We started our tour at five in the morning. Considering the early morning hour, we didn’t feel too tired. After half an hour’s drive with the bus, we got dropped off at the starting point of the trek and began our ascent while it was still dark. Only guided by the beam of the flashlight of our guide. You don’t need to take a guide but in the past, cases of robbery have occured and the people of our school who organized the trip, strongly recommened it. We had a small breakfast at the foot of the volcano and from then on everything was covered in mist and water was dripping from the surrounding trees like rain. The fog was so thick, that after a while we weren’t hoping for good views anymore. But about half an hour before we reached the top, there was a brief burst in the fog and clouds and we could see the surroundings for the first time during the day.
We arrived just in time on the top to see the neighbouring volcano Santiaguito erupt a fountain of dust and smoke.
By then the weather was perfect and it lasted until we started our descent when the clouds closed in around us again. The lava dome of Santiaguito is actually a side cone of the Santa Maria volcano, which formed itself after the massive eruption in 1902. We spent more than an hour watching the surrounding mountains and other volcanoes like the ones around Lago Atitlan as well as the highest peak in central america, the volcan Tajumulco. A little later shreds of clouds were swirling over ours heads while the landscapes around us were covered underneath a sea of clouds.
We took some photos of the group before starting on our way back. In the evening, everbody felt exhausted but still we agreed that it was well worth the effort.