- 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 María – Half Day
Elevation: 3,772 m (12,375 ft)
Cone: Strato volcano (Composite)
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.