Hiking Volcano Acatenango vegan was easy, but getting up to 13045 ft (3976 m) was definitely a challenge! Here’s how I did Volcano Acatenango vegan.
Volcano Acatenango is a popular 2 day, 1 night hike within driving distance of Antigua, Guatemala. It’s popular mainly for it’s next door neighbor, Volcano Fuego. From Acatenango, you can see Fuego erupt and get some awesome shots and sounds of eruptions. I’ve never see lava so close, and the hike and pain up the mountain was well worth getting some awesome views of Fuego.
First off, do you need a tour to go? I went with a tour company personally, mainly because I didn’t bring my camping gear with me to Central America. If you brought the proper gear, I don’t think it’d be too hard to do the hike. We didn’t do anything technical that required any serious climbing/hiking gear. Obviously, make sure you bring the right food, equipment, and warmth. It can be dangerous. Several tourists have died on the mountain from going with cheaper tour guides who didn’t bring the right sleeping bags, etc. It gets cold! Do your research and don’t use my guide since this is about with a tour company.
Now I’m normally not a tour person, but I thought this tour/trek was reasonably priced, and made life easy with transport, food, and gear. Most of the tour companies have permanent shelters on the mountain, so it makes life easier not having to carry a tent when pushing up the side of the volcano (it’s steep!).
- Starting City: Most tours leave out of Antigua.
- Tour Company: Wicho and Charlies. Only company that advertises they do vegan food, and the main company that every backpacker was recommending on the trail!
- Length of Hike: 4-5 hours day 1 to base camp, then ~2.5 hours to summit. Pretty steep trail most of the way, and most of us were feeling the altitude.
- What you Carry: Clothes, Camera, 4L of water is required, and then your food bag.
- Warm Weather Gear Recommendations: It does get cold up there! I’d bring your more serious jacket, and if you don’t have them ,Wicho and Charlie will let you borrow coats, mittens, hats, ponchos, etc. Definitely make sure you have a warm coat, a warm hat, and a mitten. 13,000 feet is cold at 5:30 in the morning. Also, their big ponchos are a lifesaver. I know they seem overdone, particularly if you have a rain coat, and rain pants, but I was so glad I had the poncho.
- Sleeping Situation: Wicho and Charlie has permanent tent structures built at base camp on the side of the mountain. They are fully enclosed from rain and have little cots inside with sleeping bags and a little pillow. Was actually pretty comfortable!
Now onto the part everyone wants to know! What was the Acatenango vegan food like?
I chose Wicho and Charlie since they explicitly listed vegan as an option. I let them know when I booked the tour, and from there, it was smooth sailing! My favorite part about the vegan food was that it was very slight variations on what everyone else was eating, so you were definitely eating with the whole group/not being an extra pain for guide cooks.
- Morning we left: Delicious oatmeal, and beans with toast. Way too much food!
- Lunch – Packed sandwich with fresh veggies. Snacks included chips, and a little granola bar. No dessert, which the rest of the group got (no surprise/complaint here).
- Dinner – Spaghetti with tomato sauce. Red wine, and vegan hot chocolate (watch out for the guides who will want to put a marshmallow in yours. Those aren’t vegan.)
- Breakfast next morning- oats and coffee!
It was a lot of food, but I did bring a few extra snacks and was glad to have them. I always appreciate having some fruit, so grab an apple or two ,and maybe some almonds or some high calorie nut of choice and you’ll be set! I was really happy with my food situation, and was glad to do Acatenango vegan!
If you go with another company that doesn’t advertise vegan food, my tried and true advice for staying vegan on tours:
- Ask if they can do vegan food. You never know until you ask. Most people are willing to accommodate if it means they get your business. Just make sure you explain what you can eat. Use the Spanish guide to help explain!
- If they won’t do it vegan, but you want to go with them – ask for a discount and bring your own food! Dried food and prepared items can be perfect food friends on a hike. Posts on vegan stoveless hiking food coming soon!
Get out there and enjoy! Hope you love seeing Acatenango vegan.