The 11 best places to visit in El Salvador


Dating back to 1200 BC, located in the countries capital, San Salvador, is the Jewel Of Cerén, an archaeological site featuring a pre-Colombian Maya farming village. Nicknamed the 'Pompeii of the America's', it is known for the excellent preservation of a Classic period settlement that was rapidly buried by volcanic ash after the eruption of the Loma Caldera around 600 AD. The Jewel Of Cerén is the only location in El Salvador to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

11. Joya De Cerén


Just west from the capital, San Salvador, is the Los Chorros Natural Spring, an open air water park in wonderful natural jungle surroundings. Clear pools of spring water fed by cascading waterfalls make this a great location for swimming and hiking, and best of all its free. 

10. Los Chorros De La Calera


In the far north west of the country, where the borders of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala meet is Montecristo National Park, the oldest protected landscape in the country. Centered on the Montecristo cloud forest the park is known for its pristine jungle terrain and its wild life diversity. The parks major highlight is hiking to the border marker atop Montecristo peak, taking visitors on a five hour round trip through the cloud forest on a route very few foreign tourists ever venture on.

9. Montecristo National Park


South east from the capital, San Salvador, is a large rock with a cracked cliff face known as the Devil's Door. Historically a Maya ritual killing spot, today the location has become popular among visitors for the incredible panoramic views available from the summit.

8. Puerta Del Diablo


In the extreme east of the country is the Bosque Conchagua coastal forest, surrounding the beautiful Conchagua Volcano. From its peak it offers visitors an incredible panoramic view of the islands in the Gulf Of Fonseca, as well as views of Honduras, Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean.

7. Bosque Conchagua


In the centre of the capital, San Salvador, marking the historic centre of the city is Liberty Square, sometimes referred to as Freedom Square. Easily the most impressive modern urban landscape in El Salvador, at its western end sits two of the cities most well known landmarks, namely the National Palace and the enormous domed Cathedral of San Salvador.

6. Plaza Libertad


Dating from around 250 to 900 AD, in the west of the country close to the city of Santa Ana and the border with Guatemala is the pre-Colombian archaeological site of Tazumal, an architectural complex within the larger area of the ancient Mesoamerican city of Chalchuapa. Metal artifacts from the complex date to the 8th century AD, making them among the earliest metal artifacts reported from Mesoamerica. Excavated and restored through the 1940's and 50's, Tazumal is easily the finest example of an ancient Maya pyramid in El Salvador.

5. Tazumal


Slightly north west of the capital, San Salvador, is the El Boqueron National Park, home to the 1,893 metre (6,211 ft) San Salvador Volcano, also known as Quezaltepeque or El Boquerón. A fairly challenging hike will get visitors to the rim of the stratovolcano crater where they will have a chance to witness Little Boqueron, known as the crater within the crater.

4. Parque Nacional El Boqueron


In the extreme south west of the country close to the border with Guatemala is the 38 square kilometre (15 square mile) El Imposible National Park, literally meaning the 'Impossible National Park'. Sitting within the Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range the park rises and falls anywhere between 250 and 1,450 metres (820 and 4,757 ft) above sea level with its high lookouts giving visitors incredible views out over the tropical forests and even as far as the Pacific Ocean. With an extraordinary variety of plant and animal life, visitors also stand a good chance of spotting a king hawk or even a black crested eagle among many other animal species.

3. Parque Nacional El Imposible


North west from the capital, San Salvador, within the Cerro Verde National Park is the incredibly impressive Santa Ana Volcano, reaching a whopping 2,381 metres (7,811 ft) above sea level it is the highest volcano in the country. A four hour hike gets visitors up to the rim of the crater to see the bubbling crater lake, with its peak said to offer one of the finest views anywhere in El Salvador.

2. Volcan De Santa Ana


Between the capital, San Salvador, and the Guatemalan border is the relatively small 27 square kilometre (10 square mile) Volcano National Park, better known as Cerro Verde National Park. The landscape is one of highly bio-diverse forests, rolling hills, steep mountains and huge volcanoes that include the Santa Ana Volcano, the Izalco Volcano and the Cerro Verde Volcano from which the park takes its name. Crossed by a number of hiking trails, this small national park holds within it the most impressive terrain and vistas in El Salvador.

Pictured is the Izalco Volcano.

1. Parque Nacional Cerro Verde

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