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El Salvador Volcanoes & Surf Adventure
Day 1: Straight to the Volcanoes
Arrive at Granja San Bernardo, a country lodge at the base of the Volcanoes Biosphere Reserve, where your own private log cabin provides views of the volcano and a serene atmosphere to get yourself reacquainted with nature.
Day 2: Volcano Trek!Trek in the Volcanoes Biosphere Reserve. Experience the volcanic cinder cone of Izalco and sweeping views of the huge Santa Ana volcano where the eruption in 2001, not dissimilar to Mt St Helens, flattened miles of ancient trees like burned matchsticks. Enjoy lunch in the field and return to Granja San Bernardo for a talk on the Maya and Pipil peoples – the native peoples of this volcanic region.
Historically, the Izalco Volcano had been known as the lighthouse of the Pacific. For 160 years its eruptions provided a beacon to ships crossing the ocean at night. It’s also one of the youngest volcanoes in Latin America, born in 1770. [BLD]
Day 3: Ziplining and platform camping!Prepare for departure for a 2 night camping trip – in tented platforms! – in lush coffee highlands. (You may leave your large suitcases at the Granja San Bernardo) Spend the morning on a canopy tour. Travel 2000 meters along the tree tops by zip line between 14 suspended platforms amidst the high canopy in the volcanic highlands of Apaneca-Llamatepec. View the flora and fauna of the forest, where it is possible to see toucans, local eagles, squirrels and other wildlife amidst the 100 year old pines and oaks.
Arrive in early afternoon at Portezuelo Park – a private farm where adventure tourism is the theme. There will be optional time here for mountain biking, an adventure ropes course, and scenic treks into the coffee highlands. Dine in their outdoor restaurant, wearing a cozy sweater as the nights are cool, where the chef is creating nouvelle Salvadoran cuisine, and drink the rich coffees harvested straight from the local farms. [BLD]
Day 4: El Imposible National ParkTravel to El Imposible National Park – a reserve run by the leading conservation NGO in El Salvador, SalvaNatura. The park is named for the mountain pass where two mules carrying coffee couldn’t cross at the same time, hence the name “The Impossible.” In order to avoid the run-ins in the old days, coffee farmers sounded seashells to warn others that they were about to cross the path.
SalvaNatura’s experienced guides provide insights into El Salvador’s rare and disappearing forest ecosystems, and guide travelers into high biodiversity zones on a trail to where to rivers meet. This is a great spot to take a swim (don’t forget your bathing suit!).
Spend the late afternoon at Portezuelo Park and enjoy optional activities. Camp on tented platforms and dine at their outdoor restaurant. [BLD]