Volcan Santa Maria

  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Santiaguito y Santa Maria, Walkopedia
  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Dawn on Volcan Santa Maria, Walkopedia
  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Volcan Santiaguito, Walkopedia
  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Volcan Santa Maria y Xela, Walkopedia
  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Santiaguito Up Close, Walkopedia
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  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Santiaguito, Walkopedia
  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Volcan Santa Maria, Walkopedia
  • Guatemala, Volcan Santa Maria, Volcanes Santiaguito y Santa Maria, Walkopedia

Key information: Volcan Santa Maria

  • Volcan Santa Maria is a high (3,770m), classic volcanic cone and boasts astonishing views into the neighbouring, active Volcan Santiaguito’s crater.
  • A long day walk, but it is worth the slog, as you savour the visual drama around you.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating91
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest18
  • Human interest5
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating91

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 10km
  • 8-9hrs
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,770m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Volcan Santa Maria: Dawn on Volcan Santa Maria - © Flickr user eric yeargan

WALK SUMMARY

Volcan Santa Maria is a high (3,770m), classic volcanic cone and boasts astonishing views into the neighbouring, active but lower Volcan Santiaguito’s crater. Santa Maria is a volcano of two halves – one a long, forested slope to its small cone-top, the other smashed and broken by the eruptions of the last century.

This is a long day walk – 10km/4.5hrs to the summit and 8-9hrs return, but it is worth the slog, as you savour the visual drama around you.

Santa Maria has been violently active (and killed thousands) from 1902, when it spewed ash that fell as far away as San Francisco and opened up a huge new crater 1km across to the south-west of the existing high cone. A complex of lava domes, collectively called Santiaguito, has emerged in that crater and remains periodically highly active. (One can see it being larger than its parent one day. Lots of us know that one.)

The climb begins from the village of Llanos del Pinal (2,500m) and climbs steadily through agricultural land to the base of the Santa Maria’s huge and shapely cone. From here it is a steep track which can be slippery after rain.

This is demanding walking on a high, remote mountain with unpredictable weather and where altitude can cause problems. Come prepared and take your time.

KEAdventures organise a thrilling-looking 7-volcano expedition www.keadventure.com.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Mar%C3%ADa_(volcano) has good information on Santa Maria and its violent past.

Find relevant books here

We’d love to share more! Please help us by recommending your best walks/making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Guatemala’s Volcanoes walk page.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Volcan Santa Maria: Volcan Santiaguito - © Flickr user Mickael T

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Volcan Santa Maria: Volcan Santa Maria y Xela - © Flickr user Javier Ruata

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Volcan Santa Maria: Santiaguito Up Close - © Flickr user nmarritz...
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