Hiking Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador

Cody and I awoke moments before our alarm was to go off and quickly jumped out of bed. We got dressed, had a quick breakfast, walked to the bus station just a couple of blocks from our hostel, and bought our .90 tickets for the 7:40am bus to El Salvador’s most active and highest volcano.

We hopped on the bus #248 with fellow tourists, and locals, and prepared ourselves for a full day excursion.

The bus stopped several times along the way to pick up, and drop off passengers.

About 2 hours later (9:30) we arrived at Cerro Verde National Park and paid a $3 fee to enter.

Fees at Santa Ana Volcano

A young El Salvadoran man approached us and informed us that we had to wait until 11am for the guides to arrive, so we explored our surroundings, and relaxed for an hour and a half. You pay the guide $1 per person when you start the hike.

At 11am, about 20 eager hikers gathered around the guides to hear about our upcoming hike to the crater. We were advised to pay attention to our footing, and once we reach the top, to be mindful of where we are taking photos, as bodies cannot be retrieved from the sulphur lake (yikes).

Santa Ana Volcano

Our group was also escorted buy 2 officers for security, but not to worry, it is just a security measure, and nothing to be alarmed about.

The first 45 minutes of the hike was a pretty leisurely walk through a forest to get to the base. At one point we arrived at someone’s private property where each of us had to pay the owner $1 each to walk through it.

Heading up Santa Ana Volcano

Soon after we started the ascent.

It was a pretty easy climb, so a basic level of fitness is all you need to arrive at the peak.

We knew we were getting close when we started to smell the sulphur.

The entire climb took about 2 hours and the quicker you reach the top, the longer you will have to enjoy the beautiful crater lake.

Our group managed to spend an hour at the peak. We enjoyed lunch, snapped a few photos, then according to our police escorts, it was time to descend.

Santa Ana Volcano

We arrived back the park entrance at 3pm, and waited for the last bus to arrive at 4pm.

There is only one time per day to hike up to Santa Ana Volcano, so be sure to catch the 7:40am bus, and the 4pm bus back into Santa Ana. And bring snacks!

Santa Ana Volcano

In total we spent $6.80 USD per person to climb Santa Ana Volcano.


Map Location

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Lucia Pereira March 7, 2016 Reply

    That looks awesome guys…..something I would be involved in for sure!!
    and the colour of that water WOW!! Turquois blue/green….and in the end you
    get a lick on the head Giselle, how special…

    • Giselle and Cody March 22, 2016 Reply

      Yep, Giselle gets a special head lick!! Mmmmmm, salty!!

      It was an amazing view from the top and would definitely love to experience it with you.

  2. Elizabeth March 7, 2016 Reply

    Very cool!

    • Giselle and Cody March 22, 2016 Reply

      Tony would love this hike for sure!!

      Just need to get over there 🙂

      • Elizabeth March 23, 2016 Reply

        Yes, Tony would love that hike!

        • Giselle and Cody March 24, 2016

          We know he would. Hopefully one day he will do some travelling and explore 🙂

  3. Matthew May 5, 2016 Reply

    After reading through your posts on Central America it looks like we did the same trip and all the same activities.
    This was one of my favourite day trips in El Salvador. Unfortunately one of the girls in my group slipped and broke her ankle while hiking back down from the top. At least she made it to the top. I am sure the rest of her trip was ruined.

    • Giselle and Cody May 12, 2016 Reply

      Mathew, Thanks for writing. We also loved the hike up to Santa Ana Volcano. It is a pretty intermediate hike that we think most anyone is capable of finishing. It’s a shame the girl on your group broke her ankle. Poor girl. That would definitely ruin a trip.

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