A Pacaya Volcano Hike Poem

Some people climb mountains stay active in their lives. But what if the mountain that you are climbing is active too? I don’t mean Taiwan’s Taroko Gorge active, where bolder just roll beside you. I am talking active volcano!

Pacaya Volcano Hike

By Gregor


South of Guatemala City, the capital of the nation,

Lays a volcano restlessly since the 1965’s desolation.

Mighty Volcán de Pacaya is, to my travel heart’s liking,

A popular destination for active volcano hiking.


From the entrance of the trail Mauricio, Addi and I

Walked one hour steadily accompanied by a tour guy

At the first rest we had, the panoramic view was amazing,

At three volcanoes in the back and one in front, I was gazing.


But there was no time to dwell long at this first stop

As our mission was to conquer Pacaya’s fiery top.

While the first walking part of the trail was easy going,

The difficulty to march on with every step was growing.


The path ahead led us through a cooled down lava flow

We cautiously hiked over spiky stones as black as a crow.

At the next stop, we looked back at the frozen lava avalanche,

Which over years and years had crawled down every trench.


One more time had changed the ground of the volcanic land.

Air locked into the stone made it crumbling like hard sand.

The slope and altitude grew rapidly with every step taken

It was the hardest climb I’ve ever had, not to be mistaken.


Adriana and I needed for the last 500 meters to climb

Two exhausting hours, but it felt like double the time.

In the end, we reached the origin of the volcanic cloud.

@Adriana, for your victory over Pacaya of you I am really proud!


As we stood now at the top of the mighty mountain,

Hearing its roar and the seeing the fiery lava fountain,

Knowing that in coming millennia it will continue to rumble,

Made me feel about my own life on earth so tiny and humble.


I never saw something more awe-inspiring nor will I forget

The feeling that life is precious, it is the only one you get

Whenever I’ll face a challenge, however hard it might be

I’ll remember this moment when my mind was truly free.


After some time on the top at 2552 meters altitude

Our bodies craved for the deserved rest, water and food

The decline, however, was as exhausting as the ascension

Half walking half sliding, constantly paying attention.


In the end, we all three managed to get back to the car

Six hours of steady hiking made our feet feel like liquid tar

Sunburnt, thirsty, tiring and covered in dust and sweat,

But to challenge active Volcán de Pacaya I will never regret!


The journey in pictures


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