Here is the video documenting our journey to the volcano El Tacana. By no means was it an easy journey; however, it was epic and memorable.
We started in Mexico, but ended up in Guatemala. We learned from natives that, although difficult to access, the Guatemalan side is only two hours hiking from the peak. With little cash, low gas, and a truck-bed full of people catching a ride we decided to go for it. The roads were unbelievably rough, the villages were sparse in the high altitudes, and the final leg of the journey was only the beginning for more adventure.
After nine hours of driving on wicked dirt roads, we arrived at the base––although we didn't know it at first. A local villager named Elio came to our car and pitched that we park our car next to his house and stay with him. Somewhat reluctant, but with no other choice when trying to find shelter at 10,000 feet above sea level, we took him up on the offer. We warmed ourselves by the fire and slept on the dirt floor.
At 3:31 AM the next morning we were on the trail. Elio leading the way in the pervasive darkness. The stars sparkled by the millions with not a single cloud in the sky. Elio managed to keep a strong and steady pace without heavily breathing while my brother and I seemed to suffocate because of the high altitude. After about an hour of intense climbing, the altitude sickness got to me and I threw up. With only minutes left until we reached the peak, the sun was starting to rise. We had to hurry in order to set up the camera to get the time-lapse.
At 13,000 feet the peak is breathtaking. Unlike other mountains I have climbed, I could see all the way down to sea level from the top. We saw the Pacific ocean and the two other peaks in central America. We were literally straddling the border of Mexico and Guatemala. All while the sun was rising before us. It was a perfect day to be on the volcano.
We had the nine-hour drive back to San Cristobal, Mexico to relish in our adventure.