Daytripper: Cool Trips. Close by.
Daytripper is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on day trips within easy reach of Xela. This month’s article is called: Siete Cruces
by Charlie Krause
With sharpened machetes, three of Quetzaltrekkers´ volunteers departed in the tranquility of predawn Xela to blaze a new trail from Zunil to the magical hot springs of Fuentes Georginas. The guides walked with a bounce in their step and the knowledge that, if successful, they would be soaking in the hot spring water by early afternoon. One of Quetzaltrekkers´ Guatemalan founders, Guadalupe Pos, acted as the lead guide and was forced to rely upon his past memory of the completely overgrown jungle trail. After winding up a mountain path and passing through an old growth stand of beautiful oak and pine trees, the group entered an alpine meadow and were provided with a stunning view of Lago de Atitlán and the surrounding volcanoes.
Having successfully completed the most difficult section of the trail, the group scrambled toward the summit of the Zunil volcano. The trek, deemed Siete Cruces, transverses seven crosses located at various sites along the mountain ridge. After passing these crosses and climbing to the summit, the tired volunteers took a short break to catch their breath. While heading down the mountain toward their ultimate destination, the volunteers were confronted with a seemingly impassable trail. Although Guadeloupe danced through the jungle without the need of a true path, the other members of the group were forced to use their machetes and blaze a trail through the thick jungle. The adventure began. Sliding down the mountain and crawling through cloud and bamboo forests, the Quetzaltrekkers cut their way through six hours of intense jungle and found their way out of the wilderness just before night fell.
Although the group failed to open the path that day, the trail was successfully finished one month later and Fuentes Georginas was linked to the summit of the Zunil volcano. Quetzaltrekkers now offer this challenging single-day hike to overly adventurous groups. All those interested should come prepared for mud and blood……
Charlie Krause is a full time volunteer for Quetzaltrekkers, Xela´s only all volunteer non-profit trekking company, located in Casa Argentina, Diagonal 12, 8-37