A 5AM start from Xela (Quetzaltenango) got us to the top of the Santamaría volcano (3,772m) by about 10AM.
I had no big expectations. Volcano climbing is my least favourite hiking. An unrelenting steep slog.
Happy to relax at the top, our guide hurried us to a lower viewpoint. In front of our eyes, completely unexpectedly, we watched another volcano, Santiaguito, 1,200m below, explode! Wow!
It was like watching Mt. St. Helen’s erupt on TV. But there was no sound. Perhaps the wind pushed it away. We were lucky to get a gap in the clouds at just the right time. But it seems eruption plumes of several kms are a regular occurrence here.
Watching a volcano erupt from above is likely not possible anywhere else in the world!
Wikipedia on Santamaría and Santiaguito volcanos.
More details on our volcano climb in the next post >> Xela, Guatemala