Volcano-hopping: Tajumulco and San Pedro

4 Jul

I´ve had an eventful few weeks.  Made it from San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico to Xela, Guatemala.  Stayed there for three weeks with a wonderful family and brushed up my Spanish at a local language school.  Also, did a killer sunrise hike to the top of the highest point in Central America, el Vulcan Tajumulco, with Quetzaltrekkers, and awesome non-profit that organizes hikes and treks all over Guatemala..  We hiked up to a base camp the first day, spent a rainy and cold night in our tents there, and then summited at 4am…definitely a thrill, and a highlight from Guatemala so far.

I´m now in San Pedro La Laguna, in Lago Atitlán.  I was using the internet at a coffee shop yesterday, and some guys came in to organize a trip to the top of Volcán San Pedro, overlooking the lake, the following morning at 4am.  I decided to hop in with them. We woke up to a warm, clear, dark early morning today, knocked off two hours of steady, tough climbing (one of the toughest hikes I´ve ever done!) and made it to the top just after sunrise (and just before the morning mist rolled in).  The hike was muddy, with mini-landslides and downed trees in a few parts of the trail from recent rains.  The view was absolutely amazing while it lasted…pretty much a straight look down at the whole lake and the surrounding volcanoes!  It felt like being in an airplane, like floating above the whole lake on a tiny outcropping of rock.   I think it´s gonna be tough to go back to east-coast hiking when I´m home!

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