Volcano Complex National Park, Cerro Verde, Izalco and Santa Ana
The Cerro Verde Volcano is located about 1 hour west of San Salvador and is part of the Volcano Complex National Park which includes areas of the Izalco and Santa Ana Volcanos as well as the mentioned Cerro Verde which is situated between the other two very distinct volcanos.
At Gringo tours we include the a visit to Cerro Verde as a component of several other full day tours and can be included in a version of the Mayan Sites tour, Ruta de Flores tour or in route to the Ruta de Flores from or back to Suchitoto, San Salvador and other destinations in El Salvador. A visit to the park can be arranged from pretty much anywhere in the western/central part of the country.
The visit to Cerro Verde includes either a 45 minute walk-easy to moderate hike around the extinct crater accompanied by local guides at the park. If time is limited, a shorter walk to the newly restored hotel and lookouts by the parking permit easy views of the two neighboring volcanos, this when the sky is clear. For those who enjoy wild life, it is common to see animals like armadillos, snakes, birds of many types and the occasional cotuza (in Spanish) or agouti a rodent similar in appearance to a guinea pig but having longer legs. I tell people it looks like it does a skittle-hop and looks like a hare or rabbit.
When combined with Joya de Ceren lunch at a small restaurant on the Lake Coatepeque caldera ridge road can be arranged before or after visiting the park
For those looking to climb a volcano, El Salvador offers several options and Gringo Tours can arrange two fairly easily.
Both options we offer start at or close to Cerro Verde, are escorted by 1-2 Tourist Police and 1-5 local park guides depending on the size of the group. Tours are offered daily (weather permitting) starting at 11:00 am from Cerro Verde.
We are always asked which is the better hike and simply said they are so different that it is hard to compare.
Effort wise most consider the Izalco volcano hike more difficult as it is a steeper climb, has more steps to get down to the base and back up to Cerro Verde, provides very little shade and is mostly loose lava rock making it somewhat slippery.
The Santa Ana hike offers some shade and vegetation, less steps and offers many times, the very rewarding view of the emerald/turquoise colored crater lake.
That said both tours take a full 4 hours and require you to be in good physical condition.
Cerro Verde, Santa Ana or Izalco hike staring and endind in San Salvador
Included in this tour:
• Transportation in vehicle with A/C
• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)
• All Entrance fees
• Local guide fees
• Bilingual guide
Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-9 hours
Difficulty level of Tour: easy to moderate
• Snacks and Meals
• Optional Tips to local guides
• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description