HIKE ACTIVE VOLCANOES IZALCO AND SANTA ANA (ILAMATEPEC)

 

Izalco is considered one of the youngest volcanoes in the world in that it erupted almost continuously for two centuries when in 1957 it stopped. With its almost perfect volcanic cone of loose rock and ash makes Izalco a favorite among hikers who will see, not only the rugged beauty, but be able to actually feel the heat and steam jets emitting from this geological wonder.
With an elevation of 1,950 meters above sea level this majestic sentinel has a diameter of 250 meters and still shows signs of activity and was once known as The Lighthouse of the Pacific by ancient sailors on their journey along Salvadoran coast line.

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ECLECTIC AND VIBRANT, SAN SALVADOR CITY

Discover the secrets of this modern and contrasting city located in the heart of El Salvador. San Salvador is one of the fastest growing metropolis in Central America with a population of 1.9 million people. You’ll experience the vibrant and sometimes eclectic downtown area “El Centro”, with all it’s colorful street vendors marketing their wares. Also the Metropolitan Cathedral where the great leader of human rights Archbishop Oscar Romero rest. You’ll experience the bustling plazas of downtown with it’s historical buildings and monuments commemorating great influential and historical figures.

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SUCHITOTO, PLACE OF FLOWERS AND BIRDS

No, it’s not Japanese. The name Suchitoto actually comes from the native Nahuat language that means “Place of flowers and birds”. What was one of the most important indigo trade centers of the world, cultural capital of the country and later on a scene of some fierce fighting during the Civil War years, today, with it’s colonial style architecture, old houses with red roof tiles and cobblestone streets, Suchitoto has emerged as a center  for the arts hosting galleries, exhibits and world class music and arts festivals.
Located along the shores of Suchitlán lake, the only man-made lake in El Salvador with a stunning beauty.

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LIFE’S A BEACH AT LA LIBERTAD AND COSTA DEL SOL

Set on the slopes of Cordillera del Bálsamo La Libertad beaches is a series of dark volcanic sand coastline with great views, surfing, gastronomy and laid back atmosphere where life a beach!

Watch the traditional fishermen as they arrive with the catch of the day at the peer and visit their colorful fish market at El Muelle de La Libertad. Take a walk at El Malecón del Puerto. Taste the seafood specialties with a cold coconut as you hear the waves crashing or ride them at El Tunco beach. Or just take a sunbath and swim the warm Pacific Ocean waters watching the pelicans flying nearby at El Sunzal.

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UNESCO SITE JOYA DE CERÉN & SAN ANDRÉS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARKS

Joya de Cerén is a snapshot of the daily life of a Mayan farmers community buried in volcanic ash during an eruption around the year 590 A.D.
When a quiet village was surprised by an eruption from the nearby Laguna Caldera volcano the villagers escaped leaving behind almost everything while more than 20 feet of volcanic ash entombed the region. Unique in Mayan World and one of the most important archeological sites in El Salvador, Joya de Cerén (a.k.a. the Pompeii of the Americas) has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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HIKING IN EL IMPOSIBLE NATIONAL PARK

In 5,000 hectares, El Imposible National Park is home to over 400 species of trees, the Ceiba and Ojuste  are a few of the largest and as the park guides will point out many of the plants and trees have medicinal uses. It is estimated there is between 5,000 and 6,000 species of butterflies also armadillos, wild boars, ocelots, white tailed deers, ant eaters and an occasional puma can be spotted in the park. El Imposible is habitat to a reported 285 species of birds including the magnificent Rey Zope (King Vulture).
The terrain of the park is very steep, 250 to almost 1,500  but has a substantial network of trails that should satisfy any avid hiker.

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COFFEE COUNTRY, RUTA DE LAS FLORES

Ruta de las Flores is 36 Km road that winds through the mountains between Sonsonate and Ahuachapán provinces and is the heart of El Salvador coffee country. Set in the highlands of the Apaneca mountain range the area is a favorite among foreign and local tourists alike.
Juayúa is famous for its Food Fest, a popular weekend and holidays fair to check out and taste local dishes along with arts and crafts market and street performers.
Watch ever green coffee fields set on the slopes of the many volcanoes lined up one next the other while we reach Apaneca the town at the highest elevation of El Salvador.
With it’s cobblestone streets Concepción de Ataco is a charming mountain village with its brightly colored facades, red roof tiles, cobblestone streets, porches and is one of the Top Tourist Destinations in El Salvador.

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SURFING IN EL TUNCO, EL SUNZAL AND EL ZONTE

For decades La Libertad beaches were a well kept secret among surfers around the world. Nowadays this series of small black-sanded volcanic beaches are popular but great spots for surfers and beach lovers alike.
Some of the most popular surfing destinations here are on a short distance one another.
Spots such as El Sunzal and El Tunco are excellent for any level of experience. Here you can get a surfboard or lessons from a local expert.
There are many restaurants in the area if you’d like to enjoy some snack, a meal or drinks (not included).
Visit to other surfing spots such as Punta Roca, El Zonte or Mizata available upon request.
Tour includes use of surfboard or one hour of instructor.

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LOS VOLCANES NATIONAL PARK, CERRO VERDE AND COATEPEQUE LAKE

Cerro Verde make up the Eastern most tip of the Sierra de Apaneca mountain range formed by more than a dozen volcanoes and is one of El Salvador most valued natural treasures. What is home to three major volcanoes, Cerro Verde, Santa Ana and Izalco. We’ll take time to walk the area and enjoy some gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside and also take a pleasant walk through the cloud forest. The last time Cerro Verde (Spanish for “Green Hill”) erupted is estimated over 25 thousand years ago with its highest point at 6,600 feet above sea level.

Coatepeque lake is without a doubt the blue sapphire of this magnificent region and one of the most beautiful volcanic lakes in the world: an old caldera of about 25 Km² with pristine waters where the Mayans once built a temple on the small island of Teopán to honor their goddess Ixchel. We’ll finish the tour with a panoramic view to the lake.

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ARCHBISHOP ROMERO’S STEPS

Born in 1917, Monseñor Oscar Romero is perhaps the best known Salvadoran worldwide.
After being named San Salvador Archbishop in 1977 he spoke against human rights violations, state’s repression, injustice and poverty. He became the Voice of the voiceless and was assassinated during mass in 1980. Today his legacy is deep in Salvadoran society and well known around the world.
San Salvador is full with landmarks and sites related to Romero’s life and legacy such as the Divina Providencia hospital where he lived and was shot during service. Metropolitan Cathedral where he addressed many of his speeches and his remains lies.
We’ll visit also the touching Monumento a la Memoria y la Verdad Memorial that pays homage to the victims of human rights violations during El Salvador Civil War.
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