Central Mountains

The central part of El Salvador is covered in mountains and speckled with volcanoes. There are lots of hiking trails, especially in national parks like Cerro Verde, and mellow colonial mountain towns when you are ready for civilization.

Reserva Nacional Bosque el Imposible: This is one of the most remote and untouched national parks in Central America. Located almost on the border with Guatemala, buses running from the border to San Salvador will drop you off at Cara Sucia, where you can walk to the park entrance. This is a great park to spot rare mammals like the puma, ocelot, agouti, wild boar and ant bear and birds like the black-crested eagle, and king hawk, and black and white owl among others. If you want, a guide from the San Miguelito community can take you around, pointing out the unique flora and fauna not seen anywhere else in El Salvador. You must pay the entrance fee (and hang on to the receipt) in San Salvador at the SalvaNatura Tourist Office. The dry season, from October – February is the best time to visit El Impossible. Camping is available within the park, but no fires are permitted.

San Vicente: Set at the foot of scenic Volcán San Vicente, this small town just 61 km (38 mi) east of the capital is a colonial gem. The Parque Central is a highlight along with the main plaza with its tall clock tower. There is a large market just west of the center of town with great hammocks. Festivals take place in San Vicente on November 1.