Santa Maria Volcano

Santa Maria Volcano, Quetzaltenango: Address, Phone Number, Santa Maria Volcano Reviews: 4.5/5

Santa Maria Volcano
The area
Popular mentions

157 reviews
Very good

San Clemente, CA10 contributions
Great hike but lots of trash on mountain
Feb. 2020 • Solo
It’s pretty and hard to reach the top but worth it. It’s a bummer that there is so much trash on mountain.
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eric W
2 contributions
Febuary 29, 2020 summit update
Feb. 2020
This was my 5th time to the summit of Santa Maria. It is one of my favorite volcanos because the trail is so green as you walk through the local farms at the beginning (or wrap around the R side if you head to the Mirador) and there are a lot of colorful and friendly Mayans. I have never had a problem. My second time up I went with a group from the spanish school I was studying at, and I do highly recommend going with a group at some point as you learn about the area and culture. However, for those of you that, like myself, enjoy doing stuff yourself. You definitely can easily and relatively safely. I carry about 50-100Q to satiate thieves if there were any. The only other valuable I carry is my cell, which would suck to loose. I do not believe anyone would actually harm you if you broke yourself. Very important (in life in general, but more-so in Guate), is to greet everyone with a smile and say 'buenos dias, buena tarde, buenos, etc). I also think it is a nice idea to bring an extra bag to pack out others trash. Central americans are an uneducated bunch and trash the environment; if we want to change this, burn borders and nations.

Ok now what you want, how to. Camionetas to Llano de Pinal Q2.50, 30min (chicken buses) leave constantly from parque Calvario or anywhere along Avenida de las Americas. Ive never waited more than 10 min. Just google map to Calvario, and ask the driver or others at the stop 'ir a Llano'? If you like to run, you can also just run to Llano then trail run up the Volcan. This adds about 8 miles return and is interesting and bad ass though dusty. When you get to Llano, get off at the corner when the bus turns left. Walk straight towards Volcan Santa Maria, the road ends and trail starts. The trail is strenuous but not dangerous (nowhere to fall). Easy to follow if you have a good sense of direction. Just read this and look at some maps, or google maps, before you go. You do not need a map. There are many forks in the trail but they all reunite for the most part. Just stay on the one that looks like the main one, and if there are two equals, always hang left until you get to 'la mesita' which is a grassy knoll. Here, you need to take a right and head straight up the Volcan. I am from the G-spot Colorado and hike fast. I summit in just under or over 2 hours (return 1h) depending on if I drank Cabro or Quetzalteca the night before respectively. Groups take 4 hours. True that you need to summit very early (before 9 but may vary) if you want the best view or any view of active Santiguito on Santa Maria's southern flank; Santiguito actually erupts before your eyes every couple hours! Camping on the summit is a great idea. I have done this hike in the evening though as well (more for the trail run), and that is also totally worth it. Bring a headlamp, and be careful once you get to treeline (within 10 min of the top) as clouds can roll in rapidly, thick fog, and it is easy to not remember which side of the summit you came up as there are trails going off in all directions. There were friendly police on the trail today 29/2/20 (some individuals or groups higher them). Have fun, vote democrat, and ask if you have any further ?s.
Written 29 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michelle H
County Cork, Ireland5 contributions
Hiked Jan 31st 2020 - Was safe and the view was great
Jan. 2020 • Couples
Hiked the Santa Maria Volcano today by ourselves. We got the chicken bus for 2.5Q to Pinal by the cemetery and hiked from there - starting hiking at 6.45 ish and got to the top at 9.20. Nice hike, tough at times especially the last hour but doable, slow and steady ☺️ Lots of rubbish however on the trail which was sad to see, especially at the summit. Lots of locals were on top of the summit praying which was nice to see. Never had any trouble thankfully, no bandits etc. However safety in numbers and don’t bring valuables. Views at the top were fab and we saw the volcano erupt which was epic. Fog started to roll in by 11.30 as it was a super clear day but we headed back down the trail by 11.10 I think. Saw other hikers do it by themselves as well as other hikers with a guide so it depends on what you want. Saved us 400Q doing it ourselves which was awesome! Local chicken bus back to Xela only takes 20 mins - perfect! Would recommend if looking for something to do in Xela!
Written 31 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Concord, NC23 contributions
Great hike for the adventurous family.
May 2019
As we walked around Xela this majestic volcano continued to tempt our adventurous side and was begging to be hiked. Being the family we are, we accepted and definitely had moments of WTH. Upon arrival at the peak, all doubts disappeared. What a great experience for us all both mentally and physically! We elected for a guide and would unquestionably get one again. It's a hike up a volcano so it's going to be challenging. My sons' age 15 and 8 were able to hike it, so can you!
Written 24 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

