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“Tough but worth it!”
Review of Volcan San Pedro

Volcan San Pedro
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$89.99*
and up
San Pedro Volcano Hiking Tour from Panajachel in Guatemala
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Las Salinas
Level Contributor
79 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Tough but worth it!”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Do it at dawn! It's a tough walk but the view is spectacular. Check the weather before you go and take a head torch!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Katherine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 reviews from our community

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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“It kicked my butt!”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

This is a wonderfully arduous 3-hr ascent to the top of the volcano. Without the encouragement of my guide, I probably would've turned around at the 1/3 way point. But since he did not even break a sweat while I nearly collapsed, my ego wouldn't let me give up. And it was worth it. The 5-hr (in total) trip was difficult and exhausting...but so fulfilling. I don't know about you, but I usually don't climb volcanoes...so the experience was worth all the pain and soreness that ensued. Do it! You'll be glad you did!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank womanonamission777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Are we there yet?”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Woo - they weren't kidding when they said this was strenuous. My friend had to bail when we reached the vista. She stayed while I went on with the guide. How did we figure this out? When we got off the dock in San Pedro, we asked this guy who mans this little hut. He promptly took us inside and explained the tour and we booked it for the next day. It cost us 150Q each, including taxi service. Great price. Definitely take the tuk-tuk to the entrance. It's a steep road all the way out of town. Before heading to the park, they'll take you in town and encourage you to buy some snacks for the hike. Do it. It helps their economy and you'll need the nourishment. The volcano itself is an actual park with bathrooms and a small visitor's center. Don't do this hike without a guide. I did read the warnings about robberies, but a guide is really necessary just for finding your way and in case you hurt yourself. It's desolate. We started at 7am, which was fine because it was cool and overcast. You can choose your own starting time. BRING WATER! I had one 1L bottle, and it wasn't nearly enough and I'm practically a camel when it comes to drinking water. The hike is almost straight up, non-stop stairs. The air smells so fragrant - it's worth it just to breathe it in. You'll see nothing but trees at first then you'll see the lake at different points. It is packed dirt only, and it will rain, so make sure you wear sturdy hiking shoes that GRIP really well. I wore running shoes and I was slipping all over the place. It took me almost 3 hours to go up and about 2 hours down. My guide said that was fast. The guides are great and work really hard and make sure that you're going at your own pace, not theirs. You'll bump into farm workers with huge machetes. I met a pack of Mayan workers that my guide knew. About an hour from the top, there's an outhouse bathroom facility. Otherwise, hold it or go in the woods. At the top, I was disappointed. First off, I was really scared because there's these big boulders that you have to climb on with no safety rail. One slip, and you're over the edge. Literally. Then there was some graffiti and the view was pretty much the same as it was at the scenic vista. After being in Lake Atitlan for 3 days by this point, it wasn't anything we haven't already seen. Plus, we had already done the cables at Atitlan Reserva with pretty much the same views. On the way back down, we encountered a pack of wild dogs. Another great reason to have a guide with you. He beat them off with his hiking stick. We tipped our guide 10Q. Not sure if this was appropriate or not. No one told us what to do. The guide will call ahead to the tuk-tuk when you're getting close to the end and it'll be waiting for you. They had cold water bottles available for purchase. I think 5Q. Our guide was called Matolo, I think. We had a hard time communicating - he knew we were deaf, but Guatemalan gestures are so different than US gestures that we couldn't understand what he was trying to point out to us. He tried, though, so we appreciated that!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank can78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Hard work but awesome views - go early!”
Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

Be prepared for some serious uphill! It was hard work on the way up (with a bit of altitude to contend with), but through nice forest with loads of birds and squirrels around. I would strongly advise leaving EARLY (e.g. 4am-5.30am). We started climbing at 5.30 from the park entrance, which meant it was cool the whole way up, we saw no one else on the trail and there were lots of birds around. On the way down we saw lots of climbers who'd chosen 7 or 9am options, dying from the heat, and in big groups.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank addymay14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“hard hike...but well worth it, even without the view”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I visited Volcan San Pedro in July of 2013 during the rainy season. I knew it was 50/50 on getting a view from the top but wanted to experience the climb. Man, it was tough. I'm fairly fit and I think it was a combination of the altitude and constant uphill that made it challenging. The trail is very well-maintained and I don't know that you really need a guide. Ours was great though (Juan from Tornado Tours, take a left as you walk up from the dock and it'll be on your left side). His dog Twister accompanied us up the trail and his antics helped to distract me from how tough the hike was. We paid 200Q for the guide and 100Q for the admission fee, this included the TukTuk up from the town to the park entrace...definitely do that and save your energy. If you want to do it sans guide, just ask any of the TukTuks near the dock to take you to the entrance. When we got to the top, the clouds had rolled in and it was quite cool but it was great to relax on the rocks before beginning the descent. We got rained on coming down which made it a slippery affair but no injuries...definitely get/make a walking stick to save your knees!!! It was about 2h30m up and 2h down. I think it is a must-do if you are at Lake Atitlan and a better choice than Volcan Atitlan or Toliman...they are a bit higher but less travelled and the trails are less maintained. My sense is that if you want to do them, you should definitely get a guide and probably a machete :) Happy hiking

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mark C R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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