IZALCO AND CERRO VERDE VOLCANOES

On a glimpse

Distance walked: 7.2 Km / 4.5 Mi
Duration (actual walking time): ~ 3h 30m – 4h
Ascent – Descent: 691 – 676 m / 2,267 – 2,218 ft
Elevation at start: 2,019 m / 6,624 ft
Top elevation: 2,019 m / 6,624 ft

Check map, route and more data here

Environment: Cloud forest, tall trees and shady on Cerro Verde’s side. Bare loose rock and no vegetation on Izalco’s side. Steep slopes on both sides. Some scrambling in last sections of Izalco. On Cerro Verde you must down and up near 1,500 steps carved on the dirt.
Highlights: A challenging hike rewarded by stunning views to different volcanic belts and mountain ranges in three countries (on a clear day). One of the youngest volcano in the world. 2 Volcanoes in one hike!

Summary
From Cerro Verde’s Visitors Centre we start the walk to Izalco, one of youngest volcanoes in the world. Half the walk -first and last sections- you is in the shady cloud forest. Then comes Izalco, a cone of rocks with no vegetation at all. The whole trail is steep (steeper before reaching top).
Once on top of Izalco -on a clear day- you can watch the Pacific Ocean to the South, San Salvador volcano to the East, the mountain range between El Salvador and Honduras to the North and volcanoes as far as Guatemala to the West. There are some steam fumes as a reminder this is young fella is not even dormant, just relaxed.
Since Cerro Verde is an extinct volcano at the end of this hike you walked two volcanoes in one day.

Mix and Match

  • Earlier departures available so you can spend the rest of your evening recovering your energy in a private house on the shore of Coatepeque lake. This is an ancient caldera turned into a lake basin and the most beautiful natural lake of El Salvador. You can enjoy your lunch here.

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