10 Essential Things You Need to Know Before Hiking Santa Ana Volcano

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  • Hydration: Ensure you bring enough water. A good rule of thumb is at least 1.5 liters per person. Hydration is crucial, especially in warm weather.

  • Trail Conditions: The trail can be rocky and uneven. Trekking poles can provide extra stability and reduce knee strain during the descent.

  • Health Precautions: If you have any medical conditions, ensure you have the necessary medication. The hike can be strenuous, so listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

Hiking the highest volcano in El Salvador is adventurous and fun if you do it correctly. Read carefully the following list of things you need to do in order to make the most of it.

After hiking the Santa Ana Volcano more than 50 times only this year and have experienced all kind of crazy things with different groups of clients, from finding beautiful snakes, to people who almost died because they forgot to bring the bronchodilators for their asthma to people who made it to the top running (yeah, crazy Crossfit people) we have decided to make a list of 10 essential but crucial things you need to know before hiking the highest volcano in El Salvador

Have a proper rest (Don’t party too hard the night before)

Even though hiking the Santa Ana Volcano is not an advanced hike, we highly recommend to have some rest, your body will need the muscles and brain relaxed.

Have a delicious breakfast before the hike

Besides having a proper sleep the night before, your body will need fuel to make the muscles work. We know is a little bit difficult to find places open where you can buy food before 8:00 am in El Tunco, we can recommend you to go to Loroco Bristo, Dale Dale Cafe or ask in your hostel/hotel if they can cook for you before the departure time.

In case you couldn’t find anything, we always make a quick stop at a gas station where you can buy some snacks, water, sandwiches, etc.

Bring the right equipment

 No flipflops, bring proper footwear for the hiking. If you don’t have hiking boots you can bring your Nike shoes. Don’t forget to bring comfortable cloth, keep in mind that the weather at the Santa Ana Volcano area is so much different from El Tunco, it’s way cooler so a jacket would be ok.
If you need special equipment for any part of your body make sure to bring it in your backpack. You don’t want to miss the perfect view at the top of the volcano.

Some snacks and fruit are perfect!

During the hike is recommended to bring some snacks or fruit to eat during the trip. As we mentioned before, we always stop at a gas station so you can get all you need.

Listen carefully to all the instructions before leaving the van

At the moment of the arrival at Cerro Verde National Park, the tour guide will give you instructions in English before you get off the van, these instructions are the same as the ones the local guides and police officers will give to the public.

In case there are new or specific instruction the tour guide will translate for you.

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Don’t take shortcuts 

Basically, the reason why we ask you to don’t take shortcuts is that taking shortcuts will help erode the ground which is something we don’t want to happen and second and most importantly is that if you take shortcuts you probably will end on a snakes area and you could get bitten. Unfortunately, we don’t have the tools and resources to evacuate you down in minutes or ask for a helicopter rescue

Take your time and enjoy the adventure

We have 2 hours to get to the top of the Santa Ana Volcano, don’t try to follow the first group that goes ahead with the police officer and local guides, they do it every day.

We divide the hike into 3 sections, you’ll see people going fast and talking all the time in the first stage, don’t follow them. 20 minutes later these people are already tired and left behind.

There are different sightseeing point where you can stop, relax or simple take amazing photos of the area.

Tip: Once you get to the top of the Santa Ana Volcano, make a right and walk 10 more meters, that’s where you are going to have the best view of the crater and there are fewer people, your welcome 🙂

In case of an accident 

The Tunco Life tour guide is always behind the last person of the group, in case of an accident, he will organize with the help of the local guides and the police your extraction of the area. You will be taken immediately to the nearest hospital.

Becarefull with the selfie

Congratulations! You have made it to the top of the highest volcano in El Salvador. Now, it’s time for a selfie, right?

Be careful, don’t get too close to the edge of the crater, that’s a 300 meters free fall.

Keep the trash with you all the time

Please help us keep clean the area, the trash doesn’t come along, take it back with you.

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