The long, slippery descent down Santa Maria

View from the Top: Xela lies thousands of feet below.

“Getting to the top is optional.   Getting down is mandatory.” -Ed Viesturs climber and author of “No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks”

After my surreal experience on top of Santa Maria volcano, witnessing my first live volcanic eruption just a few thousand feet below my perch on a jagged rock, it was time to say goodbye.  Heading back is always the anti-climax of a hike, especially a good one in which you reach your peak and for that moment in time you are on top of the world.  But as I always say, all good things must come to an end.  It was time to head back.

The start of our descent….you can see terraced farmland first, followed by the town of Xela far below. 

Adventure Travel Guatemala TRAVEL BY REGION Trekking/Hiking