Exploring the Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador, an Enigmatic Beach Beauty in Eastern El Salvador

By Eddie.  |  Sep 20th, 2022
Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador

The Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador or Golfo de Fonseca in Spanish is an astonishing tri-national body of water shared between Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Gulf is located in the eastern part of El Salvador, in the department of La Union.

This body of water reaches inland for about 65 kilometers and covers an area of about 1,800 square kilometers. The entrance to the Gulf is about 32 kilometers across; but, it extends to approximately 80 kilometers, once inside the Gulf.

Visiting the Gulf of Fonseca.

Visiting the Gulf of Fonseca is a top thing to do in El Salvador. People from all over, local and foreign, visit the Gulf for different reasons. For instance, here you can go explore the Conchagua volcano, take boat rides into the Gulf, or enjoy the pristine beaches.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Tourism: A Journey Through Pristine Beaches, Colorful Towns, and Enchanting Parks

Exploring the Conchagua volcano.

Exploring the Conchagua volcano is a popular activity to do when visiting the Gulf of Fonseca. For instance, at the volcano, you can go hiking one of the trails, spend the night camping, and enjoy the views.

Hiking one of the trails at this volcano will allow you to see plenty of the local flora and fauna. The paths might not be as attractive as the ones located at Cerro Verde National Park; nonetheless, they are great for exploring.

Camping is also one of the most popular activities to do this volcano; it has to do with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. You can camp at the bottom part of the volcano or high up near the summit.

The views from the viewpoint near the summit are simply breathtaking. Many people visit the Conchagua volcano and spend the night camping, just to be able to get a glimpse of the gulf and its islands during the sunrises or sunsets. Undoubtedly, the Conchagua volcano is one of the main attractions at the Gulf of Fonseca.

Taking boat rides into the Gulf of Fonseca.

Taking a boat ride deep into the ocean is another fun activity that can be done. There are options available on what type of boat ride to take and for how long.

For example, you can take a boat ride that lasts about an hour, just to go sightseeing. Nevertheless, you can take boat rides and go fishing or visit one of the many islands in the gulf.

Enjoy the pristine beaches.

The Gulf of Fonseca in the department of La Union has unique pristine beaches scatter all over its coastal territory. These beaches are ideal for all types of visitors to enjoy and relax.

The beaches at the department of La Union, around the Gulf of Fonseca, are not well-known. Mainly because they are not located near larger populated areas and are not that easy to get to.

Nevertheless, they are fantastic; at the beach, you will have the Gulf of Fonseca in front of you and the astonishing Conchagua volcano behind you. Unquestionably, the beaches around the Gulf of Fonseca are part of the amazing beaches in El Salvador.

To sum up, you can visit the Gulf of Fonseca and see beautiful views from the Conchagua volcano, go fishing, explore the islands, or just relax at the beach; it is all up to you on what to do!

Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador

A short history of the Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador.

Explorer Gil Gonzales, in 1522, discovered the Gulf. He named the newly discovered body of water Fonseca; he did it to honor Bishop Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, an influential political figure at the time.

All three countries, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, have a coastline along the Gulf; therefore, they ended up involved in a conflict over the rights of ownership to the Gulf and its islands.

The conflict was settled in 1992, by a resolution of the International Court of Justice ICJ of The Hague. The ICJ ruling determined that El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua will share control of the Gulf of Fonseca.

Additionally, El Salvador was granted the islands of Meanguera and Meanguerita, and Honduras was confirmed ownership over the tiger island or Isla del Tigre.

Gulf of Fonseca INFO.

The following are important things to know about the Gulf of Fonseca.

  • These departments in each country that share the Gulf are, Choluteca and Valle in Honduras, La Union in El Salvador, and Chinandega in Nicaragua.
  • The main costal cities in each country are San Lorenzo in Honduras, La Union in El Salvador, and Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua.
  • The Gulf’s coastline extends for 261 kilometers, of which 185 are in Honduras, 40 in Nicaragua, and 29 in El Salvador.
  • Fonseca Gulf’s body of water is fed by the Estero Real River of Nicaragua and by the Goascoran, Choluteca, and Negro rivers of Honduras.
  • The Gulf’s shores in Honduras and Nicaragua are mostly covered with mangrove swamps. However, in El Salvador, the Conchagua Volcano rises clearly from the shore.
  • The Gulf’s main ports are La Unión in El Salvador, Amapala in Honduras, and Puerto Morazán in Nicaragua.

Major islands in the Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador.

As previously mentioned, this fantastic body of water is located in the eastern part of El Salvador; in the department of La Union.

The major islands belonging to El Salvador are Meanguera, Conchagüita, Zacatillo, Conchagua, and Martin Perez.

Honduras has ownership of the following islands, Coyote, Ascension, Farallones, and Tiger. By all means, El Salvador disputed the ownership of Tiger Tiger Island; nevertheless, the International Court of Justice or ICJ, gave ownership of the island to Honduras.

As for Nicaragua, they have ownership of the Farallones de Cosiguina; this is a set of stony islets that are in the municipality of El Viejo.

Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador

Gulf of Fonseca El Salvador.

To sum up, the Gulf of Fonseca is a beautiful body of water in Central America that links three countries, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.

Undoubtedly, the Gulf of Fonseca has plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy and experience. So, if you ever get the chance, head on to the eastern part of El Salvador and discover what the Gulf is all about.