Volcan Izalco

Featured photo of Volcan Izalco

Volcán de Izalco is a small volcano on the flanks of the much larger Volcán Santa Ana in western El Salvador. Continuously active between 1770 and 1957 it produced explosive eruptions and lava flows up to 7 km long. Its persistent activity leant it the name 'lighthouse of the Pacific'. A brief revival occurred in 1966 and is still steaming away today. Easy to get to and climb this is a worth while visit if you're in the area. Nearby to these volcanoes is Lago de Coatepeque, 6 km wide and 120 m deep where there are some hotels and restaurants.

A good base for reaching Volcán de Izalco is from the city of Santa Ana, El Salvador's second largest. From there take the 8 AM bus to Cerro Verde which is a national park, about 2 hours to the south-west. The bus drops you at the entrance to the park where it is $1 to enter. Walk up the road for a few hundred meters to the car park where the non-optional tour group assembles and leaves for Volcán de Izalco at some time from 10:45 AM to 11:00 AM. The guides/tourist police cost an additional $3 per person. While this might seem like a drag the system was introduced to and has dramatically cut assaults. There is a small eatery at the back of the car park as well as nearby toilets.

Base of Izalco

The route begins just near where you are dropped off by the bus and descends 400m through the forested slopes of Volcán Cerro Verde along a well maintained switch-backing trail. Once out of the forest Volcán de Izalco rears up straight in front of you. There is another well maintained trail amongst the lava and ash to the summit, which is 320 m above you at this juncture.

At the summit you can enter a shallow crater and walk around the rim. The return route is the same as the entry route. The trip takes 3 - 4 hours including sitting around and having lunch. Be warned though, as the last bus leaving back towards Santa Ana / San Salvador is 3 PM so don't cut it too close.

Elevation (feet): 6,463
Elevation (meters): 1,970
Continent: North America
Country: El Salvador
Latitude: 13.81341
Longitude: -89.6326
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jan, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Volcanic status: Active
Most recent eruption: 1966

Thanks to Christian Rodriguez for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There is one trip report for Volcan Izalco.

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  • Log #21928 - by Christian Rodriguez on Feb 19, 2010
    Really nice experience, Also recommended the hike of the three volcanoes Cerro Verde, Santa Ana and Izalco in the same volcanic complex.