Volcán Chicabal, Guatemala – The holy crater lake

The earth quivered again last night. All of us woke up, the owner of the parking lot ran out of his house. It wasn’t as strong as the last one in Mexico, but well perceptible. The usually harmless Volcán Chicabal owns a beautiful crater lake, surrounded by dense vegetation and mystic atmosphere thanks to the gathering fog. The climb to the 2900 m peak is simple but exhausting due to the steep path. After reaching the park administration’s box office over the greasy trail we have to pay 15 Quetzals. Then we go further uphill where the peak hides in dense forest. A sign brings us to a viewpoint from where stairs lead to the crater lake 200 m deeper. We circumnavigate the lake that measures half a kilometre in diameter and is 300 m deep.

Swimming is not allowed here (too cold anyway), because the lake is sacred to the Maya. There are places of ritual worship everywhere, it could be a cross or just a tree stump, but there are no ceremonies right now. We take a second path from the lake uphill without stairs, and then we head back down to our campers. Parking is possible in front of the box office as well, but this is better in dry season.

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