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