Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Santa Maria

Last week my buddy Felix and I did a hike up on to the vulcano Santa Maria. We have chosen to do that trip with Quetzaltrekkers, a charity organization which founded a shool for street kids and a home for them as well. All the guids work as vonlounteers and the profits are geared towards the housing and schooling projects for the kids. 

From the bus the whole thing didn't look too bad.

Once we were a top of the mountain after some 4.5 hours of hiking and leaving about 1500 meters of elevation behind us we got to see the first eruption of the Vulcano Santiaugito, way down below the clouds.

As the sun was setting...

...we have put up our camp in a...

...reasonably well wind sheltered area on the top of Santa Maria.

Our guide Mat was cooking dinner for us while Felix and I observed the second eruption shooting up ashes through the clouds.

Felix enjoying the sun-set...

...quick and beautiful.

And more action at Santiaugito.

Finally it got quiet, the sun disapeared and on the other side...

...Xela showed it's lights.

Early in the morning Felix is observing the amazing atmosphere prior to sun rise.

I am speechless...

...of natures beauty.

a small smoke cloud coming off Santiaugitos crater...

...while the sun is makes an appearance at the horizon...

...and shows the impressive size of Santa Maria in a huge shadow thrown into the valleys...

...coming closer with the sun rising higher.


By that time Mat has cooked us a tea and some hot granola, which makes our "nature cinema" exprience nearly perfect.

A small cloud anounnces...

...an eruption...

...and just minutes later another one...

...and another one just as we get ready to leave.

Starting our descent towards the city.

Entering the tree line again.

Bizarre ice formations prove the low temperatures we had experienced through the night.

Rapidly descending.

Reaching our first stop and yesterdays lunch break position after about 1.5 hours.

From here on it is gradually descending...

...while getting dustier and dustier...

...finally reaching mountain farm land, just before we are getting ready to reach the bus station and heading back to Xela.

A wonderful experience thanks to Quetzaltrekkers, with an wonderful ideal behind it and a good cause to hike for. 

By now I have joined Spanish classes again, but ever so often my mind is taking a hike and goes back to the wonderful experience I had up on that mountain. 

Thanks Mat, for being an excellent guide, thanks Felix for the mountaineer friendship.


  1. Amazing! A friend from another messageboard linked me to your blog. Told me you were also doing the PanAm in an old Toyota. I am very jealous of your cruiser, that thing is badass! We are driving an 87 4Runner, Were also in Guatemala right now. I have been talking with Felix too actually. Small world. Ill be following along now. Hope to see you on down the road.


  2. BEAUTIFUL images! and very inspiring.
    We are heading to Guatemala in November. The kids will be amazed by the volcano pictures.

    Glad to know you are ALIVE! (Clarencio was worried...)