Guatemala as a Rock Climbing destination

19 de Julio 2015

Among all the things to do in this country, Guatemala has great places for this sport, so if you come, don't forget your rock climbing shoes. Here you will have an idea of what to expect.

Guatemala as a Rock Climbing destination

Guatemala has a volcanic background and it's territory, with rich vegetation, hides many walls and boulders.

As many geologists (including the ones who climb and work in that field here) have reported that sadly, most of the rock lies buried, and they have found it digging with big machinery while working.

But don't worry my climber friend, there are several places with enough rock to provide a great climbing experience.

A brief description on what there is

There is the "Filón de Amatitlán", in Guatemala, 45 minutes away from the city. Being so close to the capital, it is the most visited spot. Over 30 routes, 30 routes, 15-20 really easy to find.

When you visit the Lake Amatitlán, you will see the rock formations to your left. The grades are from 5.9 to 5.12+. (For more information search other articles on this website.)

Manuel Vanegas bouldering in Huehuetenango. Picture by Jake.

Manuel Vanegas bouldering in Huehuetenango. Picture by Jake.

There is also Cerro Quemado in Quetzaltenango, at 3 hours from Guatemala City. This place has lots of potential and has great sport and trad routes developed. The grades are from 5.9 to 5.12. Ask to the locals about the climbers "escaladores" and they will provide you with guided services or visit the city gym to know the climbers or to find a partner.

Santa Rosa has some routes also, the weather there is hot and you will find the rock below the bridge "Los Esclavos". The grades are from 5.9+ to 5.11+. (For more information search other articles on this website)

Jalapa is one of my favorites because it's located at 100 km from Guatemala city, it's weather is fresh and the climbing spot is clean. The routes have been developed in Urlanta Waterfall. (For more info in another article on this website.)

Chiquimula, located at the east, has some great walls too in "Cerro de la Ermita". The weather is really hot there. Make sure you bring enough water and sun block.

You will find more rock in Escuintla, at 40 minues from Guatemala City heading to the pacific coast. The routes are located at the beginning of the road that takes you to Antigua Guatemala. You will see a big rock formation. Pay for the entrance and make your way to the top.

Semuc Champey in Alta Verapaz, offers some walls hidden in the forest, but there are no sport routes.

Huehuetenango has some walls along the road but the bigger walls are road to Todos Santos. There are no sport routes there neither.

If you like boulders, Cerro Quemado and Huhuetenango will be the perfect place to visit.

So, what to expect?

Well, most of the routes aren't long so don't expect any multipitch around here (yet).

Bring your climbing shoes and chalk if means no problem to you passing it on the airport.

Rock climbing is not a very popular sport in Guatemala but you might contact some climbers, make partners and plan a trip. Send us a message using this website, in fact, I'm a rock climber so maybe I can help and put you in contact with the right people.

Don't bring gear (rope or quickdraws) unless you are seriously thinking about climbing and contact somebody from Guatemala first to guide you.

In fact there are lots of chances that you will know more climbers (turists) in your trips across the country.

Huehuetenango is REALLY, the boulder paradise, you will find lots of rocks near the road to climb on. Bring your brush, pad and climbing shoes. Huehuetenango is located at 4 hours driving from Guatemala city. And ALWAYS, ask the locals permission to enter their land to climb. ALWAYS!

Guatemala is not known as a famous climbing destination as Potrero Chico or Yosemite, but there is a lot to do and to climb here and there is a lot of people doing efforts to develop the areas.

Fear not, there are plenty of places to climb, to enjoy and develop.

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