San Salvador + Suchitoto, El Salvador – Too much help

Friendly, funny, and helpful people everywhere: Three people stand around me at the gas station and give three different advices how to find the small road that leads up to Volcan San Salvador. How to find a common ground or the most likely variation? A young German speaking man visits the German School as he explains. He offers to drive on ahead with his father to show us the way, what we really appreciate.

The entrance fee to the park is 1 $ per person and vehicle. The parking lot is terribly small but somehow we are shifted in. A path along the edge of the crater in 1839 m / 5520 ft elevation offers gigantic views into the huge crater from several view points: It has a diameter of 1.5 km / 1 mi and is 543 m / 1630 ft deep with a smaller crater in the middle. It is possible to climb down into El Boquerón how it is called as well but the abseil down seems to be a case for specialists. It is not allowed to overnight here, and due to clouds there is no view to the capital San Salvador.

With 3 million inhabitants it has many slums. We quickly head further to the east where El Salvador’s biggest and deepest crater lake is situated. Access to Lago de Ilopango is difficult due to many buildings, but one spot is Turicentro Apulo – for 1 $ per person and car, of course. There is also a pool and camping would be possible. But the violent thunderstorm that sets in spoils the view again and so we head on. No problem in a tiny country like El Salvador.

Right before reaching Suchitoto we discover a sign that points to Turicentro Las Americas which we gladly follow. We find another swimming pool, although cloudy. The facility is in private hand and a bit run-down. We may camp of course, for altogether 15 $ a night including use of the pool. I knock down the outrageous price to 6 $, although several of the seven owners have to be consulted first. (Turicentro Las Americas, Suchitoto, N 13°52’20.7’’ W 89°02’14.6’’)

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