Blogs from Volcán Tajamulco, Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


Yesterday I completed the final objective of Central America's high points, Volcán Tajumulco in Guatemala. Even though it is the highest of the high points it was by no means the most difficult. Actually, it was quite easy once we got to the trailhead, a 2 hour o'dark-thirty drive from Xela. Most people do the trek as an overnighter with a camp very high close to the summit. That normally involves taking chicken buses to and from the trailhead, each way a 3½ hour trip. Moreover, it is purportedly very cold and windy at the camp making for an uncomfortable and sleepless night. One day round trip was the way to go and I was lucky one of the tour operators had such a trip going the day after I arrived in Xela. $US ≈ 7.7 ... read more
Volcán Tajumulco
Volcán Tacaná
Volcán Tajumulco

Wczoraj wybrałem się na dwudniowy trekking na wulkan Tajumulco – 4220m. Wulkan uważany jest za najwyższy szczyt Ameryki Centralnej. Od czasu pobytu białego człowieka na kontynencie amerykańskim nie zanotowano erupcji tego wulkanu i uznawany jest on za wygasły. Idę tam z agencją Quetzaltrekkers. Agencja ta to organizacja non profit, która pieniądze klientów przeznacza na różne projekty rozwojowe w gwatenalskich szkołach. Przewodnicy to woluntariusze. Do wyboru są też agencje komercyjne, ale są droższe i kasa trafia do kieszeni prywatnych. Trekking poprzedza – dzień wcześniej – spotkanie w siedzibie agencji, na którym omawiane są zasady obowiązujące podczas trekkingu. Dodatkowo można sobie wypożyczyć sprzęt, którego nam brakuje, a który będzie potrzebny na trekkingu tj. namiot, spiwór, materac itp. Tak naprawdę to nie ma sensu niczego przywozi... read more
Początek trekkingu
Base camp :)
W oczekiwaniu na zachód słońca

When you're in Guatemala, it's hard not to notice the moutains. It takes hours to get everywhere as you weave up and down and between them, your ears popping as you cope with the altitude. At night they're lit up by trememdous thunderstorms. In Xela itself, surrounded by mountains and the enormous Santa Maria, you're already at 2000m. So it would be silly just to stare at them, and not climb one. Right? Xela is home to a number of tour agencies, but Quetzaltrekkers caught my eye - both in the guidebook and on the street. The guidebook informed me that they were a non-profit (a favourite phrase of mine) organisation, staffed by volunteers. My introductory chat at the beautifully painted Casa Argentina in town informed me that entirety of their income goes towards a home ... read more
Me, Carrie and some of the UD crew on the way up
View from the top
A cloudy sunrise

1) Hiking: the bad ass way (moonlight, sunrises, and early morning light) 2) San Salvador: La Capital 1) Hiking: the bad ass way. The Thursday before I left guatemala i went on a midnight hike to climb Volcan Tajamulco, the highest point in Central America at 4220 m (13,845 feet). The key here is Midnight Full Moon hike, which means starting at 12 midnight and hiking by moon light to see sunrise from the peak. We left Xela at 10 pm and started the hike at 12:30 am Friday morning. Our goal was to make it to the summit (of central america!) by 5:45 to see the sunrise. At first it was tough to see because there were clouds. But after hiking for 2 hours we climbed above the clouds and could see beautifuly. Not only ... read more
lush farmland 2
clouds behind the forest
performing at the bus station in Guatemala City

nobody signed up to go to lago this weekend, so i finally was able to climb tajumulco. not a whole lot to be said....i am going to let the pictures tell most of the story. the climb is pretty interesting. the entire hillside is strewn with boulders from eruptions hundreds of years ago. you ascend through living forests and dead forests (rumor has it that the government destroyed parts of tajumulco because of possible poppy growth on its hillsides...another rumor claims that all the trees died because of a pine beetle...yet another rumor says that chemical warfare was used against the guerillas that occupied the mountain during the civil whats the real story?....saber.) we camp 200 meters shy of the summit, and climb the adjoining peak, cerro concepcion, to watch the sunset. from the top ... read more
on the summit of cerro concepcion
suns last moments (that´s the ocean way out there)
shadow of tj

Where to begin, I am not so sure so I will back up to the last e-mail. Since our last e-mail Tim got the job at the guide shop, the name of it is Old Town Outfitters. Those of you that don’t know Antigua means antique, this is a very old colonial town, hence Antigua or Old Town. Here is the link to the place Tim works careful you might want to visit after reading all the different adventures you can go on! Which leads me to our next topic, we have moved into a small 2 bedroom house (room for guests) it is quite quaint and cute. This house also has a roof view however it is not nearly as good a view or garden (YET) but we do have a lime and papaya ... read more
cute and quaint little house
cutie petutie

Hello from Guatemala - hope you are all going well. Another quick update on my travel adventures...... My latest travel adventure has been climbing the Tajamulco Volcano, the highest point in Central America at 4220 metres. This was a two day hike with a local tour company called Queztaltrekkers (highly recommended if you´re ever in the area). We hiked straight uphill for six hours on the first day, slept in damp and overcrowded tents overnight, then got up at 3.30am (that´s in the morning people!) to make it to the summit by dawn. Now someone pointed out to me that Tajamulco can´t be that good as it is not even the highest point on a continent, meaning that everyone who has climbed Kosciusko in Aus has actually achieved more. Well all I can say is, stuff ... read more
´The view from the top
Guatemalan Countryside

hey, so here is the bit where we went to western guatemala and climbed the highest volcano in central america. It is 4220 m high. the dates on the blog are completely arbitrary as i cant quite remember when we were there. so the volcano was awesome, super super cool sunset and sunrise..was soo soo cold on the top and including altitute sickness was pretty hard. worth it though! on the way back towards antigua i had to put my backpack (geremi) on the top (check out the pic) of the bus when we were in a traffic jam...and i guess the traffic moved so the bus started speeding along while i was on i had to climb down, camera in mouth hanging on to the bars and climb in the backdoor (the buses here ... read more
Guatemalas volcanoes
from top

Well, I finally did it! For a while now I had really been aching to get out and go camping. In Boone, NC it is so easy to just head out for a day or two. But here I can really only go on day trips which are nice but after awhile, just don´t do it for me. I knew I had wanted to do a hike with Quetzaltrekkers for a long time now, but I was worried cause it costs about $50 US to do the hike (though it includes gear, food, transportation when not hiking, etc) and since I have time here, I really didn´t want it to rain when I spend that much money and my ONE free weekend a month. I woke up at 4 am Saturday morning and ate peanut-buttered toast, ... read more
Starting Point
Saturday, Foggy Saturday
Waking Up

The last of our hikes was to Volcano Tajumulco the highest point in Central America at 4220 meters. This was only for 2 days, which we were glad for as the weather was crap. The first day we had to be up at 4am and then get on the lovely chicken buses. It took us the first day to get to base camp which is about 300m from the top then we set up camp. We were all wet and cold so we just got some dry clothes on and stayed in our sleeping bags for a few hours then made and ate diner before going to bed once again about 7pm as it was too cold to stay out of the sleeping bag! Once again we were up early at 3.30am to climb to the ... read more
It´s a bit cold!
Volcan Tajumulco
Volcan Tajumulco

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