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.
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