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See the Volcanos of Guatemala and the Galapagos Islands

Date: December 19, 2013 | By: Enid Glasgow | Category: Travel Blog

Volcanos grab our attention and engage our imagination. As children, we imagine landscapes filled with dinosaurs and rivers of hot lava. As adults, we recognize the immense power that these volatile mountains have to change the very geography of a region. While Guatemala and the Galapagos are prime destinations for wildlife viewing and rainforest trekking, they are also ideal for travelers who want to brave the volcano – and get up close to nature’s most fascinating, fearsome formations.

Galapagos has nine active volcanos, compared to Hawaii’s three, and of Guatemala’s 22 volcanos, seven are active. The kid in you will be thrilled – the adult, perhaps, will be terrified! – to visit the Galapagos’ Volcan Sierra Negra, one of the world’s largest active calderas. Caldera is a Spanish word for “cooking pot,” an apt name for the cauldron-like crater.

What’s more exciting than hiking up an active volcano? How about roasting marshmallows on Pacaya Volcano? Guatemala’s active volcano last erupted in 2010, and hiking through is like navigating another planet – one that holds a thrilling element of danger.

Exploring the volcanos of Guatemala and the Galapagos is not for the faint of heart, or those who would spend their vacations lounging on a beach – though, fortunately, with the gorgeous stretches of coastline and tropical weather, these paradisiacal locales offer the opportunity to indulge in a little lounging, as well as swimming, diving, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing.

Some helpful tips for your volcano adventure:

  • It is best to hike and tour the volcanos with the help of an experienced guide. While the volcanos of this region are popular tourist spots, remember, they are active.
  • Get in shape! At Pacaya, for instance, you will have a 90-minute hike ahead of you. Near the crater, the going gets rough with loose debris, volcanic ash, and steep slopes. Be prepared to work hard – but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and a story that no one can top back home.
  • Wear sturdy hiking boots and dress in layers. A flashlight is a great idea, as well as a water bottle or water-bladder in your backpack.
  • Before your journey, check the activity level of the volcano. While you do want to witness molten lava, flowing red down the volcano, a full eruption is another matter entirely.
  • Enjoy some other attractions of the Galapagos and Guatemala after a long day of hiking. Experience the wonderful swimming, wildlife viewing, and charming village and city life.

You will never forget the feeling of hiking through ash and standing on the crater of an active volcano. The Galapagos and Guatemala offer an indescribable experience that is bound to excite even the most ardent adventure traveler.

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