Volcán San Pedro
Casting its imposing shadow over the western shoreline of Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlán, this dormant 9,908-foot (3,020-meter volcano beckons adventure-hungry travelers. The volcano is one of the most accessible in the region, with the route up to its summit leading through corn fields, coffee plantations, and cloud forests.
While the San Pedro Volcano can be seen from afar during Lake Atitlan sightseeing cruises and kayaking excursions, nothing quite compares to climbing the mighty summit and soaking up panoramic views from the top. Guided day tours often include pickup either from Panajachel or San Pedro La Laguna, as well as transfer to the trailhead, entrance fees, a picnic lunch, and a guide to accompany you on the trail and share information about the landscape.
Things to know before you go
- For safety reasons, San Pedro Volcano should be hiked in the company of a guide.
- Bring water, a hat, snacks, and sunscreen.
- Wear shoes with good tread as paths can be muddy.
- The hike up San Pedro is challenging and only suitable for travelers in full physical health.
How to get there
Shuttle buses run between Antigua and San Pedro La Laguna, and between Guatemala City and San Pedro La Laguna. The trailhead is about a 10-minute drive south from San Pedro La Laguna, and can be reached by tuk-tuk or as part of an organized tour.
When to get there
Start the hike as early as possible. That way, you’re more likely to get clear views from the top before afternoon clouds roll in. Plus, you can avoid hiking up during the hottest part of the day. The paths can be slippery during the rainy season (May–October) though it’s still possible to climb the volcano during this time.
The Ascent: What to Expect
The climb begins on a sloping dirt path along corn stalks, avocado trees, and coffee plants. Farther up, the trail becomes steeper, with stone steps leading through dense cloud forest. On a clear day, the summit offers views across the shimmering lake and surrounding volcanoes. Look out for the tire swing on the way up—it's a popular Instagram photo spot or hikers. The ascent takes roughly 3 hours depending on your pace, while the descent typically takes about 2 hours.