One of the places we went to while I was in ESA, was to the National Park of El Boquerón, which is the top area/crater of the San Salvador volcano. This visit was part of the spontaneous trip we made on that Sunday afternoon.
To get to El Boquerón, you drive up the mountain (or volcano), you can feel the change in the temperature as you go higher, the change in vegetation – coffee plantations etc. Ah, just thinking about it, I want to go back. Once you get towards the top, you can see people setting up markets or kiosks, selling fruit, cooked food (pupusas etc.) and drinks. There is a parking area and a small museum at the entry point. There are also some cafes and restaurants on the drive up.
There are a few trails open to the public, that take you around the volcano. There is a lot of native flora and fauna, and if you are very careful, you can see the birds sitting on the tree singing. Anyway, the volcano of San Salvador last erupted in 1917 I believe, and the crater (hence the name El Boquerón, which in some ways means the ‘big mouth’) is approximately 1500m in diameter and it is 1.8km above sea level.
We walked all the way to the crater, and the view was amazing. You can see below at the bottom of the crater (yes, the inside of the volcano), and there is vegetation growing – everything is just so green! You can go walk in the inside of the crater, on the floor, but since we got there too late, we couldn’t go down there. Definitely for the next time I’m there.
We were lucky enough to stay back a bit, and see the sunset from the top of the volcano. I am not the kind of person who loves sunsets or things like that, but seriously, that was just one hell of an experience. Seeing the sunset was amazing – I still see the image in my head and the light coming through…something I will never forget. Who can say they have seen the sunset from the top of a volcano?! Not many people, so I feel pretty darn lucky. It felt nice to just stand there and smell the air, take in the scenery – it’s one of those moments where you feel some sort of fulfillment 🙂
Once we had finished the route, it was dusk, and the moon had come out – it was very bright. At the car park, there is also a small lookout, where you can see the capital city. At that point, the lights were starting to come on, and people driving home from work.
Overall, that was one hell of a spontaneous trip ;).