One hour west of San Salvador, Los Volcanes National Park is home to three massive volcanoes of the Cordillera de Apaneca.
Volcan Santa Ana (also known as Ilamatepec) is the highest in the country.
From its summit—7,811 feet above sea level—you can view four nested calderas and a bright green sulfuric lake.
Santa Ana, Izalco, and Cerro Verde
Santa Ana and its two sister volcanoes, the black-coned Izalco and the thickly forested Cerro Verde, combine to form the core of the park.
Guides and prearranged permits are essential for hikes of Santa Ana and Izalco, while Cerro Verde’s trails are both open and accessible.
The park is closed on Mondays.
El Imposible National Park
In the far west, Parque Nacional El Imposible protects over 9,400 acres of steep mountain rainforest and dry-forest habitat.
Eight rivers cross the park in shimmering streaks and cascades, flowing into the Barra de Santiago watershed and coastal mangroves.
More than 1,000 plant and 280 bird species have been identified here.
Wildlife Watching in El Imposible
Park residents include black-crested eagles, oncillas, pumas and wild boars.
Guided day-hikes from Tacuba, west of the Route of Flowers towns, allow you to observe wildlife in addition to visiting waterfalls and petroglyphs.
Those looking to unwind can relax in the natural pools. Day trips are also available from the Pacific Coast region near Cara Sucia.
Along El Salvador’s northwest border with Guatemala and Honduras, the fern and orchid filled Montecristo Highlands rise 7,800 feet above sea level.
These three neighbor nations established a contiguous biosphere here, protecting a huge swath of cloud forest and pine-oak habitat.
Montecristo’s topography creates distinct microclimates, supporting species such as:
- Spider Monkeys
- Resplendent Quetzals
Montecristo is accessed from the town of Metapan, three miles to the west of the park and roughly four hours from San Salvador.
Diverse Day Hike Options
Day hikes, ranging from gentle forest walks to tackling the challenging summit of Cerro Montecristo, should be arranged in advance.
Permits and experienced guides are essential. The park is closed from April to September.
LANDED arranges personalized travel throughout El Salvador. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
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