Hiking and walking trails in Quetzaltenango
Have you found yourself in Xela wanting to go for a nice walk? Do you want to relax a bit? Or perhaps you’re looking for an overlook from which to take in the city of Quetzaltenango. It’s time you check out these spots!
Cerro El Baúl
Located within the city and easy to access. You can enter by road or on foot from Colonia Molina zona 5. Ideal for walking any day of the week (you can even bring your dog) or a bike ride. If you want to drive, you can enter from the road and pay a Q. 5.00 entrance fee. If you walk along the trail, we recommend that you go in a pair or group for better safety. Along the entire route you can see different species of trees and bushes while breathing fresh, pure air. If you’re lucky, you may even see squirrels or birds along the way. 30-minute walk or 5-minute drive.
Upon reaching the overlook, you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of the entire city of Quetzaltenango and will be surrounded by an extraordinary landscape. Though camping is not allowed, there are grills so you can have a picnic. Slides allow for a family-friendly atmosphere.
Volcán Cerro Quemado (La Muela)
Without a doubt a great place to see Quetzaltenango from above and go for a long walk. You can go any day of the week, but you should start early in the day because the route is approximately an hour and a half long. The route starts at the Parque Central in Xela and runs for 2 kilometers to the south of the city on the road. On the way you will come across a place called Los Vahos. Turn right there down a paved road toward the Cantón Chicuá, where you’ll start your climb up the Cerro.
We recommend that you seek out a local guide for safety. An interesting fact is that Cerro Quemado is made up of a number of lava domes and is a place where residents meet, hold ceremonies, and pray. Thus, it is considered a sacred place.
If what you’re looking for is a short walk for daily exercise, this is perfect for you. The easiest route starts in Xela’s Parque Central and climbs towards Plazuela San Antonio before continuing down the road towards Capilla San Antonio. It’s a short 10-minute walk. Upon arriving at the overlook, you’ll see the entire city of Quetzaltenango and be able to spot a number of historic landmarks, like the Iglesia Transfiguración, the Cathedral, and the Iglesia el Calvario. You’ll also enjoy views of Cerro el Baúl and the summits of Olintepeque and Sibilia.
You can walk this route at any time of day, but we recommend that you go in the afternoon or later to enjoy clearer weather and better views (if you want to take pictures of the city this is the ideal route for you). The view of the city lights is excellent at night. If you go at night, go in a vehicle for better safety.
All of these spots are easily accessed and free, but you should hike with caution. You can go at any time of year, though in the rainy season (from May to November) the trails up Cerro Quemado and El Baúl can be a little difficult. It’s important to wear sneakers or hiking boots since the trails are made of dirt and rock. The climate and temperatures in Quetzaltenango tend to change, so bring athletic clothes, a sweatshirt or jacket, wool hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Drinking water, nuts, and fruit are a necessity