Location and Transportation
Rancho Pacaya is 45 kilometers (28 miles) south of Guatemala City and close to Antigua Guatemala as well (see map on home page). Taking the CA-9 highway from Guatemala City heading towards Guatemala's south coast, at kilometer 36.5 one exits at the San Vicente Pacaya turnoff and begins the ascent past the municipality of San Vicente Pacaya and past the village of El Cedro to the village of San Francisco de Sales where RP is located.
The Rancho Pacaya Parking Lot is located three blocks from the catholic church on the main square and is where one signs in to begin the 20-minute hike or 10 minute horse ride up to the main structure at Rancho Pacaya. In the RP parking lot one is oriented as to the RP grounds and signs a form agreeing to abide by the RP regulations, and is informed of the specific activities available throughout the day of your visit.
As mentioned, all overnight stays at Rancho Pacaya are BY RESERVATION ONLY as rooms and campsites are limited. Please call in advance to reserve your room or campsite.
TO ARRIVE AT RANCHO PACAYA, ONE MUST TAKE A SCENIC 20-MINUTE HIKE UP A HILL FROM SAN FRANCISCO DE SALES VILLAGE TO REACH THE FARM. Luggage can be transported by vehicle separately. but if one cannot hike up the 300 steps from the village to the farm house, ONE CAN BE TAKEN BY BORSEBACK UP TO THE MAIN STRUCTURE.
Many individuals who intend to stay at Rancho Pacaya will be foreign tourists coming from Antigua Guatemala who will need to make their own arrangements for their transportation to San Francisco de Sales with one of several private tour operators transporting people from Antigua to the Pacaya Volcano National Park.
There are a number of independent operators available to transport visitors to the Pacaya Volcano as any tourist roaming the streets of Antigua can attest to, each operator varying in cost and arrangement details such as pick up at your hotel, amount of time they will "wait" for you in the village outside of the national park, etc. We are aware of complaints by tourists regarding some of the transportation services but have no practical way to assess the quality of their services. We thus do not make recommendations regarding the quality of the customer service for any of the private transportation operators. .