Mt. Acetenango is the third highest peak in Guatemala. It can be seen from the town of Antigua. It overlooks the highly active volcano Volcan de Fuego. Fuego constantly erupts, sending giant rocks flying, billowing clouds of ash into the sky, and sends molten lava streaming down its slopes.
I signed up for a group trip up Acetenango, and we started the hike from some cornfields resting on its slopes. The track continued up through some cloud forest, and then into some misty pine forest where we reached our camp for the night.
Guatemala is a tropical country, but the sheer altitude made our camp pretty chilly. It was also misty. We could hear Volcan Fuego erupting (it was about every hour!) but because of the cloud, we couldn't see it at all.
We made a fire and the guides cooked tortillas. I hoped that I'd get a glimpse of Fuego the following morning!
The next morning we were up at 3:30am to get to the summit in time to see the dawn. I was pleased to see that the sky had cleared and we were now able to see Volcan Fuego. On the way up it erupted - and was sending glowing lava everywhere - kind of like a fountain. It was pretty spectacular. I tried to take a photo - but my camera is not powerful enough to capture it in the dark. Anyway, I found a photo which I've pasted above which I hope you like. There was not quite as much lava in the eruption I saw, but it was still amazing!
We kept heading up, and started to see the view below in the dawn.
We kept on heading up and got beautiful views from the summit. On the way down Fuego erupted two times, both times sending plumes of ash into the air. Overall, it was an amazing trip, and I'm so glad that the weather was good enough to allow us good views.