Cerro verde national park Travel Guide

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For nature lovers, Cerro Verde National Park is a must see on your travels through El Salvador. Nestled between three volcanoes, this park features a lush forest teeming with flowers, flora and fauna as well as some of the most stunning views in the country. Spend a couple days here exploring the natural wonderland before moving on to the bigger cities and you will be happy that you did.

Cerro Verde National Park Features

The park’s three volcanoes, the Izalco Volcano, the Cerro Verde and the Santa Ana Volcano, offer some fantastic nature hikes and volcano climbs for the more adventurous tourist. The Santa Ana Volcano is the highest in the country standing at 7,759 feet and boasts some really amazing views all the way up. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable guide for your hiking through the mountains will add a lot of value to your visit here and is now required by the park for safety reasons.

The nearby Izalco Volcano can be climbed in about 3 hours from the base in the city of Izalco, a blossoming tourist destination that has a nice colonial center and strong indigenous population. There is also a parking lot in the park that drops you about 1.5 hours from the top if you prefer a shorter climb to reach the peak. This volcano, with its last eruption taking place in 1966, features a black lava cone and a nice crater and has been known for years as the lighthouse of the Pacific because of its near continuous eruptions for 160 years.  

The Santa Ana Volcano can easily be climbed from the main Cerro Verde National Park parking lot in approximately 2 hours. This hike features a view of four craters along the way, one of which has a boiling turquoise crater lake within it.  

Hiking up the Cerro Verde can be a treat, as the higher you get, the more likely you get caught up in the misty clouds. The wooded trails of the Cerro Verde volcano have many abandoned coffee bushes that speak to the countries past days of coffee production.

For birdwatchers, Cerro Verde is a paradise. Filled with migratory species like woodpeckers, jays, emerald toucanets and 17 species of hummingbirds, the park is a popular spot for bird enthusiasts. The park also is home to a beautiful orchid nursery that is not to be missed.

Cerro Verde National Park can be reached from San Salvador in a little over an hour by both car and bus.

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