Explore the volcanoes in El Salvador! It’s one of the top activities to do in in the country. El Salvador, the land of volcanoes, is located in the Pacific ring of fire, it has about twenty active volcanoes scattered all over the territory. Every year local and foreign tourist spend time exploring these majestic volcanoes.
About the volcanoes in El Salvador
There are different ways to explore and appreciate these volcanoes. Hiking to the summit is the most common way to explore and enjoy the beauty of these volcanoes, followed by viewing them from one of the many lookout points along the way.
Hiking to the summit
Surely, hiking to the summit is the best way to explore and appreciate the beauty of these volcanoes; the most attractive volcanoes in the country have trails that take you to the summit.
Because the trails leading you up to the summit are dangerous and challenging; I recommend you do the hike in a group and with a professional guide.
Appreciating the volcanoes from lookout points.
If hiking is not your thing; but you still want to get a closer look at the fantastic volcanoes. You can visit parks like El Boqueron or Los Volcanoes national park, these national parks have open areas with great views of the volcanoes.
El Boqueron and Los Volcanoes National park are not the only volcanoes that have these lookout areas. So, depending on your location, the volcano near you might offer different activities or ways to explore.
The best way to decide what volcano to visit is to speak to a tour company and see what they recommend.
Without further delay, here are the most popular volcanoes in El Salvador.
The Santa Ana volcano.
Santa Ana is one of the three volcanos located at the Volcanoes National Park and one of the most visited by tourist.
This volcano is the highest in El Salvador, and also one of the most active. Hiking Santa Ana is not for everyone, the trail is narrow, challenging, and dangerous.
However, once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the other two volcanoes, the Coatepeque lake in the distance, and a beautiful scenic view of the area.
At the summit, you will get to see the remarkable lake that sits inside the crater with its turquoise color. Additionally, from the top, you will get a 360-degree unobstructed view of the entire region.
The best way to access this volcano is from the City of Santa Ana either by taking a public bus or with a tour company. Once you get to the base of the volcano, the trip can be arranged with one of the official guides working at the park.
Izalco volcano is one of the three volcanos located at the volcanoes national park and also one of the favorites to hike.
Here is a little bit of history for you; Izalco is also called, the lighthouse of the Pacific. It got the nickname from the flaring eruptions and the lava coming out that could easily be seen from the Pacific Ocean. Therefore resembling a lighthouse.
Just like the Santa Ana volcano, this hike is challenging even for experienced hikers. Nonetheless, once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the entire area.
The Izalco volcano has no vegetation; therefore, the perfect volcano cone is visible from afar. Hike the Izalco Volcano and combine extreme hiking and ecotourism; you will have a great time!
Cerro Verde Volcano.
Cerro Verde is an extinct volcano located at the volcanoes national park. This extinct volcano is the easiest to hike and explore, most visitors use it as a stepping stone to get to either Izalco volcano or Santa Ana volcano.
It’s important to clarify that the volcanoes national park is also called the Cerro Verde National Park. So, make sure you don’t get them confused.
The top activity at Cerro Verde is hiking of course; however, the trails in here are more accessible to navigate. From this volcano, you will be able to get some astonishing views of the other volcanos and the Coatepeque Lake in the distance.
Volcano El Boqueron.
El Boqueron is a volcano and a national park as well, and it’s located outside San Salvador about 10 miles from the edge of the city.
Because of its location and great weather, this volcano is visited by many locals and foreign tourist. There are a few activities to do at El Boqueron, you can go hiking one of the trails, hang out at the lookout points, or hike to the top and view the crater.
The main attraction at El Boqueron is the volcano crater and the smaller crater, called El Boqueroncito, located inside the main crater.
The San San Salvador volcano is a great place to spend time exploring in El Salvador.
Here is a video by Juan Liévano going all the way down and camping inside the El Boqueron crater. The video is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Chaparrastique, iconic volcano in El Salvador.
The Chaparrastique volcano or volcano of San Miguel is located in the eastern part of the country. This volcano it’s definitely not for everyone to explore.
This volcano is not protected by any national park or has official trails to follow; it’s just there for anyone with the courage to explore it. Undoubtedly, there are unofficial guides that will take you to the summit.
If this is an adventure that you want to take on, I recommend planning ahead; get the right guide and look into security. Also, keep in mind that this fierce-looking volcano is one of the most active in the country, the last small eruption was in 2016.
San Vicente volcano or Volcano Chichontepec.
The San Vicente volcano or Volcano Chichontepec is the second tallest volcano in the country, next to Santa Ana volcano. This massive twin-peaked volcano, just like the San Miguel volcano, is not suitable for everyone to explore.
This volcano is surrounded by vegetation, therefore getting to the summit is the best and only way to see the areas around it. Getting to the top is challenging, but, once you do, you will get excellent views of the Pacific Ocean. Also on a clear day, from this summit; you can see the other two large volcanos in the distance, Chaparrastique, and Santa Ana.
Guazapa, one of the best volcanoes in El Salvador with recent history.
Guazapa volcano is on this list because of the civil war of the ’80s. This mountain volcano is not the highest or the best looking volcano in the country; but, it was an instrumental location during the armed conflict.
While hiking the trails, you will see trenches, encampments, and cemeteries dug by guerilla fighters. The hike itself is not difficult as the trails are easy to navigate.
A lot of travelers go to Guazapa from Suchitoto, it’s a great way to see a colonial town, hike a volcano, and learn about the armed conflict of the ’80s.
Volcanoes in El Salvador
Obviously, there are other volcanoes in El Salvador, great for exploring. In this list, I added the most well-known and popular.
The three volcanoes at Los Volcanos National Park and El Boqueron are by far the most popular destinations. These volcanos have excellent trails and local guides ready to assist you with whatever you might need. Additionally, they are near big popular cities like Santa Ana, San Salvador, and Santa Tecla.
The Volcanoes at San Miguel and San Vicente are for individuals who want a more challenging journey. These volcanoes are not easy to explore, and the trails are not well kept.
Lastly is the Guazapa volcano, an easier one to explore, but rich with recent history.
To sum up, explore the volcanos in El Salvador, it’s a top thing to do while visiting the country. Also, check out the National Parks in El Salvador, they are a also a top thing to do in the country.