62 contributions
Depends on the weather!
Jun. 2019 • Solo
This is a nice hike you can do without a guide (but I suggest not going all alone), it's a short bus ride away from Xela and that's where the hike starts. There are signs along the path and it is largely self explanatory. Make sure to leave early, it usually gets cloudy at around noon and you can't see Santiaguito (an active volcano) anymore. Check out the weather, we arrived at 10am but unfortunately it was totally clouded.
Written 14 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK6 contributions
Easy hike, but.....
Dec. 2019
2 things to point out: it does overcast normally at about 7 am max. to be able to see anything ( i.e. Santiaguito volcano in action ) one should get there before that. And more important: this volcano does hold some serious spiritual meaning to the local mayan community. Hence one should seek some information beforehand if it is an appropriate time to visit ( sometimes it might not be ) and behave accordingly. Much appreciated.....
Written 11 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John K
Raleigh, NC75 contributions
Excellent vistas - challenging hike
Jun. 2019
Get ready to climb upward on a trail with varied terrain. We got an early start with a trail guide. The trail was challenging with the most difficult part over the last hour of the ascent where it was steeper and more rocky with several switchbacks. Along the way, there were beautiful vistas of the surrounding country side and mountains. Once on the summit, the views were astounding, and, in many directions, above the clouds. The guide was knowledgeable and fun, sharing some history and facts. However, speaking Spanish is a must as 99% of all Guatemalans speak only Spanish and those that do speak English generally only know a few words. We had a garbage bag and collected litter mostly in the form of plastics and glass at the top and carried it back down with us. Santa Maria is within 20 minutes of Xela/Quetzaltenango. Since this is a mountainous region, the temperature is very reasonable but do bring sunscreen especially for the way down as some of the clouds heightened (fog burned off). I wore a light rain jacket much of the way and it was very comfortable. There were few hikers to be seen. At the top, we did see other hikers ascending from a different route. There is safety in numbers and they had a group of 7 people. Our guide questioned and cautioned a single female hiker in pertains to bandits that can stalk the other trails (opposite side on the one we took). Total hiking time was 7 hours with ample breaks and nearly an hour at the top.
Written 9 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cartmel, UK162 contributions
Hike !
Apr. 2019 • Solo
A relatively straightforward hike cost 250 quetzelas 5am pick up
The volcano is a very short ride away from the centre of Xela if you are relatively fit I was up and down in five hours and having brunch by 11.30am and I’m 52 please do not be tempted to camp on the mountain this is totally unnecessary and from an environmental point of view terrible due to the mess left by others
I used monte verde brilliant agency just me and the guide ! Min 2 you can set your own pace
I would recommend a guide ...time 3 hours from trail head to summit 2 back down total distance 12km in total . It’s Central America’s no4 and well worth the hike if I’m Xela
Written 7 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Quinten Jiskoot
Amsterdam, The Netherlands463 contributions
I climbed the volcano, one of the most impressive walks I made
Apr. 2018 • Solo
It is a tough walk to the top, also because the altitude (more than 3700 meters) makes it difficults. But the view on top was worth the effort. I could see many other volcanoes above the clouds. And below the smoke of the Santiaguito. I will never forget this experience.
Written 13 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Junet B
4 contributions
A Magnificent Climb with Casa Xelaju
Feb. 2018 • Friends
Just last weekend I hiked up Volcan Santa Maria with some friends and a guide from Casa Xelaju. We left at 2:30am to catch the sunrise at the top, and we got their just in time! The view from above is astounding, and we got to see a sunrise above the clouds. It's a tough climb, but definitely worth the effort. If you get there in the morning, you should be able to see smoke from an active volcano below. I wouldn't recommend going without somebody who knows the area as there are a multitude of trails that could lead you in every which way. If your interested in doing the hike, Casa Xelaju is more than happy to take people up there for a small fee. They can also take you up Cerro Quemado - a less touristy, but nonetheless beautiful volcano.
Written 16 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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