“Indian’s Nose” sunrise hike

After a wild Saturday (full of horseback riding and dancing the night away at Sublime, see my previous post), I woke up crazy early on Sunday to go for a sunrise hike. I crawled out of bed at 3:15am and sleepily got ready. Three of my friends and I headed for a mountain near San Pedro known as “Indian’s Nose” or “El Rostro Maya” (“The Mayan Face”). It gets its nickname because the mountain looks like the profile of a man’s face.

We got picked up in an old travel van and headed for Santa Clara. I wanted to sleep on the way there, but that turned out to be pretty impossible. It was a bumpy ride, and the van had been pimped out with some neon green lights on the inside that lit up every time the driver hit the brakes (which was often).

After about 45 minutes, we arrived in Santa Clara, pulled over in what seemed like a random part of town, and got out of the van. Our guide, José, asked us to turn on our flashlights and follow him. In the darkness, we walked down an alley and then through cornfields. My friends and I were really confused as to where we were, and also so so so thankful we decided to pay for a guide, because otherwise we would have been terribly lost. We eventually reached the base of the mountain, where we finally saw a well-travelled trail.

Now the hiking began. We went up some stairs, and then zig-zagged back and forth up the mountain. The hike itself was pretty short–maybe 30 minutes, including breaks. But I was hiking against medical advice (I’m having knee surgery in the fall), so I was in a good bit of pain.

But the views were definitely worth it.


When we reached the top of the mountain (well not quite the top, we were at the “mouth”, not the “nose” of the face), the sky was just beginning to light up.  The view of the lake was incredible, and the lake looked so still it almost looked frozen.


We could see almost every volcano around the lake. The towns below us were still in the shadows, with their street lights twinkling. We watched the sun rise up over the mountains; the sky changing from pale blue to pale pink, to light orange. I can’t even put into words how beautiful it was.


Naturally, we took a million pictures (which will never ever do the views justice), and José was smiling and laughing at us as we posed for “candids” and held an imaginary Simba out over the lake.

Even though waking up for this hike (and actually hiking) was pretty painful, this was one of my favorite experiences so far in Guatemala.



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