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Guatemala Climbing

While the country is not known for rock climbing, the sport’s popularity is growing with locals and travelers alike. Because of Guatemala’s volcanic geology, there are a number of areas around the country that offer good climbing. More sites, and routes, are being discovered all the time and a few tour companies offer organized tours for beginners and intermediate climbers.

The Highlands

The country’s most developed climbing lies just outside of Quetzaltenango in a place called Cerro Quemado. On this active volcano, the crag starts at about 9000ft and routes are rated from 5.9 to 5.12. If you’re looking to meet new climbing partners or just want to get reliable information from locals, Cerro Quemado is the place to be and the weekend is the time to go. Many climbers say that Sunday is the most popular day for climbing here. There are also hot springs nearby to sooth sore muscles after a long days climb.

Filón de Amatitlán is also a very popular place for climbing. Located just 45 minutes away from Guatemala City, on the banks of Lake Amatitlán, this area is reported to have between 20-30 routes and most of them are easy to find. Grades here range from 5.9 to 5.12. This is one of best places to meet other climbers and get insider advice on climbing in Guatemala.

If you’re into bouldering, Huehuetenango is the place for you. Located in the Cuchumatanes Mountains, this unofficial park offers a range of limestone boulders to climb. Although there are a few bouldering problems that have been established (v0-v3), many more await discovery. Climbers recommend that you bring your own brushes and crash pad. Several of the climbing areas are located on private property. It is highly recommended that you ask the land owners before you enter.

The Pacific Slope

On the border of the high land and Pacific slope region, Escuintla is a sleepy little town that attracts travelers who are looking to relax by the river or maybe take in a little birdwatching. But, this town has little known climbing spots just off the road and offers climbers the opportunity to ascend established routes or discover their own.

06 Jul 2010

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