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World most extreme places

Santa Maria, Guatemala

From series “The Most Active Volcanoes in the World”
Height: 3 770 meters.

The active stratovolcano of Santa Maria is situated to the west of Guatemala, in the immediate vicinity to the city of Quetzaltenango. It’s about 3,770 meters high. According to scientists, the first eruption of Santa Maria volcano occurred about 30,000 years ago. First recorded eruption has been a little over a hundred years ago, in 1902; it has claimed the lives of six thousand people.

Santa Maria, Guatemala The eruption has been so strong that residents of Costa Rica have heard the preceding explosion at a distance of 800 kilometers. Height of the ash stem has been about 28 kilometers; the eruption has thrown out at least 5.5 cubic kilometers of lava. This eruption was one of the most powerful and tragic in the 20th century. In 1922, a new Santiaguito mouth has formed that can be found an altitude of about 2,500 meters.

Travelers have a unique opportunity to rise to the extinct volcano crater and observe the volcanic activity that doesn’t stop for a minute. According to scientists, such large-scale and destructive eruptions of Santa Maria aren’t expected in the near future, so numerous tourists are attracted to those places. Even during its sleep volcano constitutes a great threat because of mudslides on its slopes. The foothill town of El Palmar has suffered from them twice. Now it’s prohibited to visit mountain areas during the rainy season. Next - Mayon


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Santa Maria - interactive map

 Cities nearby

Best hotels near Santa Maria

Hotel Modelo

Located in 8 km from Santa Maria
Route on the map:
Rooms: 19
Hotel Modelo's restaurant opens from 07:00 until 21:00 and serves a free à la carte breakfast each morning. There is also a French restaurant … More: photo, rates and booking
Hostal Don Diego

Located in 9 km from Santa Maria
Route on the map:
Rooms: 20
Each room and dormitory at this property comes with tiled floors and garden views. They all feature a shared bathroom with a toilet and shower. … More: photo, rates and booking
Takalik Maya Lodge

Located in 22 km from Santa Maria
Route on the map:
Rooms: 10
Each room Takalik Maya Lodge has rustic décor with bamboo and wooden furnishings, and a terrace overlooking the mountains and gardens. There is a … More: photo, rates and booking
Hotel Posada de Don José

Located in 28 km from Santa Maria
Route on the map:
Rooms: 21
At Hotel Posada de Don José you will find a 24-hour reception with a tour desk and laundry service. The Don José's bar-restaurant serves … More: photo, rates and booking

Nearest unique sightseeing spots to visit

Santa Maria Volcano
0 km - Santa Maria Volcano
Early 18th century was also marked by a strong volcanic eruption. That year the disaster occurred in Guatemala. In 1902, the eruption of Santa Maria volcano happened there. It is considered one of the most violent eruptions of the 20th century. The incredibly powerful …
Samabaj
38 km - Samabaj
From the series 'Famous Sunken Towns'

The ancient Mayan city of Samabaj had been regarded as a legend for many years, till its ruins have been found in one of the lakes in Guatemala. This important archaeological discovery occurred in 1996, and later, scientists were able to specify that Samabaj has sunken …
Guatemala Stone Head
180 km - Guatemala Stone Head
The impenetrable jungle of Guatemala, inhabited by the Mayan tribes since ancient times, conceals one of the most mysterious artefacts on earth. Here, in the midst of the luxuriant thickets of the exotic trees, lies the huge sandstone statue discovered by the …
Pyramids of Copan
285 km - Pyramids of Copan
The Pyramids of Maya can be found not only in Mexico, but also in Honduras. To the followers of the walks through the archaeological districts one can recommend the tiny town of Copán. Three thousand years ago, when the unique pyramids were built, Copán was one of …
Chicoasen Dam
293 km - Chicoasen Dam
Chicoasen Dam is a rock-fill Mexican dam. It was beginning to build in 1974. In 1980 it has begun to work, since that time, it became the biggest dam in North America. Its height is 261 meters and length 485 meters. The reservoir’s size is 52 600 square meters, about …
Ilopango Volcano
295 km - Ilopango Volcano
The capital city of El Salvador is located near the famous Ilopango volcano. During the history it erupted twice. The first eruption, which occurred in the 5th century BC, was the most powerful and destructive. After the first destructive eruption, the whole territory …
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