Hikes

General Information

  • All of our hikes are available everyday with the minimum number of people.
  • For smaller groups, we also offer private hikes.
  • If you have special requests or itineraries in mind, please ask! Our guides are not limited to the times or places listed here.
  • 100% local guides.
  • We use professional equipment and all of our guides have first aid training.
  • Bilingual guides available.

Santa Maria - Half Day Reserve

Elevation: 3,772 m (12,375 ft)
Cone: Strato volcano (Composite)
Eruption: Plinian
Status: Active
Location: Depto. Quetzaltenango

Eruptive History: 24 Oct. 1902 violent plinian eruption with a large quantity of magma, part of the cone ruptured. An explosion crater on the side gave birth to Santiaguito.

Notes: Santa María is part of a volcanic system which includes Volcán Siete Orejas and Volcán Chicabal. The local Mayans call this volcano "Gagxanul" which means naked mountain. Eruptions were noted by the Spanish in the 16th century. The 1902 eruption produced lava flows which traveled up to 8.6 km (5.3 mi). The city of Quetzaltenango was buried under a half meter of ash and the ash column reached an altitude of 30km (100,000 feet).

Description: This hike takes only a half day, starting at 5:00am. Our minivan picks you up from your hotel or homestay in Xela and takes you to the village of Llanos del Pinal, only 15 minutes away. From Llanos del Pinal, the ascent through the forest to the summit of Santa María takes between 4 and 5 hours. We stay there for 1 hour to enjoy the views: from the top we can see other volcanoes like Tajumulco, Tacana, Atitlan, San Pedro, Acatenango, the pacific coast and if the sky is clear you can see all the way to Mexico. The best part about this hike is that you can see Santiaguito, an active volcano, erupting. It takes about 3 hours to descend -- we arrive in Xela about 1:00pm.

NOTE: This is a difficult hike so you must be in good physical condition.
Starts at 5:00 am; back at 13:00
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Santa Maria - Two Day Reserve

Description: If you love adventure, this one’s for you. We climb the fourth highest volcano in Guatemala, Santa María, whose peak stands at 3,772 meters above sea level. On the first day we leave the office at 10:00 am, first distributing camping equipment, food and instructions to all hikers. The ascent is difficult, taking approximately 4 to 5 hours. When we get to the top we can enjoy the great view, and if it is clear, we’ll be able to see the 11 highest and most important volcanoes in Guatemala as well as the impressive eruptions of Santiaguito. The second day we can see the sunrise over the highlands and the Pacific coast. The descent takes about 3 hours and we return to Xela at 11:00 am. Live the Experience!

NOTE: This is a difficult hike so you must be in good physical condition.
Starts at 10:00 am; back the next day at 10:00 am
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Santa Maria - Full Moon Reserve

Description: The Santa Maria full-moon hike is an experience that you shouldn’t miss! We will pick you up at your hotel or home-stay at midnight, heading directly to Llanos del Pinal 20 minutes south of Xela. The climb/hike takes four to five hours. At the summit we will enjoy coffee or hot chocolate and at 5:30 we will watch the sun rise. We can also see Santiaguito, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, erupting. Finally, if the morning is clear, we will be able to see the chain of volcanoes in northern Guatemala, including Tajamulco. We’ll arrive back in Xela at around 10 am. Live the Experience!!

NOTE: This is a difficult hike so you must be in good physical condition.
Starts at 12:00 am (midnight!); back the next day at 10:00 am
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Santa Maria and Santiaguito - Two Day Reserve

Description: This hike is especially for adventurers and people in good shape. We leave Xela at 5:00 am, driving south 20 minutes to Llanos del Pinal. We hike first to the Santiaguito viewpoint. After 1 hour, we begin the ascent of Santa Maria, which has an altitude of 3,772 meters. Time to climb 4 to 5 hours. At the top we will be able to see the whole volcanic line of Guatemala and a better angle of Santiaguito. Also, if the night is clear we can see some colors similar to lava. The next day we will see the stunning sunrise over the volcanoes located north of Guatemala and after assessing the landscape will begin to descend. The descent takes approximately 3 hours, reaching Xela at 10:30 am. Enjoy this adventure and live the experience!

NOTE: This is a difficult hike so you must be in good physical condition.
Starts at 5:00 am; back the next day at 10:00 am
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Mirador Santiaguito - Half Day Reserve

Elevation: Variable, approx. 2,510m (8,235 ft)
Location: Depto. Quetzaltenango, 10 km from Aldea El Palmar
Status: Active

Eruptive History: Santiaguito was born during the 1902 eruption of Santa María. It has been in continuous eruption since 1922. Volcanologists rate Santiaguito among the 10 most dangerous volcanos in the world (in terms of potential damage to persons and property).

