Hike, surf and kayak on a 10 day adventure through the beautiful country of El Salvador.
Its small size and wealth of exciting activities all within a 3 hour drive means you could be at the top of the volcano in the morning and swimming in the ocean in the afternoon on this authentic El Salvador adventure.
The smallest and most densely populated country of Central America, El Salvador has a volcanic landscape which provides opportunities for a huge number of adventure actives on land and water. Go mountain biking through cloud forests in Apaneca, hiking the volcanoes 0f Santa Ana or Izalco, kayaking through mangroves or surfing the world famous waves.
Historical & cultural sites
As well as adventure El Salvador has fascinating and rich historical offering. Before the Spanish conquest, the country was a part of the great Mayan civilisation and there are many archeological sites to explore like the UNESCO’s World Heritage site Joya de Cerén. Or visit Cinquera, is a small and picturesque rural community located in the Salvadorian Department of Cabañas, that is a leading example of a post-conflict community working in peace together to preserve nature and implement grassroots tourism projects.
This trip itinerary is an example of what you can pack into 10 days in this wonderful country, but you can pick and choose from a handpicked selection of adventure activities to create your perfect trip to El Salvador. Enquire for full details and to get a tailored quote.
- Explore the incredible flora of the Ruta de Las Flores
- Bike through mountains of Apaneca
- Help out at a turtle conservation and release programme
- Take a surf lesson
- Kayak through mangroves
Why We Love This Adventure
- Pick and choose from adventure and cultural activities to create your perfect trip
- El Salvador's small size makes it easy to pack loads into your adventure trip - go from mountain to coast in less than 3 hours drive
- Learn to surf with professional instructors on world-class waves
The smallest and most densely populated country of Central America, El Salvador. Located between Guatemala, Honduras and the pacific coast. At 8000 square miles El Salvador has a wide verity of activities to offer and all within a maximum of a 3 hour’s drive. You can be at the top of the volcano and 45 min later swimming in the ocean.
In El Salvador the biodiversity contains mangrove forests, swamp forests, lagoons, pine and oak forests, cloud forests and tropical dry forests and has an extending diversity of butterflies, bird species, fish and orchids
El Salvador has a volcanic landscape which gives access to a lot of activities on land and water!
10 days through El Salvador, crossing the country from Unesco sites to National Parks. Choose your perfect itinerary from volcanoes to colonial towns, Mayan sites, to conversation experiences and of course ..... SURFING!! All within 3 hours drive in this small but wonderfully diverse Central American country.
Day 1: San Salvador (-,-,-)
Arrive San Salvador airport. Your driver will pick you up at the airport and drive to your hotel in the capital San Salvador.
Day 2: Joya de Ceren - Apaneca (B,-,-)
Breakfast. Your guide picks you up and drives you to Joya de Ceren which was declared world heritage by UNESCO in 1993 for being the only location in the whole Mayan culture where you can appreciate the day to day living styles of the popular pre-Columbian inhabitants. Joya de Ceren was buried by several eruptions of volcanoes and the village under 14 layers of ash. The villagers were apparently able to escape in time – no bodies have been found – although they left behind utensils, ceramics, furniture, and even half-eaten food in their haste to escape.
Then off to one of El Salvador’s Mayan ruins, San Andres which was inhabited by Maya between AD 600 and 900. There is nice small museum on site. Afternoon transfer to the mountains of the Ruta de Las Flores, famous for its abundance of wild growing flowers. This region has beautiful panoramic views of the mountain side coffee plantations, lagoons and dense cloud forests. Take a look around at the little town of Ataco, colorful decorated with authentic arts and crafts shops.
Day 3: Apaneca (B,-,-)
Today you seek adventure around the Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) with the serene sounds of the cloud forest. Several active options around: You can mountain bike or hike. Bike tour starts up the mountains of Apaneca and visits the Laguna Verde Crater Lake and takes you on a downhill ride which can be all the way into the near colonial town. Another option is to hike around the lagoon, through the coffee plantations.
In the afternoon you will experience a marvelous sensation of flying through the skies trough the coffee plantation in the Apaneca region. You will slide down in more than 2000 meters of cable, fourteen platforms suspended from the canopy trees, up to 150 meters per trek.
Day 4: Cerro Verde National Park & Lake Coatepeque (B,-,-)
Breakfast. You will get up early to drive to the National park “Los Volcanes". Here come together the volcanoes of Izalco, Santa Ana and Cerro Verde. The volcanoes are located within beautiful scenery and have a wide biodiversity. You will be able to spot some 300 year old trees climbing to amazing heights.
There are many species of animals living inside the park; among them are many types of hummingbirds and the black birds known as "chara" which feed other birds such as toucans, during their mating season. On the path ‘The Orchids’, where you can see the beauty of these exotic plants that grow wild in the region. At 11 am you will hike up Volcano Ilamatepec (Santa Ana) 2,381 meters above sea level, the tallest volcano in El Salvador. The volcano has four craters and one of them held a sulfur lagoon. It's most recent eruption was on the morning of October 1st. 2005. The volcano is located within the hills of Apaneca, surrounded by cloud forests, in region full of coffee plantations. You will have a great view to Lake Coatepeque, a beautiful, clean, and sparkling blue crater-shaped lake.
