Parque Nacional Los Volcanes, El Salvador

It was time for another volcano hike.  The destination this time was Volcano National Park home of three very large volcanoes.  The tallest, Vulcan Santa Ana with last eruption in 2005, was the goal.  Although the park is not too many kilometers from Juayua where I have been staying all week, it required catching a 6:00 a.m. two hour bus to Santa Ana in order to catch a 9:00 a.m. bus to the park.  There is a mandatory guide rule in effect due to some previous problems and you must be there by 11:00 a.m. to make the once daily trek.  With only a block to walk between buses, there was plenty of time to pop into a local comedor and get some breakfast typical and tasty Salvadorean coffee.

Arriving at the staging area, we were treated to a beautiful view of nearby Vulcan Iiametepec.

Vulcan Iiamatepec, Parque Nacional Las Volcanes, El Salvador

Our small group of old and new friends started our trek and after 20 minutes arrived at the actual park boundary.

National Park Boundary, El Salvador

Now we began to really climb!  Soon we could see a finca way below.

Finca About a Kilometer Straight Down

An hour later and just over half way up, I rounded a corner and got a great view of Lago de Coatepeque, a beautiful caldera lake with Isle del Cerro in the foreground.

Buena Vista de Lago de Coatepeque

Rest Stop

Much climbing and about another hour we arrived at the top.  At 7,757 feet this is El Salvador’s highest point.  I was sore and tired but quickly revived in my spectacular surroundings.  Vulcan de Santa Ana has the most textured caldera I have ever seen, with perhaps the exception of Haleakala on Maui.

The steep-sided caldera walls have differentiating layers of texture and color.  Water fills the bottom and the high sulfur content gives it’s unusual color.  Sulfur gas rises from a nearby vent.

Caldera Edge, Vulcan Santa Ana

Opposing Calder Edge

Sulfurous Lake in Vulcan de Santa Ana Caldera

Lake and Active Sulfur Vent

Group Summit Photo

Represented:  El Salvador, U.S., Sweden, Germany and Australia.

Officer Juan Let's Me Try on His Hat

Of course it was too small.  But we had a great time.  He practiced his English and I practiced my Spanish with each other.

At the Summit, Vulcan de Santa Ana, El Salvador

Well that’s about it.  I am headed to the beach.

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2 Responses to Parque Nacional Los Volcanes, El Salvador

  1. Brian B February 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Wow Phillip that is absolutely SPECTACULAR!

    Glad you are having a great time and sharing!

    Miss you Bud

    • admin February 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      Thanks Brian. Miss you too. You should just come down and meet me somewhere here for a couple weeks. You would love it. I am at an incredible beach in El Salvador right now.

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