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1998-2016


Special Interest Tours


Climb Guatemala - December & March - 8 & 11-Day Options

Guatemala is home to 37 volcanoes that form a chain parallel to the Pacific coastline. This tour incorporates the scaling of  five or, optionally six, of these peaks. Volcanoes selected well-represent the range of possible climbing experiences along the length of this chain. The list includes the highest volcano in Central America and two active volcanoes. The itinerary provides for one volcano climb daily except for periods required to travel between sites and some brief respites in Antigua, Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan, places of major tourist interest.

Guatemala's climate is semi-tropical. Weather is Spring-like year-round. The tour dates are in Guatemala's dry season, when views during climbs are most spectacular.  Climbs are physically but not technically demanding. No special gear is required beyond good hiking shoes and back pack.

Following  is the climbing order for the tour.  Climb times are as estimated in the Guatemalan Andino Club's Guia de Los Volcanes de Guatemala.


 

 

Pacaya (elev. 2550 meters) ACTIVE

1 3/4 hour ascent, 1 hour descent. The most active of the six and a relatively easy climb, due in large measure to a motorized approach which permits a high start point. This volcano is undertaken first, as a conditioning consideration. 


Agua (elev. 3766 meters) DORMANT

5 hour ascent, 3 hour descent. Begins in the town of Sta. Maria Jesus, a relatively high departure point. Offers breathtaking views of historic Antigua and its surroundings. Its crater holds a soccer field and a chapel dedicated to El Cristo Negro.


Toliman (elev. 3134 meters, 3158 meters) DORMANT

7 hour ascent. While lower than Agua, the descent begins at the base and makes for a more arduous hike. This volcano, on the shores of Lake Atitlan, is distinguished by having twin peaks (and craters.) The summit is home of the rare (and sometimes seen) horned guan.


Atitlan (elev. 3537 meters) ACTIVE

8 hour ascent, 5 hour descent (if undertaken as a separate climb) - Atitlan is joined at the base with Toliman and the two are climbed sequentially, with an overnight stay on the saddle they share. The time to the top from the saddle is roughly 2 1/2 hours. The descent time from top to base is rated at five hours. Atitlan is also home of the horned guan. While Atitlan is somewhat lower than Agua and Tajumulco, it is rated by the Guatemala Andino club as a tougher climb than both. Atitlan is marginally active, with steam fissures (fumarolas) and hot spots at the top. On a clear day Atitlan offers peerless views of Lake Atitlan and south to the Pacific Coast.


 

Tajumulco (elev. 4220 meters) DORMANT

5 hour ascent, 3 hour descent - This is the tallest volcano and the highest point in all of Central America. The relatively short ascent time is due both the advantage of the motorized approach to a high start point and the relatively moderate grade until the base of the summit. The top offers amazing views along almost the entire chain of Guatemala's volcanoes.


...and optionally

Acatenango (elev. 3976 meters) DORMANT

7 hour ascent, 4 hour descent - This climb rivals that of Toliman/Atitlan in difficulty. From the top, one is afforded a spectacular view down to the top of Acatenango's sister volcano Fuego which remains active.

The 5 volcano package is a 8-day tour. The 6 volcano package is a 11-day tour. Both tours are scheduled to minimize weekend air travel. Participants arrive in Guatemala City and spend the night there at a hotel included in the tour packet. The following morning the group will be assembled and move on to Antigua and to begin the series of tour activities. Participants will be returned to overnight in Guatemala City in preparation for departure on the last day of their 8 or 11-day tour.

Prices include all in-country transportation, lodging to include arrival & final nights in Guatemala City, guided tours of Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and Chicastenango, guided volcano climbs, all breakfasts and some other meals. Volcano guide services include security, local & English language guides, water, pack lunches, and sleeping bags & camp meals for the one overnight climb.

Registration is limited to 20 persons. Deposit of 50% must be received by our agency in advance. Refund of 50% of deposit will be made for documented medical emergency until one week prior to tour start date.Final payment must be received no later than one week prior to tour start date.

NOTE:  Our difficulty ratings are based on our judgment of what a well-conditioned, young to middle-aged hiker accustomed to hiking between 1 and 4,000 feet above sea-level would feel.  Our lakeside elevation is 4,500 feet.  All hiking is done during the day time at temperatures normally in the 70s and 80s (Fahrenheit degrees).  Lodging for overnight tours is in simple hotels.  All hikes originate and terminate at Posada Los Encuentros study center in Panajachel at Lake Atitlan.  They all include an orientation on the history, geography and cultures of the lake.