lHiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains will take you across the highest non-volcanic ranges in Central America – find out how to hike to the peak at La Torre without a guide.
Hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains: How to Get to La Torre
The peak of La Torre in the Cuchumatanes Mountains is an easy half-day trip from Todos Santos Cuchumatan in Guatemala.
Grab a microbus or ‘chicken’ bus headed towards La Ventosa (Q10, 30 minutes), and ask to get off there.
Transportation runs frequently in both directions.
Hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains: La Torre
When you arrive in La Ventosa find Iglesia Evangelica Bautista as this will be your starting point for hiking La Torre.
Follow the winding road up multiple switchbacks until it essentially ends.
When there is a fork in the road, veer right instead of turning towards the antennas.
We here at DIY Travel HQ followed Maps.me in the beginning, but the road is much easier.
It doesn’t have to cut through people’s property.
Along the way, you will pass grazing pastures, and fields of gold before starting to get a bird’s eye view of the valley.
The real hiking trail starts once the drivable portion of the road ends, and becomes narrower and rockier.
Stick to the worn path as you hike up towards La Torre.
There will be some sections where you have to pass through trees, but the next important step isn’t until there is a clearing.
Once you reach an open clearing, with the sounds of locals chopping trees down in the distance, you can choose between two routes.
If you’re hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains, the ultimate destination is the antenna station on the top of the hill, or La Torre.
The fastest and most direct route is to hike up the hill on your left.
Otherwise, you can follow the base of the hill around, and turn left up the road up when you reach it.
At the top of La Torre, enjoy the views of jagged rock formations and the valley below.
It took us 90 minutes to hike up La Torre.
The elevation change was approximately 450 meters since La Ventosa sits around 3,400 meters above sea level.
The return is the same way you hiked up.
On the way down, we noticed several trees that were chopped in half.
The only explanation we could come up with was that local villagers used the slabs of curved wood as back braces for carrying wood on their backs.
Hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains: La Torre Essentials
Hiking La Torre may be straightforward, but planning is still required for an enjoyable climb.
Consider using the free app Maps.me as a back-up in case you get lost.
The weather for hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains is notorious for being cloudy, rainy, and foggy worst of all.
If the forecast calls for rain or the sky is cloudy upon departure, postpone your hike for another day.
You will not see anything at best, and you may get lost in inclement weather at worst.
Bring a waterproof jacket, and plastic bag for your camera just in case.
Plan on leaving Todos Santos Cuchumatan no later than 8 am in order to hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains and return before noon.
This is usually the latest you can enjoy clear skies.
Departing earlier gives you a better chance of blue skies upon hiking up to the summit of La Torre.
We have not heard any issues regarding safety on hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains.
The area is less touristy so bandits prefer other areas.
However, things change quickly in Guatemala so check first.
Do not be alarmed by locals with machetes and axes. They are everyday tools for cutting down trees, and the reason there is a path in the first place.
You can grab cookies (Q1.5 / $0.20) and sandwiches (Q6 / $0.80) at the bakery, Panaderia Jimenez across from the church before departing Todos Santos Cuchumatan for La Torre.
***The Final Word – If you are in Todos Santos Cuchumatan and the weather is nice, there is no reason not to go hiking in the Cuchumatanes Mountains. Your total cost will be only Q20 for transportation if you go without a tour ***
What’s the highest elevation you have climbed?
Easy DIY travel outside city centres using public transport
Visited in August 2016