Seeing a volcano erupt is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and in Guatemala, you can actually climb one and feel the heat of it as it erupts.  No, I'm not crazy! 

Pacaya is around 30 km south of Guatemala City and is surrounded by thee volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenago, which are all good options for a hike.  Nearby Antigua has gorgeous, classical buildings, with hundreds of churches and colourful houses.  Antigua hosts special holy weeks, where the ground is carpeted with flowers, so if you're looking for something special to see, you might want to visit during them.  

The hike is no mean feat, taking around 2-3 hours of carefully picking your way up the volcano, but you'll be in good hands with the Pacaya tour company.  Steaming eruption remnants will fill your path as you make your way up the precarious slopes, and the ground will get very hot, so make sure you wear proper hiking boots! 

You can then stand at the dormant cone and watch as nature takes it's course.  The active vent will spew red hot lava and intermittently throw it up into the air in a spectacle better than any man-made fireworks show on earth.  

Make no mistake, this tour is not for the faint-hearted and going up without a guide is not recommended; eruptions vary, and you never know if the next one could be a big one.  For peace of mind, volcanic activity can be checked at the tourist office in Antigua.  It's also very important to wear proper, thick-soled hiking boots and be very aware of your surroundings as you climb; watch where you are going and keep vigilant.  

The tour guides can be relied on for the best safety.