Hiking San Pedro Volcano on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

July 02, 2017

When you travel across Central America you find yourself getting hooked on climbing volcanoes. You've been thinking of visiting one or two of them but you fast come to realisation that one or two volcanoes simply isn't enough. There are sunset and sunrise hikes, volcano boarding trips, you can choose to climb active volcanoes inside of which you can see lava or ones that erupt in every hour, or you can take part on an overnight trips where you can camp on the top of a volcano whilst watching others erupting on a distance - and so much more! I ended up climbing four volcanoes just in Guatemala and every hike and volcano was so different from one another that I almost regret not climbing more of them!


San Pedro Volcano is located right next to Lake Atitlan and it's one of the most popular day trips from San Pedro La Laguna. It takes a good half a day to climb up and down the volcano and you should aim to start your trip as early as possible to avoid the heat of the day and to get a clear view from the top. I started off around 8am by grabbing a tuktuk to the start off the hike. You have to pay an entrance fee at the visitor center which also covers a guide that will take you halfway up the volcano. You can also climb by yourself if you wish and aren't keen on waiting for a group to go up with you but keep in mind that there are multiple paths with no signs so it's easy to get lost.



San Pedro isn't a particularly difficult volcano to climb. If you've climbed Acatenango it's gonna feel like a nice day walk but it's definitely more challenging than for example Pacaya. It's about three to four hours of hiking uphill and about two going down but this obviously depends how fit you are and how many stops you make on the way as there are quite few picturesque spots on the way up.

You're going to start your hike through the fields and will be able to spot lots of local products, such as corn plantations and avocado trees on the way up. You will also be able to spot bunch of local farmers running up and down the hill doing their daily chores in the fields. The guide won't most likely to speak English but if you have any knowledge about Spanish you can learn a lot about the region. After the fields you're gonna hit the jungle and will be stuck in the forest until you reach the top. There are few viewpoints on the way but most of the time your view is gonna be blocked by the massive flora.


I had waken up early to avoid the afternoon rain and cloud cover but as usually the weather was not on my side and just ten minutes before hitting the top the landscape started to turn foggy and I found myself inside the cloud. When I reached the top I didn't even know which way I should have looked to be able to see the lake as everything was covered in thick fog. After waiting for a while the clouds started moving around and I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Lake Atitlan before the clouds covered it again.

I really enjoyed the San Pedro volcano hike. It wasn't a difficult hike but you could surely tell you had done some exercise the day after. The views were not be as good as in Acatenango but it's a way easier hike and I don't think that the catch of San Pedro hike is the views but the hike itself. If you end up to Lake Atitlan you should definitely consider doing this hike!



Tips for visiting San Pedro Volcano

  • Start your hike early to avoid the heat of the day, rain and the cloud cover
  • Take the guide. He's included to the entrance fee and even if you couldn't speak Spanish he's gonna point you at the right direction
  • Take a sweater with you as it can get chilly on the top, especially if you get caught inside a cloud! 

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16 kommenttia

  1. More than amazing views! :)
    Btw, I've nominated you for the Liebster award! :)
    Congrats. :) More: http://perfelicious.com/liebster-award-perfelicious/

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    1. Thanks a lot Masa! I'll check it out :)

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  2. Nice guide and tips on hiking San Pedro Volcano. I love hiking, although I have never hiked up a volcano. I'm off to trek the EBC (Everest Base Camp) in October but I'm always on the lookout for pastures new - South and Central America is definitely on my bucket list. Good post - thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm so jealous! I love climbing volcanoes but would love to go to Nepal to do either Annapurna or Everest base camp! I bet you're gonna have amazing time :)

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  3. “When you travel across Central America you find yourself getting hooked on climbing volcanoes.” - SO TRUE! I couldn’t agree more with this statement. There’s something about these types of hikes that simply makes the trip so much enjoyable. I am glad San Pedro Volcano’s hike wasn’t difficult, I just starting hiking so for me its a challenge still. Thanks for sharing! Safe travels. - Mariella

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    1. It is! I think it's the views as it's obviously way harder to climb constantly uphill that walk in altering altitudes but there's quite nothing like finally reaching the top :) Awesome that you've got into hiking, safe travels for you as well x

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  4. I will be traveling to Guatemala later this year and I am actually looking to climb a volcano or two. I have been to Chile last year and I have climbed the Villarica volcano, which was very difficult so from what you are saying, San Pedro in Guatemala should be a piece of cake compared with the Chilean one :) The view from the top is nice, I like how you are above the clouds.

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    1. Ah lucky you! Never been to Chile but it's on the very top of my list! If you're planning on doing volcanoes in Guatemala I'd totally recommend doing Acatenango! It's extremely hard but it was by far my favorite of all the volcano hikes I did :)

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  5. I can't believe I still haven't done this yet! I've been living in Antigua and I've spent so much time at the lake. i've done Acatenango and Pacaya a few times now. But I've never made it up San Pedro.
    Looks like you got lucky with the view! Sometimes it's so cloudy over there.

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    1. I did both Acatenango and Pacaya as well! I gotta admit that out of these three San Pedro was probably my least favorite but for volcano lover it was still great :D So jealous, I wanna live in Antigua as well!

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  6. I would love to do this hike! It looks like there's a variety of landscapes to see along the way, like the crops. Great tip about the guide - that's so cool that they include that for free with your entrance.

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    1. I know! Usually you have to pay separately for every service but for some reason the guides were included to the entrace fee here.

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  7. Wow, four different volcanoes? I would be so exhausted! But the views from the top of San Pedro Volcano seem so so worth it. I've had a couple of friends visit Guatemala recently, I hope to check it out myself sometime soon! How long were you in Guatemala for?

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    1. I wish I had done four more haha. I totally recommend Guatemala. It was my favorite of the Central American countries I visited and I ended up spending five weeks in there :)

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  8. Wonderful hike! Trekking up to a volcano is one of my dreams. I mean, what can be more badass than climbing up a volcano? Hope to see more photographs of the place.

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    1. I know right? Don't have much more pics from this hike but plenty from the others, just gotta write the posts first :)

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