Notes: Santiaguito has an ever changing shape, consisting of a twisted mass of lava flows, ash, lava fragments, and pyroclastic flows. In the recent past, this volcano has produced pyroclastic flows which encounter the nearby rivers resulting in lahars.The nearby town of El Palmar, 10km (6 mi) away, has been destroyed twice by lahars from Santiaguito. The lava dome currently growing on Santiaguito has volcanologists worried because it could collapse, unleashing a large pyroclastic flow.

Description: This is an easy hike that starts from the town of Llanos Del Pinal only 15 minutes away from Xela. It takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the lookout point. We stay for an hour where you can see Santiaguito small explosions of smoke and ash every 15 minutes and larger eruptions every hour. It takes an hour to descend and we return to Xela around noon.

MODERATE HIKE
Starts at 5:00am; back at 12:00pm
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Santiaguito Crater - Two Day Reserve

Notes: This volcano has a height of 2,500 meters above sea level, is located in the town of Llanos del Pinal, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and is currently the most active volcano in Guatemala and one of the ten most dangerous in the world. This volcano formed in the eruption of Santa Maria in 1902 and since 1922 has had continual eruptions. Each eruption reaches an approximate height of 500 meters.

Description: Two Day Hike - this hike is for people with some hiking experience and who are in good shape. On the first day starting at 5 am we drive to Llanos del Pinal located 20 minutes from the city, walking in the direction of Santa Maria, taking the road to the viewpoint of Santiaguito 2 hours, followed by 3 hours to descend into what is known as the beach, then climb 3 hours getting to camp at 5 o'clock or so. From the campsite you can watch the eruptions destroying rocks and forming lines like lava, or you can walk to a point some 150 meters from the campsite for a better view. This hike can definitely be categorized as an extreme adventure.

NOTE: This is a very difficult hike so you must be in good physical condition.
Starts at 5:00 am; back the next day at 5:00 pm
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Chicabal - Half Day Reserve

Elevation: 2,900m (9,514 ft)
Status: Extinct
Location: San Martín Sacatepéquez, Depto. Quetzaltenango.

Notes: Chicabal has a well formed cone and is heavily forested. In the center of the large crater at an elevation of 2,712m (8,898 ft), lies a lake with a diameter of 500m (1640 ft). This site is often used by the local Mayas to celebrate rituals.

Description: We leave Xela at 6:00am, picking you up at your hotel or homestay. This moderate hike starts from the town of San Martin Sacatepéquez (San Martin Chile Verde), 45 minutes away from Xela. We take 2 ½ hours hiking up through nature to arrive at the crater, actually now a lake. You can see many Mayan altars around the lake. We take an hour to enjoy the wonderful views and a close up of Mam culture. The descent takes about 45 minutes to the town of San Martin, from where we return to the city in private transportation.

MODERATE HIKE
Starts at 6:00 am; back at 1:00 pm
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Tajamulco - One Day Reserve

Elevation: 4,220m (13,845 ft)
Cone: Composite
Status: Extinct
Location: The municipality of Tajumulco, Depto. San Marcos, 17 km from the border with México.

Notes: Tajumulco is the tallest volcano in all of Central America. Tajumulco has two peaks. The higher peak at 4,220m (13,845 ft) has a crater 50m (160 ft) in diameter. The lower peak has an elevation of 4,100m (13,451 ft). The type of rock found on both peaks is hornblende andesite and pyroxene.

Description: This is a hike especially for visitors who do not have much time. At 4,220 meters (13,845 feet), Tajumulco is the tallest volcano in Central America. To make this trek you need to be in good physical condition. We leave at 4:30 am to collect the group from their hotels or host families, then head to Terminal minerva where we take the bus. First to San Marcos (1 ½ hours), then a different bus to the town of El Crucero Tuhichan Tajumulco, where we begin the hike. The climb takes approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes. At the peak we will eat lunch and take photos. If the sky is clear we will be able to see the entire line of volcanoes in Guatemala and also volcanic eruptions of the volcanoes Fuego and Santiaguito. After enjoying the view we will descend in around 2 ½ hours. We will return to Xela at approximately 7:00 pm.

DIFFICULT HIKE
Starts at 4:30 am; back at 7:00 pm
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Tajamulco - Two Day Reserve

Description: One of the best hikes in Guatemala brings you to the highest point in Central America and amazing views of every volcano in Guatemala. At sunrise you will see the chain of volcanoes which passes along the Pacific coast of Guatemala, aswell as the Pacific ocean itself and Mexico. The hike takes 2 days in total: on the first day we will pick you up from your hotel/hostel at 6:00am and bring you to our office in order to distribute food and equipment between the hikers. We will then travel by public transport to San Marcos, and then onto the base of our hike which lies at 2900m. The first part of the hike takes approximately 2 1/2 hours, to 4000m, where we will set up camp on flat ground. We will then ascend to the summit, wich lies at 4,220m, and takes approximately another hour. We will ascend to the summit again for sunrise and enjoy the view before descending and returning to Xela.

