From hiking volcanic peaks to exploring Maya ruins, we share the best day trips from San Salvador, El Salvador’s bustling capital city
As the smallest and most densely populated of the seven Central American countries, it’s hardly surprising that El Salvador packs a lot into its borders. With a verdant tropical interior, charming colonial towns and superb surfing on its coast, El Salvador is arguably a microcosm of wider Latin America. And considering that many of the country’s best assets – hiking, hills and coffee – stem from its fiery geology, it’s easy to see why the country is known as the ‘Land of Volcanos’.
One advantage of being so small is that many of El Salvador’s top attractions are squeezed into a compact area – particularly the region immediately to the west of its capital, San Salvador, making it an excellent base for day trips. The city is within easy reach of the country’s best natural landmarks, national parks, colonial towns and archaeological sites. You can even get down to the ocean for the day to squeeze in a quick surf lesson.
As such, a hassle-free way of exploring the pint-sized country is by taking day trips from San Salvador, the best of which we share below.
1. El Boquerón National Park
Distance from San Salvador: 20km
Tour duration: 2-3 hours
Price: $42 USD ($2 entrance fee per person, $40 for return taxi)
Book the tour: ectourselsalvador.com (or as a combo city tour)
El Boquerón, also known as San Salvador Volcano, is the country’s most accessible volcano and just a 35-minute drive from downtown San Salvador. The miniature national park has a small network of hiking trails that all – one way or another – lead up to the rim of the now-dormant volcano. The last eruption was in 1917 which created a smaller crater, known as ‘Boqueroncito’ (little Boquerón), at the bottom of the 558m-deep (1,831ft) main crater.
Outside the main entrance is a small museum, a viewing platform overlooking the city and a string of cafés and souvenir stalls. We organised a driver through Edwin at EC Tours although it may be cheaper to arrange a taxi yourself. We did notice a taxi stand at Café del Volcán around 2.5km from the entrance to the park.
El Boquerón can also be combined with the city sightseeing tour below.
2. San Salvador city tour
Distance from San Salvador: N/A
Tour duration: 4/6…
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