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Hiking Volcano San Pedro on Lake Atitlan

Guatemalan Coffee Trees

Guatemalan Coffee Trees

San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

It was time to conquer Volcano San Pedro, on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan. The 9900 foot extinct volcano had been sitting there, laughing at me for the past few weeks.

Three of us ended up deciding to hire a guide, even though I’m not a big fan of that. But it turned out we would’ve needed to pay the same fee to enter the trail on our own anyway. Plus there are no trail signs (probably on purpose).

Ultimately I was happy we did it though, because the man we got was worth every penny!

Volcano Cornfield

Volcano Cornfield

The day began when we met our older & experienced guide Pedro at 7am. We jumped in a little TukTuk for a ride up to the trailhead. After checking in at the hut, we began walking up a path through thousands of coffee trees.

Soon after came steep mountainside corn fields. The dark volcanic soil is incredibly rich in nutrients, which is why the locals grow many of their crops up here.

San Pedro Jungle Trail

San Pedro Jungle Trail

About an hour into the hike, the landscape started turning into lush green jungle. I now realized why Pedro had brought a giant machete!

You could see that trees would sometimes fall across the path, and Pedro was not only guiding us, but also helping to maintain the trail itself.

San Pedro Volcano Flower

San Pedro Volcano Flower

It was wet, muddy, and steep, so Pedro cut some fresh walking sticks to help us out a bit.

Vines began dropping down out of the trees, creating a tangled web. I started seeing all kinds of flowers, mushrooms, trees, and other plants that I had never seen before. It was all completely new to me, and I loved it!

Thick Jungle Hike

Thick Jungle Hike

Finally we reached the top after about 3 hours of hiking. The view was spectacular! Lake Atitlan was spread out before us, surrounded by mountains and other volcanos.

Unlike lakes in the United States, Lake Atitlan doesn’t have many boats on it. This makes it seem that much more untouched and serene.

After an hour on the summit, my amigos and our guide Pedro hiked back down, while I spent an extra hour at the top. Photos wouldn’t do this experience justice, I needed video.

I also wanted to really soak it all in, and only 1 hour at the top didn’t feel like enough time. It was cold & windy up there, so I threw on my jacket to bundle up.

Hiking Volcano San Pedro

Hiking Volcano San Pedro

Not long after, clouds started hitting the side of the volcano and flying right up into me. I was now inside a cloud for the first time (airplanes don’t count). Not fog, but actual clouds. Another new experience to add to my list!

On the way back down the trail, I found a good, thick, Tarzan worthy vine, and I couldn’t help myself. A little jungle swinging through the trees is good for the soul. ★

Watch Video: San Pedro Volcano Hike in Guatemala

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Company: Just ask around for Pedro!
Cost: $100 Quetzales ($12 USD)

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Book cheap flights on Skyscanner, my favorite airline search engine to find deals. Also read my tips for how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

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Book Accommodation

Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent local apartments on Airbnb ($35 discount!). Read my post for tips on booking cheap hotels.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.
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READ MORE GUATEMALA TRAVEL TIPS

I hope you enjoyed my guide to hiking Volcano San Pedro on Lake Atitlan! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Have you ever hiked a volcano before? Planning a trip to Guatemala? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Karis Call

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Hey there! Trying to hike San Pedro! We are here in Lake Atitlan, San Antonio Palopo, and would you know how to contact Pedro? Thanks!

Hinrik Jóhanneson

Sunday 25th of November 2018

Hey cool article! I'm going there in a couple weeks, this hike goes on my list :) Is there any info on that cabin online? Thx!

Nick Cedarleaf

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

This was a very cool experience hiking this volcano. It was quite a grueling 5000 feet hike up. The views are amazing. We had a great guide named Lorenzo with a very special street dog friend named Bobby. Bobby apparently hikes up the volcano nearly every day with Lorenzo just in hopes of a couple snacks from the hikers.

Kathy

Thursday 18th of January 2018

Nice description and photos of your hike to the top of San Pedro Volcano. What time of year was this? Is it possible to start the morning in nearby San Marcos and still get an early enough start before the clouds start rolling in, or do you recommend staying in San Pedro the night before? We are heading to Belize and Guatemala for the month of March.

Briana Hagany

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

Heading down next month! Anyone know if Pedro is still in business? This sounds like a worthwhile venture! (I'd also take any recommendations as to where to stay in San Pedro!)

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