Top 5 Must Do's in Montecristo national park

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Make sure you don't miss one of these Montecristo National Park must do’s when visiting this beautiful place in El Salvador. Don’t forget, you’ll need to get a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment 48 hours prior to entering the park. If you don’t speak Spanish, it is a good idea to take someone with you that does, since most of the locals aren’t familiar with English.

1. Visit San Jose

This is usually the starting point of the trip. San Jose was a colonial town, formed in 1783, popular with the cultivation of indigo and coffee. The San Jose estate, “San Jose hacienda” as the locals refer to it, plays the role of a Nature Interpretation Center, where all tourists can see different antiques from the colonial times, as well as get introduced to some of the rare animal species that inhabit the area. Taking a nearby trail, you can reach the remains of the 1992 plane crash site.

2. Go Camping

Starting from San Jose, you can hire a guide to take you to the camping area of Los Planes, or if you feel confident enough, you can go on your own. The area offers three campgrounds, equipped with bathrooms, running water and cooking pits, as well as two family cabins. On the way to the camping site, you can choose to stop by one of the several lookout towers and enjoy fascinating sights of the surrounding area.

3. Visit the Flower Garden

Once in Los Planes, ask for “El Jardín de los cien Años” - The Century Garden - a beautiful place with over 75 different species of orchids and various types of palms and ferns. The garden has an educational center, where you can learn more about the different plant species.

4. Climb El Trifinio

El Trifinio is the park’s highest peak, located just where the borders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras meet, at a height of 2418m. It gives a great view of the surrounding area and overlooks the town of Metapán. There is a nice trail leading you right from Los Planes to El Trifinio.

5. See the Love Tree

Before leaving the park, you should certainly go and see the Love Tree – “Arbol Del Amor” as they call it. There is a legend which says, that if a couple kisses under that tree, they will live together for a lifetime. So watch out who you are kissing among the trees, and enjoy your stay at the park.

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