A Guide to Visiting El Boqueron Volcano

El Boqueron Volcano National Park - an easy hike if you can get there

El Boqueron is a crater inside San Salvador Volcano. At one time it was a lake, but an eruption in 1917 quite literally blew it out of the water, Or rather blew the water out of it! it’s possible (and easy) for the savvy traveller to climb it and peer down in to the caldera below.

Central America is full of volcanoes. I recently climbed four in a week! Seasoned travellers may think, “do I need to climb another?”. Yet if you’re short on time and want a trip out of San Salvador, El Boqueron could be what you’re looking for.

El Boqueron National Park is to the west of San Salvador. What puts many off, is navigating their way there. As with all ‘tourist sites’ in the El Salvador, there isn’t a convenient infrastructure to get you there.

Here’s how to do it. From San Salvador you need to take Bus 101-D to Santa Tecla. 101-D departs from Metro Centro or Zona Rosa (you’ll need to ask a local which street as it seems to go all over).

You’ll know where to get off the bus in Santa Tecla. As you spot the colossal Plaza Merliot Shopping Mall and bridge proceeding it, that’s where to get off. The road is Calle Chiltiupan.

From here, walk to 17 Av. Nte. and up to the corner of Calle El Jabali. Bus 13 departs here and after around 35 – 45 minutes, you’ll reach the end of the line. This is El Boqueron. Everyone will get off and the bus reverses to return to Santa Tecla.

El Boqueron Fauna
El Boqueron is covered in Fauna

Remember how I said nothing for tourists is convenient? You’ll think you’re in the middle of nowhere as there are no signs and few (if any) people.

There is just a small kiosk store and two paths. One is a dusty road and the other a tarmacked road. Start walking on the tarmacked road. After 15 steady minutes up a bendy hill, you’ll reach El Boqueron National Park.

Here you pay $2 USD per person to enter. If you brought a car, then it’s $1 to park it.

The path through an attractive forest is easy to follow. It splits off in different directions, but all lead to The Mirador (lookout point).

El Boqueron National Park Path
The easy trails which lead to the crater

It’s a fantastic view. Looking down you can see the now defunct crater and observe vultures circling around it. As more than 100 years have passed since any volcanic activity, the inside is covered in trees.

From The Mirador you head down and then left along the rim. The main path (which is actually signposted) takes you to two more look out points. Each one more spectacular than the last.

El Boqueron San Salvador Volcano
El Boqueron is an incredible view

Just after the last Mirador was a path and a sign warning that it can be difficult to get back. We walked along it for about 10 minutes, but only seemed to be going around the rim. I believe it might actually lead down to the centre of the crater. It’s apparently possible to do, although I’ve never seen anyone write how. The food sellers in the park didn’t know if it was the way down either!

The sun was intense so we opted to return to the main path and exit El Boqueron. The whole time in El Boqueron was one and half hours.

El Boqueron Crater Path Sign
Does this path lead to the bottom of the crater?

A tiny museum with information on the volcano’s history in Spanish and English. There’s a dressing up box too if you want to finish your visit in style.

El Boqueron Museum
Ending the visit to El Boqueron in style!

Getting back to San Salvador is the same as the way you came. Walk back down the hill, wait for a bus (one will arrive) and then get on the connecting route.


2 thoughts on “A Guide to Visiting El Boqueron Volcano”

    1. Nice one Hamish. Hope the guide is useful for you. It’s really great you’re out travelling. Have an amazing time tomorrow and let me know how it goes 😊

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