Conchagua Volcano El Salvador. Overlooking the Fonseca Gulf.

Conchagua Volcano El Salvador
Conchagua Volcano. Photo by Sivar Cultura

The Conchagua volcano in El Salvador is a stratovolcano located on the western side of the Gulf of Fonseca at 1,242 meters above sea level. Conchagua is in the department of La Union, about 192 kilometers from San Salvador and almost 171 kilometers from the international airport.

Conchagua has one of the most beautiful views of the Salvadoran coast. From the volcano, you can see the Gulf of Fonseca and its islands, such as Perico, Conejo, Conchaguita, Meanguera del Golfo, Zacatillo, Chuchito, El Ilca, and Pirigallo.

Local and foreign tourists venture into this incredible volcano to get a glimpse of the Gulf of Fonseca and its islands. Also to see the astonishing sunrises and sunsets.

Conchagua Volcano El Salvador
Conchagua Volcano in La Union.

The Conchagua volcano is even more popular in 2021; it was chosen by Nayib Bukele to be the home of Bitcoin City, a futuristic city that will be built using Bitcoin bonds.

Surfing in El Salvador x
Surfing in El Salvador

Future Site of Bitcoin City

On November 20th, 2021, President Nayib Bukele announced his plan to create Bitcoin City at the base of the Conchagua Volcano in La Union.

Bukele made the announcement at the closing ceremony of a week-long Bitcoin conference held in El Salvador in November.

“Bitcoin City will be funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds,” said President Nayib Bukele. The city planned in the eastern region of La Union would get geothermal power from the Conchagua volcano.

The president stated that the only tax collected will be the value-added tax, half of which will be used to pay the municipal bonds and the rest for infrastructure and maintenance. Bukele said there would be no income, property, or municipal taxes.

The Bitcoin Bonds and construction of the Bitcoin City project are expected to start in 2022.

Conchagua Volcano Tourism

Visiting and exploring the Conchagua volcano is a top thing to do in El Salvador; this region offers camping areas, cabins, trails, and fantastic viewpoints of the Gulf of Fonseca.

The incredible views from the volcano reach La Union Bay and all the islands of the Gulf of Fonseca that Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador share.

Additionally, the Conchagua volcano has plenty of flora and fauna for those who like eco-tourism; nevertheless, the best attraction of this volcano is the fantastic views.

One of the principal reasons this stratovolcano does not get more visitors is its location. It is located in the eastern part of the country, far from the capital and other large cities.

Conchagua Volcano View
Panoramic view from Conchagua. Photo by E. Vasquez

When visiting Conchagua, it is recommended that you bring food, snacks, water, insect repellant, and everything you might need. At the volcano or nearby, you will not be able to buy any of those things.

If you are visiting Conchagua with a Salvadoran Touring Company, they will tell you what you need to bring with you for the trip.

Conchagua Volcano Ecotourism

The Conchagua volcano, the municipality of Conchagua, and the nearby Gulf of Fonseca have fantastic locations great for ecotouristic activities.

To begin with, you can visit the volcano enjoy the plentiful flora and fauna that you will find at the volcano.

Also, you can venture off the volcano and take a boat ride into the nearby Gulf of Fonseca islands and enjoy everything they have to offer.

Lastly, you can enjoy the pristine and underdeveloped beaches that you will find at the Gulf and the local islands.

All in all, the area of the Conchagua volcano is a fantastic place for ecotouristic activities.

Why Visit the Conchagua Volcano?

You should visit the Conchagua volcano for the fantastic views of the Gulf of Fonseca and the ecotourism activities.

The Conchagua volcano is located in the remote area of Eastern El Salvador; it is near fantastic beaches and the Fonseca Gulf islands.

Visit Conchagua, go camping, and view the beautiful sunrise over the Gulf. This area is worth visiting. Conchagua has one of the most beautiful views of the Salvadoran coast.

Conchagua Volcano
View from top of Conchagua Volcano. Photo by Dinarte

Camping at Conchagua Volcano

Many people, who visit Conchagua, end up spending the night at the volcano. Getting to this volcano is not easy, therefore getting the most out of the trip involves camping.

Conchagua has camping areas high up with fantastic views of the Gulf of Fonseca and its islands; these views are evident by the many images of sunsets and sunrises taken from the viewpoints.

Now, if your car is not up to the challenge of taking you to the two main camping sites near the top, you can spend the night at the lower end of the volcano at a property owned by CODECA.

Many people stay at the lower end of the volcano, and early in the morning, take the 1 1/2 hour hike to the first main viewpoint.

Furthermore, some people take the challenge and hike to the highest viewpoint on the volcano. This hike goes through the pathway called The Tiger that flies or El Tigre Que Vuela.

The trek from the bottom camping site to the highest viewpoint takes about two to two and a half hours, depending on your fitness level.

About Conchagua volcano

The name of the volcano, Conchagua, in the old Lenca language, means “narrow valley.”

According to historians, the name originates from a local heroine named Comizahual, which means “the flying tiger or El Tigre Que Vuela in Spanish.”

In fact, the trail that takes you to the highest viewpoint in the volcano is called the flying tiger trail.

Conchagua is a volcanic complex with two volcanic cones, Ocotal and Banderas; both volcanoes have craters, but the Banderas is more visible.

To the west is Ocotal, the older volcanic cone, which, over its existence, has had many volcanic movements and erosions; therefore, Ocotal does not have the typical shape of a volcano.

To the east is Banderas, a relatively younger volcano cone that is better preserved, and it looks more like a volcano.

The volcanic complex of Conchagua, with its two volcano cones, has many similarities with the volcanic complex of San Vicente.

However, since the San Vicente complex has had more volcanic activity, it has better-shaped cones that look more like a volcano.

Gulf of Fonseca
Gulf of Fonseca. Photo by Recinos

Accommodations

There are no accommodations near the Conchagua volcano. So, if camping is not your thing, you might have to stay in either the cities of San Miguel or La Union.

The following accommodations are near the Conchagua area; Comfort In Real La Union, Hotel Mediterraneo Inn, Hotel Plaza Floresta, and Hotel La Estacion.

Getting to the Volcano

Traveling to the Conchagua volcano is not an easy task; first, you need to get to the city of La Union or the colorful town of Conchagua.

Now, depending on your starting point, it can take a long time to get to Conchagua. For example, it can take up to five hours from San Salvador or the International airport to reach La Union or Conchagua town.

Next, from either Conchagua town or La Union city, you will need to get to a spot called El Faro or the lighthouse; here, you will access the road that will take you to the volcano’s camping sites.

The road from El Faro or the lighthouse to the two main camping sites is through a dirt road that is not well maintained. So, you definitely need to use an automobile with four-wheel capability.

To sum up, getting to the Conchagua volcano is an adventure in itself, but the trip is worth taking.

Gulf of Fonseca
View of the Gulf of Fonseca from Conchagua.

Conchagua Volcano in El Salvador

The Conchagua Volcano in El Salvador offers amazing views of the three bordering countries, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. These three nations are linked by the Gulf de Fonseca.

In Conchagua, tourists, both local and foreign, can visit and appreciate the entire Gulf of Fonseca, the islands, breathe fresh air, enjoy the climate, and admire the local flora and fauna.

Also, when in the area, you should visit the small town of Conchagua; it is a quiet, clean, and cozy place worth visiting.

So, if you ever get the chance, travel to the eastern part of the country, visit the volcano; I am sure you will enjoy the visit!