When we’ve finally finished our spanish classes in Xela, we embark on a two day trip to Tajamulco, the highest point in Central America (4220 meters high). The trek is organised by Quetzaltrekkers, a charitable organisation of volunteer guides, who put their income from the treks into helping local kids. The price includes the guide, food and transportation, needed equipment (you can rent all the warm stuff you don’t have with you, from sleeping bags to jackets and headlamps). The trek itself is not that difficult as it may seem. We are already at about 2000 meters in Xela, and the bus is taking us to about 3000 meters starting point. Hence, we only have to climb 1000 meters, but the problem is that this altitude is already high enough to make the air thinner and to cause altitude sickness. That’s why we camp overnight very close to the summit to get everyone adjusted. Unfortunately, we are all affected. Some of us have slight headaches, some have stronger ones with nausea, some feel only tired. Good sleep helps a lot and we can fully enjoy the amazing sunrise at the summit, despite very low temperatures and cold wind. Hike down is just a formality.
The next day, to treat ourselves after all the dust and toil on the trek, we decide to visit nearby hot springs, Fuentes Georginas, in the town of Zunil. It’s only a short bus ride from Xela and additionally, Zunil is a farming area with a great vegetable market there, which we don’t hesitate to visit and buy some good, healthy farm food (which is automatically bio and organic at the same time). Great time.
Our busy stay in Xela came to an end pretty soon. We liked it here but now we’re very excited to leave that awfull smog behind us, and head to explore new places and meet new people. Next stop – Lake Atitlan, an extraordinary mountain lake between two volcanoes.