Prep Time: 4~ hours (2 hours driving from Patzún, 2 hours hiking, 5 minutes cook time)
- 1 accessible heat vent on an active volcano (I used Pacaya)
- Stick for roasting marshmallows
- Hiking shoes/boots
- Spending money for the Lava Store
- Drinking water (and lots of it!)
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Acquire your chocolate chip cookies and marshmallows a day in advance. If you can’t make your own, store-bought is fine (Maxi-Despensa in Patzún carries Jet-Puft and Chips-ahoy).
- Rise at 4am and catch the 4:30 chartered bus from Patzún to Pacaya.
- Watch the sunrise over the milpas in Patzicia.
- Upon arrival at Pacaya, avoid the offers of “taxis” (horses) at the base of the volcano. That’s cheating. Take the kids up on the offer of a hiking stick though.
- Find your guide. He should be wearing a green vest and a Parque Nacional Pacaya badge.
- Set off up the volcano for 2.6km at 60°F in June, temperature may vary depending on season.
- Take pictures of Volcanes Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango if it’s not too cloudy. The view from the western face is to die for.
- Collect some sticks for your marshmallow roasting if your guide doesn’t. He should though.
- Watch out when the ground gets gravelly and ashy. Your feet can and will slip around a bit.
- Arrive at the lava flow and the Lava Store and check out some surprisingly cool lava jewelry.
- Your guide should point out the best heat vent- it’s close to the grassy hill on the north side of the lava flow.
- Spear your marshmallows and hold the over the heat vent for a few minutes, to your desired level of meltiness. Watch out- its hot!
- Take two cookies and squish a melted marshmallow between the two.
- Hike the rest of the way up the volcano (it’s REALLY steep and ashy here so watch your step), take pictures of the smoking cone, then hike back down!