Hiking in Guatemala – Great Places, Volcano Adventures, The Best Settlements


View on Guatemala when hiking

If you love to hike, Guatemala could be the destination for you. Hiking in Guatemala is one of the very best ways to enjoy the stunning and varied natural landscapes of this Central American country. From ascending volcanic peaks, to finding blissful swimming spots and ancient settlements hidden deep in the jungles – Guatemala might just be the ideal place for a hiking adventure.

Volcano Adventures

One of the most amazing things about hiking in Guatemala is that you will get the opportunity to hike on no fewer than 33 volcanoes. While is is, of course, unlikely that you will be able to ascend them all one one visit, many are easily accessible from the country’s major cities, and it is relatively easily to enjoy such an adventure.

Experienced adventurers could consider ascending Tajumulco, near the Mexican border, the highest volcano in Guatemala, and in all of Central America. Another popular, though tough, option is the climb to the summit of Acentenango – perhaps the most challenging of Guatemala’s volcanic peaks. Even more popular is the hike up Pacaya, an active volcano near Antigua. This has become one of the most popular hikes in the country.

If you are looking for something a little less challenging, beginners could consider ascending Ipala volcano. This is a good choice for more inexperienced hikers, and it will take only two hours or so to reach the top. Better yet, the effort is rewarded by a beautiful lagoon in the crater where you can cool off and take a dip before you begin the descent. If you are hiking around Lake Atitlan, San Pedro La Laguna is the easiest of the lake’s volcanos to hike.

A Walk and a Dip

Another great thing about hiking in Guatemala is that there are plenty of places where you can take a walk and then have a soak or a swim to cool off before you make the return journey. Some don’t even require you to scale an active volcano to get there!

For example, you could head for the natural saunas of Los Vahos, or take the three hour hike to swim in the crystal clear pools below Los Amates Waterfall.

Ancient Cultures & Historic Settlements

In Guatemala, natural beauty is all around. But this is also a wonderful place to explore human history. Around Lake Atitlan, for example, you will find plenty of beautiful little traditional villages. You could also consider a multi-day hike from Nebaj to explore the amazing, isolated villages of the Ixil Triangle. Head to Carmelitas and adventurous travelers could also consider the five day round trip trek to the ancient Mayan city of El Mirador – a hike taken by only a few hundred people each year.

There are of course many other amazing hiking routes in Guatemala – on the mountains and volcanoes, through the jungles and between stunning settlements. The above is just a small taste of what hikers could experience when they visit this beautiful country.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to wear for trekking in Guatemala?

If you plan to go to volcano hiking , make sure you do not wear sandals. Pick closed shoes or even boots. As for the clothes, although Guatemala is a warm country, at night you may need a bunch of warm clothes and a hat.

What to bring for hiking?

If you want to feel more comfortable, bring a hiking stick, headlight, more food and water.

What about money in the mountains?

This is the place where extra money can make your hiking experience better. First of all, there is an option to hire a porter, if you feel like you can not carry all the stuff you got with you. Secondly, if you buy a tour – more expensive tour includes more food, can be useful for those, who forgot about taking more food. And there is some shopping options around, you may need money for that.


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