What is the most active volcano in Central America, in terms of eruptions, explosions, lava, gases, etc.? Is it possible to visit it?

  • 3
    see also travel.stackexchange.com/questions/3924/…
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 28, 2011 at 1:31
  • By "Central America" do you also wish to include Mexico? By most standard definitions Mexico is in North America, but it's still extremely common for people to refer to it as being in Central (or even south!) America. May 15, 2012 at 10:48
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    @hippietrail: I was thinking south of Mexico, but feel free to mention ones in Mexico too.
    – jrdioko
    May 15, 2012 at 16:38
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    Popocatépetl is very close to Mexico City and is quite often in the news for being active, in fact it was in the news again just the other day! I don't know how active it is compared with the volcanoes in Guatemala suggested in the other answers though. I also remember one by a lake in El Salvador that had erupted causing lots of destruction not long before I was there roughly five years ago, but there's so many volcanoes around lakes there that I can't remember which it was. May 15, 2012 at 17:37
  • Costa Rica's Arenal volcano stopped erupting in 2010 (it had been going since 1968), which is sad because the perfect tourist experience could be had there -- there are hot springs with in-pool cocktail bars, with a view (on clear evenings) of glowing red boulders rolling down the mountain. Jan 5, 2015 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


There are probably two acceptable answers here:

  1. Pacaya - an active volcano in Guatemala, it's erupted 23 times since the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. It then erupted in 1965 and has been erupting basically continuously since then.


  1. Santa Maria - also in Guatemala (which makes it easy for you), which appears on this list of 10 most active volcanoes in the world. While currently the most activity is lahars (mud flows) there are also regular lava flows.

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I'd suggest Volcán de Fuego near Antigua in Guatemala. It's active all the time but only at a low level -- great if you want to reliably check out some lava flows without making the evening news. It's just outside of town too, very easy to get to from Antigua which is a great place to visit. Volcán de Agua is also very near by but it's been inactive since the 1500's.

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