VanLife Meetup | Climbing Two Exposed Volcanoes with Great Friends

The volcanoes as always were waiting to be climbed, we headed to Parque Nacional Cerro Verde. There are two climbable volcanoes in the national park, Santa Ana and Izalco.

The first we checked out was Santa Ana volcano. We were able to camp in the national park at a mirador. During the day it was a bit busy but at night it was very peaceful, only the stars and city lights. From our mirador campsite we could see all the way to the coast, it called my name every time I looked out the window.

To enter the national park is $3 and another dollar to park.

The Volcan Santa Ana hike actually starts from a shack a little ways from the national park entrance, so you have to walk down and back up the road. Instead we parked at another campsite called Casa de Cristal for the day for $5 and met up with another group heading up the mountain.

The climb up Volcan Santa Ana is 4.3 miles or almost 7 kilometers. The elevation gain is 1,532ft or 467 meters. We gave our guide a $4 tip because she was super friendly and awesome.

We loved the hike up Santa Ana! It was almost always in the sun, so wear a hat and bring sunscreen. Our guide showed us some wild growing blueberries that we all snacked on the way up. In our group was another guy from the US that was super nice. We loved chatting with him about all of our future travel plans.

Before climbing Izalco we met up with our good travel friends, Snow & Curt! We had an amazing time sharing stories around the fire. Danny and I cooked potatoes, corn and onions right on the fire. So delicious! We didn’t let the party go on too long as the next day we would climb Volcan Izalco.

This is our third country with our amazing van friends, Snow and Curt. They always have great stories to share, we feel so lucky to have found them in Mexico, wandering Chiapas.

We hired a guide to climb Izalco but in hindsight as long as the gate is unlocked you wouldn’t need one, they told us they we necessary but we saw lots of people without. Volcan Izalco is 4.2 miles or 6.7 kilometers and 2,171 meters or 662 meters in elevation gain.

Volcan Izalco was a more strenuous hike but not up the actual volcano. That is entirely in the sun but the hardest part is walking back up to the vans. Luckily the switchbacks are all in the shaded rainforest cover. I love walking through the rainforest, huge butterflies fluttered around us. We stopped when we heard movement on the leafy floor.

It was such a great time with Snow & Curt again. We always have great chats, smiles and adventures with them.

We also made a YouTube about our adventures!