Sunrise from Agua Volcano
Highlights of Hiking the Central Highlands Trilogy Volcanoes
My favourite part of hiking Agua , Fuego and Acatenango Volcanoes was being able to look back and see where you started. It truly makes you feel great about yourself.
This is such a demanding activity, both mentally and physically that by the time you are done you feel invincible. It might sound dramatic but to me, this activity marked a before and an after in my life. Now I know how efficient, strong and amazing the human body can be. – Lourdes
Map of the Trilogy
Terrain of Trilogia
The path is a combination of steep trails that take you up and down the three volcanoes. Since this is physically challenging, most of the time you won’t be going through the tourist routes that are popular with so many travellers to Guatemala. The guides take you through the tougher routes. Not a lot of people know them.
How to Plan for Your Trilogy Adventure
One of the first things that you are told when you book the tour is that Agua Volcano is the warm up. The hike up to the crater through the tourist route isn’t very demanding. However, once you start descending on the other side, you’ll discover that this route is much longer, steeper, and quite technical as well. Once you’ve descended Agua Volcano, you finish in the town of Alotenango. Here you are given the chance to abandon the rest of the hike if you are feeling tired because the tough part is about to start!
I did this tour with Sin Rumbo. They offer this tour to the public only two times each year, one during the rainy months (the one I did) and one during the dry months. However you can also book this adventure as a private tour and schedule it for any time of the year for just $249 USD per person. They provide the guides, transportation and security. You can also arrange for them to take care of your food if you purchase the premium package. Because of the difficulty of the routes and the fact that they are not well marked I would not recommend attempting this on your own. There aren’t a lot of people in Guatemala with the knowledge to avoid getting lost in them.
How to Pack for the Trilogy Trek
The next thing you should think of is your equipment. You will need two backpacks, a day pack for Agua Volcano and a larger one that should be at least 60L for Fuego and Acatenango Volcanoes. It must have enough space in it for your tent, sleeping back, food and clothes. You get 3 or 4 hours to sleep so a 3 season tent is a must due to the unpredictable weather. Take this into consideration and talk to Sin Rumbo about this at least two days before your tour. If you don’t have the proper equipment they can provide it for you for an additional fee, but need to know in advance.
You also have to consider clothing. A lot of people think that since Guatemala is a tropical country that you don’t need gear for cold weather, but you do. No matter which season you decide to do this epic volcano hike, you are always at risk of rain, temperatures falling below 0 C°, or a combination of both.
1. For Your Day Pack – Include a second layer, a down jacket of at least 650 down, a waterproof soft shell, gloves, neck warmer (or buff), hat, breakfast, two litters of water and two rations of snacks.
2. For your Expedition Backpack – 3-season sleeping bag, tent, second layer, down jacket, an extra set of hiking clothes (shirt and pants), waterproof soft shell, gloves, buff, hat, 2 dinners, 1 breakfast and 1 lunch, plus three snacks and three litres of water.
3. I also recommend taking a 3rd bag with you. You will leave this one on the bus. It should have a fresh set of clothes, wet wipes and shoes that you can change into when you are done. That way you’ll have clean clothes for the ride back to your hotel which will allow you to sleep more comfortably.
Physical Fitness Requirement
Finally, as you might be able to tell this is a difficult trip only intended for those who are physically fit. You need to have a strong body, but most of all a strong mind. You will reach a point where your whole body aches and you still have hours of hiking up steep trails. At that point it will be your mind and will power that takes you to the end. Note: It’s also possible to hike each of those volcanos individually with Sin Rumbo to make it easier. You can enquire here, just let us know which volcano you would like to hike.