Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Western Highlands Mayan Trail

Hiking with the Maya

 This past weekend we had the luck to head out to the western highlands just above and beyond lake Atitlan and trek three days to Quetzaltenango.  The route retraces ancient old footpathes that we once part of the super highways and trade routes that connected the Tzutujuil Maya of the Lake Atitlan basin with the Mam Speaking Maya of the Quetzaltenango valley.

 The trail itself is anywhere from three to five days of super scenic remote backpacking through forgotten villages, deep river canyons and altiplano.  Much of the walk is up above 10,000ft on a ridge that seperates the two areas.  Off to the west side of the ridge is Santa Maria volcano and the towns of Zunil, Almolonga and Xela. Off to the east you are looking out over Atitlan her three majestic volcanoes and all the way back to the volcanoes that surround Antigua. 

This hike is an opportunity to get far back into the Guatemalan backcountry.  It is pretty much guaranteed that you will not see anyone else on the trails other than the locals who still use them as primary sources of transport and livelihood.  

As an added bonus to the already amazing walk we summit Zunil volcano with its long beautiful approach ridge. After all this hiking its nice to know that the end of the trail, literally, are the healing waters of the Fuentes Georginas hotsprings. We dump our packs grab a cold beer and slip into the springs to heal sore muscles.

The perfect way to end a perfect walk.
For more information on this or any other of our treks stop in the shop or check us out online
See ya on the trail!