Hiking/Trekking in Guatemala?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jan 27, 2012 4:05 PM Last Post By: virginvagabond
Jan 23, 2012 8:42 PM
Hiking/Trekking in Guatemala?Hi,
I'm coming to Guatemala City from San Salvador on Feb 11. Any recommendations for the best hikes/treks (overnight or otherwise) to do? I heard that Tajumulco, Lago Atitlan, and Fuentes Georginas are must-dos.
I only have 5 days, and am well aware that getting to Quetzaltenango or another city from Guatemala City may take time.
Please let me know if you have recommendations for great hikes! My only goal in Guatemala is to spend as much time in the mountains and at high altitude as possible!
Jan 23, 2012 11:03 PM
1Suggest you contact the trekking agencies in Xela and Antigua and see what is available within your time span. Show your interest but be prepared for alternatives if your chosen trek does not run due to lack of numbers. As high as possible means Tajumulco ( 1 day or preferably overnight) . Lago Atitlan is a swim not a trek although San Pedro Volcano is near by ( 1 day trek). From Antigua you have Pacaya ( half day trek) but not high and Acatenango/Fuego ( overnight ). From Xela you have Santa Maria ( 1 day or overnight), Santaguito ( overnight if you want to get up close) and Fuentes Georginas (5 minutes fron the car park)!
Agree that getting from GC to another city will take time unless you are a'trekkie' which obviously you are !
Jan 24, 2012 9:33 AM
2If you only have 5 days I would say treks are out, most of them are several days. I would suggest hiking up Santa Maria from Xela (half day), we loved it, the view is incredible and you get to see Santiaguito erupt. It is possible to hike to Santiaguito as well but that is a very hard long hike and you can't get as close any more (too dangerous). Most agencies seemed not really interested in going...
Tajamulco is good too but that is an overnight from Xela, it is the highest point in Central America. It is possible to climb Tajamulco in a day but then you miss out on the sunrise.
We liked Tajamulco but liked Acatenango even better. For Acatenango you have to go to Antigua and it is an overnight again. It is really worth it though and be sure to get up at night (you won't get much sleep anyway) to see Fuego erupt.
Lots of agencies in Xela go up Santa Maria and Tajamulco, shouldn't be a problem... We went with Kaqchikel and Diversity Tours.
Acatenango is harder. Not many outfitters were going when we were there. Contact O.X. or Old Town... you can email O.X. : email@example.com They reply quickly (at least that is our experience). They also offer hikes up Fuego and have a "double whammy" : Acatenango and Fuego.
All climbs are probably possible on your own as well if you have the gear but as you don't have much time going with an agency seems like the way to go.
I would book the Acatenango climb, hopefully the first 2 days or the last 2. And go to Xela and climb Santa Maria before or after. That is a lot of climbing for 5 days, at least for us it is :-)
By the way, Fuentes Georginas is not really a hike (unless you hike there from Zunil), most people take a shuttle and spend a few hours in the hot springs. You could also take a pick-up from Zunil. You should have nice views of Santa Maria if you are lucky but if I only had 5 days I would not pick this hike.
I hope you are already acclimatized to the altitude...
Jan 24, 2012 7:41 PM
Jan 25, 2012 4:39 PM
4Pedro 555 is right by you first call to an agency; then, if you like to trek onto the Quetzaltenango’s volcanoes, you will need to go there. I once climbed it
We left the city of Xelaju, in the Department of Quezaltenango, to the volcanoe’s vicinity (a few miles from the city by jeep) and started pacing our way; you pass through irregular knolls then walk to the tree encircle where the whole thing becomes pine and fret icy....many hours later we reached up to the cone; it is a warped crater and so we were able to moved around and spent the night there...IT WAS GUSTY AND COLD! our canteens congealed and nobody slumbered, but we were fulfilled in the morning when we paced about over the line of the crater at dawn and could watch into Retalhuleu, the pacific ocean and the other volcanoe (Volcan Santiaguito) with which the tip of this is intertwined Santa Maria volcanoe such as that they said that Santa Maria is the "mother" of her "son" Santiaguito in the foklore of Guatemalans whose country have 33 volcanoes that are rising out of the cloud edge...it was astounding and Santa Maria is one of the high summits beside that the Tajumulco which is the highest-one in Central America....This hiking took us two days trek presently because we wanted to stay there camping on the summit... Since we were there studying on the 1960s and the month of the year was in April, we watched the Santiagito which was erupting for a while from our safety view upon the Santa Maria and today I bet that the Santa Maria's son (Santiaguito) is still active. I think this is the best of the volcanoes to hike, though there is also the highest volcanoe in Central America mentioned above that will be worthy to climb, too.
Jan 27, 2012 4:05 PM
5Hi, Sonia I totally agree with you, make every effort to get to ACATENANGO or FUEGO. Antigua should be your base as Xela is just too far to travel if you only have 5 days. Do not spend 2 of the five on the road. Have an awesome time. Oh, if you go to OX give their dog also named Xela a pet from me.
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