Volcán de Ipala

Central & Eastern Guatemala

The 1650m Volcán de Ipala is notable for its especially beautiful clear crater-lake measuring nearly 1km around and nestled below the summit at 1493m. The dramatic hike to the top takes you from 800m to 1650m in about two hours, though you can drive halfway up in a car (parking costs Q10). There are trails, a visitor center and a campsite on the shores of the lake.

To get there, take a bus from Chiquimula (Q20, 1½ hours) or Jalapa (two hours) to Ipala and transfer to a microbus to Agua Blanca (Q10, every 15 minutes). The trailhead is at El Sauce just before Agua Blanca; look for the blue INGUAT sign. If you're lucky, you might encounter a pick-up to Aldea Chigüiton, where the road ends, 2km from the highway, running south from Ipala. You may also be able to hire a horse in Chigüiton.

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