In the afternoon you will have optional late lunch at Lake Coatepeque with an amazing view over the lake! Lake Coatepeque is a beautiful, clean, and sparkling blue crater-shaped lake, 6 kms wide and 120 meters deep and surrounded by steep green slopes of Volcano Izalco and Santa Ana. Transfer to the colonial town of Suchitoto.
Day 5: Suchitoto (B,-,-)
Breakfast. Suchitoto has great colonial houses and church, art galleries and is close to Lake Suchitlan, a former river that was dammed and has an ecosystem that offers much ornithological interest for abundance as well as for the variety of species, pelicans, herons and storks. We will have a historical city tour around all the interesting points in town. Guided walk in Suchitoto, visiting the church, market and corn mill. Indigo is a natural colorant extracted from the Xiquilite plant. It was a very important element for the Mayans since they used it for magic/religious rituals, as a medical plant, for pottery and for painting. During an Indigo workshop you will learn all about the process and enjoy designing your own scarf! End of the day see the sun go down at Lake Suchitlan. Overnight in Suchitoto.
Day 6: Suchitoto (B,-,-)
Get up early and have some activities around Suchitoto. You can go horseback riding to Guazapa with an ex guerilla local guide and see their former combat and campsites, trenches, tattoos and bomb holes. Guazapa was the scenario for multiple bombings and military raids as it was a strategic bastion of the rebels for twelve years and in a repeated attempt by the army to retake the territory.
Or visit Cinquera, is a small and picturesque rural community located in the Salvadorian Department of Cabañas, where the post war community is a great example of how to work together to have a better life. Here, sustainability and establishing a nature preserve is a high priority. The history of this community changed from being a ghost town during El Salvador’s civil war to a well-organized community living in peace. Here, you will visit their natural reserve, where you will hike through the rainforest with local guide.
In the afternoon you will visit the waterfalls of los Tercios.
Day 7: Suchitoto - Bahia de Jiquilisco (B,L,-)
Early in the morning we will take off to Bahia de Jiquilisco where you will spend the night. The Jiquilisco Bay, a natural treasure in the Eastern part of the country that is home to abundant biodiversity, declared a RAMSAR site and a Biosphere Reserve. Bahia de Jiquilisco is home for more than 17 species that live in the mangrove forest full with natural resources.
You can go through the channels by kayak and enter the deep mangrove swamps where you can observe birds, crabs in different colors and fish.
Participate in this amazing tour capturing and releasing giant turtles (Hawksbill or Black Turtles). Learn about what ICAPO (hawsbill.org) project does in order to protect sea turtles. Tours are done for sustainability of the conservation project. By taking this tour you will be supporting the continuous research for the conservation project. Expect to weight and measure the turtles, take a skin sample and place a plate on the turtle. These tour is guided by professionals: vets or biologist who work directly with the conservation program.
Day 8: El Cuco (B,-,-)
Transfer to the east coast where you stay close to the town of El Cuco, most beautiful beaches of El Salvador!
Being in El Salvador, around world class surf breaks, we will introduce you to surfing with your first surf lesson from a professional surfer. The sandy beaches at the west coast of El Salvador are excellent for beginners to learn to surf. The waves at the inside are not that powerful; Best at high tide. The surf instructors will help you to ride your first waves. You will have the board for the rest day so you can practice.
Day 9: El Cuco (B,-,-)
Day at leisure – or if you are up for it another surf lesson!
Day 10: El Cuco - Airport (B,-,-)
Transfer back to the airport, to be in time for your flight!
- Private transfers as mentioned in Itinerary
- Local Speaking English Guide during the tours
- Sales Taxes & service charge for restaurant meals included on the trip.
- Salvadoran 13% value-added tax (IVA) and 5% tourism tax on all hotel services.
What's Not included
- Extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service, porterage, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
- Any additional/extra tours or park fees.
- Tips & Gratuities for Guide, Driver, local guides and service providers.
- Personal and/or medical expenses.
- Any incidentals out of pocket or medical expenses. Please ensure you carry appropriate insurance, which covers all the activities in this itinerary, inherited risks, luggage protection and holiday cancellation.
- Late check-out or early check-in.
- International Flights
Trip Duration10 days
Start LocationSan Salvador, El Salvador
End LocationEl Cuco, El Salvador
Average Group Size2
- Hotel Arbol de Fuego 3*
- Hotel Fleur de lis 3*
- Hotel El Tejado 3*
- Puerto Barillas Lodge 3*
- Hotel Miraflores 3*
- Hotel Sal y Luz 4*
- Hotel Casa Degraciela 4*
- Hotel Los Almendros de San Lorenzo 4*
- Hotel Los Mangos 4*
Breakfast included, 1 lunch included.
Private vehicle during your tours and transfers.
Dates & Availability
- 23 Apr 2019 – 30 Nov 2019
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
This company was born from a love of the El Salvador surf.
Their surf school and lodge is much loved and they started offering tours to surfers to show El Salvador’s beauty on days when the surf was flat. The company grew to include tailor-made tours to all destinations in and around El Salvador; including transportation, bilingual guide, tours /entrances, accommodation and services and we love their more personal, highly interactive and flexible trips whether you’re traveling solo or with a group of friends.
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