There are a number of routes to the top of this Zunil. The Alaska route takes a little longer than most, but offers some of the most stunning views that can be found in Guatemala. It is an ancient trail that was first used by the Maya as a trading route. It is also the route to take if you plan to visit all of the Seven Crosses.
Getting ThereFrom Quetzaltenango (Xela)take the Pan American highway towards Alaska. At km 162 take a right onto a dirt road heading towards Nuevo Xetinamit. As you drive down this road you will pass through the village Parraxquim. Continue on towards Nuevo Xetinamit. This village was rebuilt in its current location on the hillside after hurricane Mitch ravaged the country. Head up the main road (this portion through the village is paved) and hill until the end and take a left. From here the road gets progressively more difficult and you will need a four wheel drive vehicle. Continue until you reach the telephone tower (N14.46.691, W091.25.082). This is where the trail begins.
From the telephone tower head SW along a clear trail towards the ridge which is plainly visible. The trail traverses several small hills and splits into several paths along the way. They all pretty much end up on the ridge and if you keep a generally SW course, you should be fine. Once on the ridge, the route becomes obvious. The trail crosses three hills at about 11,000 feet. After the third knoll, the tail begins to descend. After a series of switchbacks, the you end up at the junction (N14.44.560, W091.26.827)between the trail that will take you the the peak of Zunil and the trail to the col between Zunil and Santo Thomas. After topping out, return to the junction and take the path to the col. Follow this trail until you reach another split (N14.44.082, W091.28.029). If you continue strait, you will be on the trail to the volcano Santo Thomas. If you head down, you will be going towards the finca Chingada where you can arrange to have someone pick you up. Most of this section of the trail follows an old logging road. The trail terminates at the finca, essentially the end of the logging road (N14.44.526, W091.28.049). At this point you can either drive out, or follow another trail through thick cloud and bamboo forests to the Fuentes Amargas Georginas thermal baths and soak your bones after a great day of hiking. It was at this junction that I spotted a rare Quetzal bird.