The sport of rock climbing is increasingly popular in Guatemala, and the capital, Guatemala City, provides a great place for beginners and experts alike to enjoy the thrill of climbing a sheer rock face under your own steam.
First-timers should start at Casa Boulder, a facility located in Mixco, on the western edge of the city. Take classes with one of the experienced guides, who will take you through the key movements on the different indoor walls in the complex. Shoes can be rented for a small extra charge.
The National Federation of Mountaineering also has a variety of climbing walls suitable for different levels of experience, as well as providing in-depth information about outdoor climbing routes around the country. The federation can also help to arrange mountain and volcano climbing trips, as well as spelunking expeditions.
If you have a taste for rock climbing, get yourself some equipment from La Rocalla, an outdoors shop situated in Zone 10. The helpful staff will kit you out with all of the relevant gear you need to tackle outdoor routes, such as those at El Filon, just 30 minutes by car from the city itself.
El Filon is a rock formation on the north shore of Lake Amatitlan, and offers great views over the lake to the surrounding volcanoes. It’s a spectacular location even if climbing were not involved, but the routes take in slightly under-vertical rock to slightly overhanging, and are suitable for both beginners and more advanced climbers.
There are other climbing opportunities available around the country, but each of these options are within easy reach of the capital city or the tourist hub of Antigua. Make the six-hour trip north to the city of Quetzaltenango for more climbing trips.
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