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. Prep Time: 4~ hours (2 hours driving from Patzún, 2 hours hiking, 5 minutes cook time)
- 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!
Crossposted on easpeed.com