NOTE: Private transportation available for an additional charge when required by clients.
DIFFICULT HIKE
Starts at 6:00 am; back the next day at 1:00 pm
MINIMUN 4 PEOPLE

Trek Alaska to Fuentes Georginas - One Day Reserve

Description: This hike through nature shows us several different cultures and also allows us to appreciate the wonderful views of the volcanoes Santa Maria, Tajumulco and Santiaguito. This hike starts out from the hotel or home at 4:00 am. We take a private car for 1 ½ hours to the summit of Alaska. The first three hours are slightly uphill but the next few are downhill. If we walk without making much noise we have a chance to see a Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala, among many other kinds of birds. At the end of the hike we will arrive at wonderful volcanically-fueled thermal springs. After a relaxing soak we will take the car back to Xela.

MODERATE HIKE
Starts at 4:00 am; back at 6:00 pm
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Trek - Xela to Lake Atitlan - Three Days Reserve

Description: One of the best hikes in Guatemala. 3 days though villages, forest, farms and the best views of the most beautiful lake in the world, LAGO DE ATITLÁN.

Day 1: We start this day picking you up at your hotel or house in Xela. This trek starts in Cantel (altitude about 2400 meters), only 35 minutes away from Xela.

Day 2: After a night spent with families, we have the toughest day of the trip. We will descend for 1 ½ hours in forested surroundings of pine trees and coffee farms. The last part of this descent is the most difficult (30 minutes of very slippery slope), before we arrive at the Nahualate river at 1400 meters altitude. The goal of this part of the journey is Santa Clara la Laguna, which will take about 6 ½ hours to reach. Here we will spend the night in the house of an indigenous Quiché family.

Day 3: It is 5.00am, and we have to get up to see the sunrise from the viewpoint of Santa Clara la Laguna. This is situated just 10 minutes from the house where we spent the night. Afterwards, we will go back to the house to collect our luggage and start the descent to the lake, which will only take 3 hours. We will try to start at 8am, and after taking many pictures we will end the hike in San Pedro la Laguna.

DIFFICULT HIKE
Starts in Xela at 6:00 am; finishes in San Pedro La Laguna around 10:00 am
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Cerro Quemado - Half Day Reserve

Description: This easy hike allows you to appreciate many facets of Guatemalan culture. On the ascent you see religious celebrations of Evangelicals, Catholics, and Mayans as well as getting the best view of Quetzaltenango available in the area. The hike normally takes half a day, leaving Xela at 8:00 am. We leave from the office, driving to Almolonga before beginning the approx. 2 ½ hour hike. From the peak of Cerro Quemado we see the whole valley spread before us, a beautiful landscape. We descend in 1 ½ hours, arriving in Xela at about 1:00 pm. Get to know the culture around the city!

EASY HIKE
Starts at 8:00 am; back at 12:00 pm
MINIMUM 2 PEOPLE

Cerro Candelaria - One Day Reserve

Description: This is a moderate hike toward one of the best known peaks in the area near Quetzaltenango. This area is known for the Mayan ceremonies that take place along the route. We leave the city just after 5:00 am, heading towards the south coast of Guatemala for only 20 minutes. The ascent lasts around 3 hours. From the top we are able to see Xela and the volcanoes and valleys that ring the city.

DIFFICULT HIKE
Starts at 5:00 am; back at 2:00 pm
MINIMUM 4 PEOPLE

Pacaya - Half Day Reserve

Elevation: 2,550m (8,367 ft)
Cone: Composite
Eruption: Strombolian
Status: Active
Location: Between Guatemala City and Escuintla, 14.38ºN - 90.60ºW

Eruptive History: 1565; 1651 powerful ash eruption; 1664 3-day eruption; 1668; 1690 active; 1775; 1961; 1965 start of almost continuous eruption to the present; 1968 ash & small lava bombs; Oct-Nov 1983 explosions and Strombolian eruption; 1984-86 eruption producing ash columns to 8 km in height, 1988-1990 Strombolian eruption, 1998 eruption with ash fall in Guatemala City.

Notes: Pacaya is an active volcano and its shape is constantly changing. Pacaya is part of a range of peaks: Hoja de Queso at 2,090m (6,857 ft), Cerro Chiquito at 2,420m (7,940 ft), and Cerro de Agua at 2,560m (8,399 ft) which are part of a large volcanic caldera that includes Lake Amatitlán and Laguna de Calderas. The vent which is actually in eruption (Pico Mackenney) is fed by a secondary magma duct.

Desciption: This easy hike begins in the town of San Francisco, one hour away from Antigua, but we'll pick you up at your hotel. Pacaya is a National Park so there is a small entrance fee (not included). The hike takes 1 hour and 45 minutes, where you are able to walk near the crater getting a great view of the lava. We stay for about an hour feeling the heat and enjoying the beautiful view of the pacific coast of Guatemala.

MODERATE HIKE
Starts at 6:00 am; back at 2:00 pm
Or 2:00 pm; back at 7:00 pm
NO MINIMUM

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