Santa Maria volcano is the largest peak of the "Diez Señores," or "Ten Gentlemen," that surround the city Quetzaltenango.
It's an almost perfect cone of 3,772 meters above sea level, where you have a beautiful view: the tops of other volcanoes on a sea of clouds, the coastal plain of the south coast and as a highlight the eruptions of Santiaguito volcano.
Note: This is a difficult climb and not for everyone!
Options for the ascent:
Early in the morning you will be picked up at your hotel or homestay. After a short 30-minute ride from Xela we reach the foot of the volcano. The climb is very intense and can take 3-5 hours. The descent is not necessarily faster or easier. For this tour, you do have to have a reasonable physical condition; most people find it harder than expected.
Departure: 5:00h, back at +/- 13:00h
What to Bring: Sturdy shoes, at least 2 liters of water, food, a flashlight (we start before sunrise), warm clothing that you can take off layer by layer, sunscreen, sunglasses, maybe binoculars and camera.
Included: Transportation, guide(s) and equipment
This is the tour for adventurers! On the first day, we gather at 10:00 at the office of the participating tour operator. Here we divvy up camping gear and food and get instructions. Because we have to bring everything the ascent goes slower and will take 4 to 5 hours to reach the summit. If we are lucky, we?ll have a good view, so we are able to see 11 of the main peaks in Guatemala. We also have a view to Santiaguito with its outbursts and maybe at night you can see the lava flow. The next morning we experience the sunrise and then we descend to get back to Xela at 11:00.
departure: day 1 - 8:00h, back at: day 2 - 11:00h
What to Bring: Sturdy shoes, at least 4 liters of water, well-fitting big trekking-backpack, warm clothing you can take off layer by layer, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, maybe binoculars and if you brought some to Guatemala, your own camping gear.
Included: Transportation, guide(s) and equipment, 3 meals (lunch, dinner and breakfast the 2nd day) and 4 liters of purified water per person
Optional: Porter service is available.
To give the climb of the Santa Maria an extra dimension, it is possible to climb the slopes of the volcano during the full moon. By the light of the full moon, it is not necessary to use flashlights. When we reached the top we have a hot drink to keep ourselves warm, and not long after this the sun will come up and give you a great view. Note the shadow of the Santa Maria herself! It is a perfect triangle on the forests at the base of the mountain. After sunrise, the view is fantastic, you might even see the coast. Also, the Santiaguito will probably awake and welcome us with an eruption.
Departure: 0:00hr, back at: 11:00h
What to Bring: Sturdy shoes, at least 2 liters of water, food, a flashlight (if you still need more light), warm, wind-proof clothing that you can take off layer by layer, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera and maybe binoculars.