We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing volcano and relatively easy hike... But maybe come on a weekend or make some friends first.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Ana Volcano

Santa Ana Volcano
Parque Nacional Cerro Verde, Santa Ana, El Salvador
Improve this listing
Visit Santa Ana Volcano like an insider
Private Tour
and up
Private Tour: Cerro Verde National Park Volcanoes...
Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Santa Ana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Amazing volcano and relatively easy hike... But maybe come on a weekend or make some friends first.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

Hiked up here today and the view from the top of Santa Ana volcano is awesome, with the crater lake on one side and Coatepeque on the other.

Quite an easy 2hr hike up (1hr40 down) in comparison with some other volcanoes (including Izalco next door), as you go down Cerro Verde first.

How to do it from Santa Ana town:
Take bus 248 (90 cents each way) from the bus terminal or the corner of Av. Sta. Ana California and 25 Poniente streets. It leaves around 730am each day though can be a bit late so hang around for it. Arrives at the park after about 90 mins to 2 hours.

Pay $3 to enter the park and walk up the hill. You'll be waiting for an hour or so so ensure you are either patient or you have a book to read. There is a small cafe on site offering tortillas and drinks.

Tours begin at 11am with a guide and two tourist police. They said they only go if there are 5 people (you could try negotiating). We went on Monday and there were 6. Best time to go is the weekend when some locals go too.

Pay $1 for the guide and start walking down hill. At the bottom of the hill you cross about 5m of private land for which you pay another dollar. Then you pay $6 more at a guard post. Not entirely clear what this was for but basically your walk costs $8 + $3 entry fee = $11.

Enjoy your walk. You'll get back to the park centre at 3pm. The bus back to town goes at 4pm so get that book out again, or have another tortilla. You're back in town before sunset and just in time for some pupusas.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Unbelievable hike and view”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Went to hike Santa ana volcano, the highest of the 3 of Cerro verde. Was about 4 hours and relatively easy. We were a group of about 20 for one guide and 2 police officiers. The hike starts at 11am sharp. If you miss it, you will have to hike solo which is not recommended. The day before, 17 persons were robbed on top. It's about 8$ for tourists! The view from the top of lago Coatepeque and the crater is breathtaking. There is also a mirador at half the trek! We stay there for asbout 30 min and we go down. Some parts have no path. You have to climb rocks and need your hands! They have 3-4 souvenirs shops at the bottom and facilities for 25 cents. And a food stand if you are hungry! Bring dollars cause nobody has change and the 8$ fee is paid to 4 different persons so 8 1$ bills will do....

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We took the hike to the top, and it was well worth the effort. Depending on the size of the group, I would allow closer to 5 hours (rather than the quoted 4) for the excursion. This was my first experience seeing the crater of a volcano, and my respect for the power of nature was strengthened.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great hiking trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

The hike to Volcan Ilamatepec was amazing. It was a great adventure for my teenage children 16, 15 and 14. The hike departs from Parque Cerro Verde every day at 11:00 a.m. This was very convenient for us because we were staying far away from the park, plus, it is kind of difficult to make my children wake up early, especially if they are on vacation.

Hiking trip: In order to climb the volcano, we had to descend 400+ steps from the Cerro Verde park, it was a pleasant way down because of the vegetation, tall trees and cool breeze.
We started ascending the volcano at a nice, steady pace. There were only a couple steep areas where we felt challenged. The "sun factor in a tropical country" got to us too, every once in a while we found ourselves protected by a cloud which also renewed our energy.

The tour guide told us about the lake at the bottom of the crater as we were ascending, so we basically had an idea of what to expect. However, once we reached the top and saw the huge crater and the beautiful light green/turquoise colored lake in the bottom, that beautiful sight took our breath completely away! The size of the crater is huge. It is unbelievably easy to appreciate the different colors and patterns of the rock/soil layers in the crater.

Going down from the crater was fairly easy. The toughest part was to go up the 400+ steps back to the Cerro Verde Park, however the tour guide made several stops to allow others to catch up to the group.

Safety: For the safety of the tourists during the hike, two Tourism Police officers come along.

Fee: You pay a total of $5.00 person. $1.00 to the guides when you start the hike. Later into the hike you pay $1.00 again, the last payment is of $3.00. They did not have change the day of our hike, so make sure to bring small bills or even change.

Important Items: Plenty of water, snacks(to eat during the 20 min rest at the crater), sun block, hat, camera, walking stick for balance, insect repellent for the beetles found during the hike, they are attracted to white t-shirts. If you don't want to get wet, during the rainy season consider bringing a rain coat or a change of clothes to put on when you come back to the Cerro Verde park.

We had an amazing time during this trip, and we would certainly hike this Volcano the next time we visit El Salvador.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great hike, amazing view at the top”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

This was one of my favorite days in El Salvador.

The hike up to Volcano Santa Ana was beautiful and not that challenging considering you go to the highest volcano in El Salvador (Just over 2000m). The majority of the hike is pretty tame and gently inclines, with the last half hour being most uphill and tough, but not terrible. I was out of breath at the most. However, if you are really out of shape, maybe you would have a different perspective.

The process of going on the hike is annoying though, as others have commented. This is completely the fault of El Salvador tourism.

There is only one bus that goes to the volcano and it leaves at 730 am. However, the hike starts at 11, so you have to wait an hour and a half. I had breakfast at the cafe, chatted with others going on the hike or did my crossword. Definitely bring something to do while you wait.

Then, the hike ends at around 230/245 but the next bus doesn't come till 4!

Still worth it though.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Santa Ana Volcano also viewed

Coatepeque, Santa Ana Department
Santa Ana, Santa Ana Department
San Salvador, San Salvador Department
Santa Ana, Santa Ana Department

Been to Santa Ana Volcano? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Santa Ana Volcano, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.