Quebec - Patagonia 2017-2019

(North and Central America)
unknown length - solo travel - Suzuki DR650 moto

Parque Nacional Los Volcanes and Caldera de Coatepeque

January 22, 2019  —  El Salvador

Here are the two most spectacular places in El Salvador. The national park and the caldera are both located next to each other.

Caldera de Coatepeque

Caldera de Coatepeque - El Salvador

The Coatepeque Caldera and Lake Coatepeque were formed between about 72,000 and 57,000 years ago following several minor explosive eruptions. Nowadays, the lake has a surface area of 25.3 km2 and a depth of 115 metres.

Caldera de Coatepeque - El Salvador
Caldera de Coatepeque - El Salvador
Caldera de Coatepeque - El Salvador
Caldera de Coatepeque - El Salvador
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Parque Nacional Los Volcanes

Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador

When I arrived at the park, the winds were blowing fiercely, and I couldn't hike to the summit of Santa Ana Volcano. With strong winds, it's too dangerous to venture along the crater rim. I spent the day relaxing at a campsite on the edge of the park...

The second day, no luck, winds are still too strong. Again, another day at the campsite waiting for an opportunity to climb the volcano.

Finally, the third day, the winds dropped in intensity. Normally, the hike is done at 11hr with a group guided by a policeman. To climb at another time, it's necessary to make a request in advance to get the mandatory police escort. At around 8hr, the morning of the third day, I see this Salvadorian family arrive, and I asked them if I could join the group. They accepted.

I did the hike in the company of the family. Some of them live in El Salvador, and some live in Canada. Ricardo (black t-shirt) lives in London, Ontario, with his family. His two children speak excellent English, Spanish, and also French which they learned at school.

It was a pleasure to hike with all these nice people. Greetings to Ricardo and all the family.

Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Santa Ana Volcano, the ultimate goal of our hike.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Hike with my new family.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Izalco Volcano.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
View of Lake Coatepeque.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
The trail.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
The trail.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Summit without any vegetation.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
At the centre of the crater, this smoking lake with a strong sulphur odour.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
The crater of Santa Ana Volcano.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Lake Coatepeque.
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador

This friendly policeman escorted us to the summit. He must often hike to the summit since he had no difficulty to climb quite rapidly.

Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Parque Nacional Los Volcanes - El Salvador
Photo taken by Ricardo.