It started, as most volcano hikes do, in the dark.

I was excited. Seeing an active volcano is on my not-a-bucket-list and today we were going to have the opportunity to see a real, live, smoking volcano.

As the day dawned, we were already halfway to the mirador, or lookout. We stumbled into this meadow just as the sun was touching the peek of Santa Maria; one of the other, albeit inactive, volcanos in the close vicinity of the city Quetzaltenango in Guatemala.


We continued to hike through the forest. It was an easy hike, although quite chilly without the warmth of the sun.



Our first view of Volcan Santiaguito. It belches smoke and steam regularly although our guide, Edwin, explained that it stopped for a number of months last year causing great concern among the locals.


And so we waited; both for the volcano to to put on a show and for the sun to reach us.


The sun won the race. We were beyond grateful for the warming rays to finally reach us!


And then, a small explosion from Santuaguito. I realize that this picture doesn’t look much different from the other, but there is an extra plume of smoke and ash and we could hear the explosion even from our lookout more than 5 KM away.


The view of the rest of the valley showing past craters from the same volcano.


Both the sun and an active volcano. Two happy Giant Steppers.


The hike down was much easier, and warmer.


Next on my not-a-bucket-list? To see flowing lava!!


I apologize for the poor quality photos. I have been having all kinds of technical issues this past few weeks. 🙁