top of page

Santa María Volcano Hike

Duration: ½ DAY
Starts at 5:00 am back at 13:00
Minimum: 4 people
Elevation: 3,772 m (12,375 ft)
Cone: Stratovolcano (Composite)
Eruption: Plinian
Status: Active
Location: Depto. Quetzaltenango, 14.758ºN – 91.548ºW

Eruptive History:
October the 24th of 1902 violent Plinian eruption with a large quantity of magma, part of the cone ruptured. An explosion crater on the side gave birth to Santiaguito.


The tour starts at 5am picking you up at you Hotel or Home stay in Xela, we will bring you to town of Llanos del Pinal only 15 minutes away from the city where we start the hike 4-5 hours ascent through the forest, stay for 1 or maybe 1 ½ Hours, enjoy the view of other volcanoes like Tajumulco, Tacaná, Atitlán, San Pedro, Acatenango, the Pacific coast and sometimes if the sky is clear you can see all the way to Mexico. And the best part about this hike is that you can see Santiguito, an active volcano, doing eruptions every 15 minutes, big ones every hour. The descent takes about 3 hours, late around 1:00 pm we ride back to Xela.


Santa María is part of a volcanic system which includes Volcán Siete Orejas and Volcán Chicabal. The local Mayans call this volcano “Gagxanul” which means naked mountain. Eruptions were noted by the Spanish in the XVI century. The 1902 eruption produced lava flows which traveled up to 8.6 km (5.3 mi). The city of Quetzaltenango was buried under a half-meter tall pile of ash and the ash column reached an altitude of 30 km (100,000 feet).

bottom of page