Surrounded by volcanoes, green hills, and a profusion of coffee plantations, Santa Ana is El Salvador’s second largest city without the chaotic city and poverty San Salvador experiences. There are three popular attractions close to Santa Ana, Lake Coatepeque, Tazumal with her ancient Mayan ruins and Cerro Verde, a still active volcano awesome for hiking. Because the Pan American Highway runs through Santa Ana, the city is quite reachable by car, shuttle, or bus.
The Mayan Ruins
The Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve and Maya are the most essential reserves in the country due to its bio/ecological and archaeological interest. Swamps, lakes, flooding savannahs, and rivers are important for migrating birds and ecology. The reserve comprises the biggest area of tropical rainforest in Guatemala and Central America, with a widespread span of pristine natural environments.
The ruins offer wonderful, age-old pyramids and temples, which epitomize the greatest artistic example of the former culture. Add to that a stimulating ceremony of untamed jungles, mountains, rain forests, and boisterous rivers. The opportunities for photographers are unlimited and include Lake Coatepeque, formed from an eruption six thousand years ago. Continue to Joya de Ceren the city that was covered with volcanic ash until 1976. Yes, some of these are touristy destinations, but how can one visit El Salvador and not see the ruins of the Mayan culture.
Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador borders join to shape the idyllic cloud forest of Parque Nacional Montecristo-El Trifinio that rests in the middle smack in the middle. Laurel and oak trees grow as high as 98 feet forming a mysterious canopy that hides the forest from sunlight.
Mosses, ferns, mushrooms, and orchids cover the forest floor while spider monkeys cavort in the tops of trees, colorful toucans call to each other, and the occasional puma hunts below the canopy.Train your camera to the treetops in the hopes of spotting a quetzal, nightingales, striped owls, and woodpeckers flitting among the leaves. If you are lucky you may spot red or grey squirrels, spotted skunks and possibly an agoutis. When visiting this breathtaking cloud forest there are no hotels with room service; instead camping is the only way to go.
El Imposible National Park
El Imposible is located in far west El Salvador and is more harmonious with nature than Volcanoes National Park. Because it is less traveled, you have the chance to see rare wildlife for perfect photographic opportunities. The park embraces waterways and rainforests that showcase the artist Mother Nature is.
El Salvador’s El Imposible National Park contains one of the most stupendous collection of flora and wildlife. On the trails you will see over 1,000 types of trees and plants: stop at lookouts for stupendous views of the mountains, and see the place known as “The Junction”. This is where the Venado and Guayapa rivers conjoin. Escape the heat by swimming in the refreshing waters before visiting Stamped Rock (Piedra Sellada) archeological site to check out the ancient carvings.
There are more than 12,850 acres of tropical mountain forests as well as 1,000 types of plants and trees in El Imposible. What are the chances of spotting a rare puma, an aardvark, or the crested black eagle? It is deemed one of the most significant natural reserves in Central America and is one of the rare examples of Mesoamerica Pacific littoral rainforests.
El Salvador is a beautiful country to explore and is certain to be one of those trips that will be remembered forever. We’ll put a group tour to El Salvador together soon! Keep your eyes peeled.