adventure.

Here the tour group I was with begins the last part of the ascent up the side of the volcano. Quite a bit of smoke was pouring out of the crater, so the guide wouldn't let us go to the very top. Still we climbed pretty far up the side and found some lava to roast marshmallows over. I'm very serious. They were tasty.

The 8,300 foot tall volcano yielded spectacular views of other nearby volcanoes. Here a German member of my group begins the final part of the hike up Pacaya.
There's a stark contrast between the black volcanic rock and the grass growing just beyond the summit. Pacaya has been erupting periodically for the past several years spitting out lava that hardens into the porous rock.