File photo - Smoke rises from Mexico's volcano de Fuego in Colima state.

Magma spewed from the Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala, sending a cloud of ash and steam up to 5 000 metres above its crater.

Eruptions on Sunday at the peak, whose Spanish name means Volcano of Fire, lessened somewhat from Saturday, the day they began, but they still sent magma shooting up to 400 metres above the volcano, the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology said.

The government declared an alert around the 3 700-metre mountain, which overlooks the tourist city of Antigua and lies about 60 kilometres west of Guatemala City.

Ash rained down in towns near one of Central America's most active volcanoes, and two streams of lava flowed down Volcan de Fuego's slopes.

One road at the foot of the mountain was closed, and the national disaster agency recommended planes avoid the area.

Volcan de Fuego is among four volcanoes that sit near Antigua, a former capital famous for its colonial architecture. It is near-continuously active, and a cloud of smoke is nearly always seen over it. - Sapa-dpa