When you read the title (and every time you see “molten hot magma”),make sure you use the Dr. Evil voice from Austin Powers. It sets the mood. So I went to Hawaii when I was 12, and my aunt told me we were going to be able to have lunch while we watch “molten hot magma” spew from the volcano. Never happen (mostly in part because the volcano was dormant). But, I found out that there are active volcanoes all over Guatemala, and I figured it’s about time I get to play in some “molten hot magma.”
Our first full day in Guatemala woke up with us figuring out how to find an ATM that works. For some reason, they don’t turn them on till 10 in the morning, and since Josh likes to wake up at the crack of dawn, we only had 5 hours to kill (and no local currency). This is when we figured out how to make it to Volcan Pacaya.
As much as I hate paying tour companies/guides, it seemed quite impossible to attempt our quest for “molten hot magma” on our own. So we found a company that would shuttle us over there (a little over hour and half ride), provide us with a guide, and also forget to tell us that we have to pay an entrance fee once there all for the price of $8.50. Hell… I’ll take that. We later had to pay an entry fee of $6, but hey, we were about to see “magma,” we were happy.
It was a 3k walk up (in thin air), and then at least a 15 minute walk through lava formations that were extremely difficult to navigate. But then we crossed the ridge and there it was… “molten hot magma.” The best part was we could walk as close to it as we wanted. Rocks were very hot, and at times we had to move quickly just to make sure we didn’t burn ourselves. Our guide was great…yet crazy. He took some people pretty far into the lava (of course walking on the dry spots), but when this idea was proposed… I sort of valued my life…crazy, I know.
The hike down went quickly…we were all tired and hauled. Experiencing the volcano today was great…mostly in part because in developed nations, they would never let you explore lava the way we did. Only in third world countries will they allow you to play in lava, walk all over it, and burn your legs because your curiosity got the best of you.