Volcán de Pacaya near Guatemala City is a spectacular and very active volcano that spews towering plumes of smoke and brilliant orange sludge – though such fire ‘n’ brimstone shows only happen sporadically. Gran Jaguar Tours offers basic, inexpensive trips for US$5–7/head, while adventure tour specialists charge from US$50 for a day hike.

Other cones to climb include volcanoes Agua and Acatenango, the toughest climb in this region, which gives a great view of the highly active neighbouring cone of Fuego.

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