departingyyz
departingyyz

The Acatenango Volcanic Eruption

This was why we were here. This was why we were in Antigua. As beautiful and fascinating as the city was, nothing drew us to Guatemala as strongly as the potent...
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This was why we were here. This was why we were in Antigua. As beautiful and fascinating as the city was, nothing drew us to Guatemala as strongly as the potential to see Mother Nature at its most lively and chaotic.

Towering over Antigua, the volcanoes of Acatenango and Fuego were calling our names. Like moths to the flame we had to obey and we organized a fantastic two day hike up Acatenango to hopefully catch the active Fuego volcano erupt beyond our tents.

The night before our hike we were already treated to an overwhelming show of molten lava flowing down the side of Fuego, clearly visible even from the city and a resounding boom from the volcanic eruptions that pierced the city every few minutes. Every single second was exhilarating. We just hoped we would be treated to even half the show we saw later that night.

Thankfully we weren't disappointed. It was certainly one of the harder hikes I've done and for many others their most difficult, having to hike fairly vertical, dusty, slippery paths. Worst of all, we were ascending to over 3800 meters above sea level, where it felt that every step was like taking 5. Where you felt completely out of breath for simply walking a short distance.

But what a hike. The views from the top were so beautiful and overwhelming. Perfectly formed volcanoes towering over Guatemala and then of course there was Fuego, just a short hop from our base camp.

While the big show was put on the night before we had ascended. We were still fortunate enough to catch a few eruptions once we made it to base camp. We heard the thunderous booms, the plumes of ash that would rocket into the sky and of course the bright orange lava that would flow down Fuego's face. It was a well and hard earned hike for a special night of natural fireworks.

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3 Comments | Report
john_arsenault
 
john_arsenault January 20, 2017
how often does somebody capture such a moving and powerful moment of nature and also apply their artistic hand to that image? a masterpiece.
departingyyz
departingyyz January 25, 2017
Thank you for your generous comment.
byxxo
 
byxxo January 22, 2017
Next month I will be in the same place. I hope to make a wonderful shot like your. Any suggestion?
departingyyz
departingyyz January 25, 2017
It's very easy to do a tour of Acatenango volcano, especially if youre in Antigua. Go to any tour organizer (there are plenty in the city) or go online to tripadvisor and it's very easy to organize a trip to see the volcano. Of course the question remains if mother nature will play along...
jimhelmick
 
jimhelmick February 02, 2017
Gorgeous photo. Thank you for the history!