Volcano Santa Maria (Xela)

Guatemala is known for its volcanoes, mountains, markets, pre-Colombian ruins and lake. We love to hike, so we signed up for a hike to the top of volcano Santa Maria with the Quetzaltrekkers. On our way to the top of the volcano we hiked through the clouds, and a spectacular view met us at the top of the volcano in 3700 meters.

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The climb to the top was steep… and it was up hill all the way, without to many breaks. Our guide Hannah from Germany (to the left in the picture) made sure that we got safely to the top. Telling about the big Santa Maria eruption in October 1902. The largest explosions occurred over two days, ejecting an estimated 5.5 cubic km (1.3 cu mi) of magma. The eruption was one of the largest of the 20th century. The pumice (volcanic rock) formed in the climactic eruption fell over an area of about 273,000 square km (105,000 sq mi), and volcanic ash as far away as San Francisco (4,000 km/2,500 mi) away.

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Watch our short video and get the highlights from our last days in Mexico and our two hiking trips in Guatemala:


At the top of Santa Maria we had “Mosh” (warm cereal/porridge), that in Guatemala is oatmeal mixed with boiling water and fx milk powder, granola, peanut butter, jam or cocoa powder etc. You can pretty much mix in what you like.

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When we left top of Santa Maria it was all cloudy and the amazing view was gone… so it is really important to go in the morning. We started the ascent at 6: 00 in the morning, and were at the top at 9 am.

Flowers at the top of Santa Maria. The locals bring gifts to the top, because they are closer to God, which makes all the mountains and volcanoes sacred to the locals

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It got chilly on the top and we started our descent…

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On our way down we met several local people going up. One of the locals carrying a turkey (IT WAS ALIVE) to barbeque at the top of Santa Maria

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Almost at the bottom of Santa Maria

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Taking one of the local “chicken buses” back to Xela (Esben is sitting next to our guide Hannah). A great day for a great hike…

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I tracked the hike on Santa Maria on my Garmin Fenix 3

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Back at the hostel we had the opportunity to cook fresh vegetables, potatoes and ground beef in the small kitchen. We only used one carrot – but it was a BIG carrot!

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The view from our room at the hostel, one of the dogs running around on the roof

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We decided to go on a 3-day hike with Quetzaltrekkers from Xela to Lago de Atitlán… more about the hike in the next post. Until then – KEEP WALKING wlEmoticon-thumbsup Volcano Santa Maria (Xela)

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