Volcano San pedro, Lake Atitlan:.
We were supposed to leave to San Pedro at 7am. That was the plan. It was almost 8:30 and we were on the dock waiting for the boat to show up, we had coffee before deciding it was probably time to head to the dock and make our way to San Pedro, which is at least 30 minutes away from Santa Cruz La Laguna on a public boat.
We arrived in San Pedro around 9am. From the town we noticed that there were small clouds passing close to the top of the sleeping giant, but most of the time it seemed as if it was going to be a clear day, perfect to have a wide view from the lake once on top of Volcano San Pedro.
We jumped on a tuc-tuc in town, and it took us about 15 minutes to get to the entrance of the park where the path to the volcano is at. Once at the entrance there are zero options to buy supplements, so it’s a good idea to buy water, power bars, seeds, or any other food or beverage to help you summit the volcano. I noticed there were thick sticks before heading into the path, I regret I didn’t took at least one to help me hike the steep path. Before entering the path, one has to pay a 100 Quetzales fee, which includes the entrance to the park, helps to keep the park cleen and the company of a guide that walks you for 20-25 minutes through the parts of the path where it could be easy to get lost without a guide.
After 20 minutes of walking with Jose, that was the name of our guide, he left us by our own to make our way to the top. The path is steep most of the way, intense, but we are in good condition, and didn’t stopped in the resting areas for long. There are two resting areas on the way to the top. The first one is around 300 meters after the guide leaves, the construction is a 2 stores terrace with an impressive view of the town of San Pedro and Lake Atitlan, it has benches to sit down and rest for a bit. The second resting area is about 300-350 meters up the path, and it’s personally my favorite one. It has a small hut with a long bench, and beside it there is a pneumatic attached with a safe climbing cord to a tree, I got ahold of the neumatic and swang off the cliff, which is at a height of about 10 meters about the forest, it feels so good to have the breeze just passing through your sweaty body. I had a great view from the forest and the lake while in the air, and of the trees and bushes below me too. It was kind of cool to have company while we rested in the spot, an old dog was just chilling and resting under the shade from the trees next to the neumatic by the cliff.
This is the last resting area before reaching the base camp. And the path gets steeper and there are many steps on the way up, so we gasped for air more than a few times. I think the most impressive and attractive part of the path is the way the flora changes, the bushes get thicker and the trees are higher and covered with fungus because of the dew at night, it doesn’t feel hot at all, of curse we were sweating and covered with dust but the shades helped a lot to keep our bodies fresh, and the view of the lake and the mountains around it just kept on getting better and better.
We were smart enough to had carried chocolates, water and seeds from town, because once we got to the base camp, after 1 hour of walking on a steep path, we were hungry and thirsty, there is nothing to buy in the base camp, it is just a place to catch up your breath, recharge batteries, have a small meal, and head back into the track to hike the last 200 meters until reaching the top of the volcano.
On our way along the path we found many people coming back down, some of them seemed very disappointed because they found the top of the volcano cloudy and cold. Our hopes to have a wide view from summit point flattered a little. We probably reached the top around 12:30pm., and we were lucky enough to find the top clear and sunny. There were only a couple chilling at the top and they were about to leave once we arrived, we had the top for ourselves for about 1 hour and a half, we appreciated the lake, each with our own thoughts, that we latter tried to express, we were very grateful?? Of being all friends and having the opportunity to reach the top, and to have a clear sky that made it easy to check on the other towns nearby the volcano. Volcano Toliman is in front of the summit point and the difference is that it is a higher than Volcano San Pedro, and that it has 2 peaks.
We ate a little and toast with Guatemalan spirits on top, and after a while we head back down, my knees felt the downhill on the way back, but nothing to worry about. After our hiking adventure we were super hungry and we decided to go to Mikaso, inside San Pedro town, for some pizza. I guess we were a little high crazy in the head because we ordered 3 gigantic pizzas, and ended up just eating 1 and a half. We took the rest back with us, of course, just to have it later.
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