Join us for an adventure across El Salvador, visiting the community of Santa Ana where you will get to experience the work of one our local partners, Árboles y Agua para el Pueblo (AAP)! You will get some hands-on experience in their local tree nursery, meeting local community members and visiting other projects in surrounding areas such as the community of El Porvenir.
Then we will travel to the highland town of Apaneca, where we will learn about the culture, history and art while getting to visit the breathtaking Apaneca-Ilamatepec Biological Reserve and enjoy a scenic view of their surrounding volcanoes. Finally, we will finish off by traveling and hiking in the Cerro Verde National Park while enjoying a nice view of Lake Coatepeque!
Cost: $1,550 (Cost includes three meals a day, lodging, in-country transportation, park fees, and bilingual guides. Cost does not include airfare.)
Length: 8 days
Lodging: Small family-run hotels or Eco-lodges in local towns or at a National Park
Weather: Hot and Humid – we’ll be in the tropics, in both urban and rural environments. Light rain showers may occur.
Difficulty: Mostly flat landscape, but lots of walking, especially in the local communities or town, El Porvenir, Apaneca and Nahuizalco. Hiking at higher elevations such as volcanoes or hikes within a National Park or a Reserve are optional but recommended.
This is a sample itinerary. Subject to change up until one month before departure.
Travel to San Salvador and rendezvous with the TWP Tours team at the Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador and take an hour and a half drive to the town of Santa Ana. Enjoy a group dinner at the Hotel Casa Verde with TWP Partners and getting to know the rest of the participants.
Wake up and have a breakfast full of fresh, local food at the hotel and take a short drive to the community of El Porvenir and meet our local partner, Árboles y Agua para el Pueblo (AAP). Take part in a hands-on tree nursery preparation and planting of native trees and then get regarded with a delicious pupusa lunch in town. In the afternoon, we will have some free time to rest and get ready for a group dinner with some music!
Day three is a time to revisit the community of El Porvenir and have the opportunity to take a tour of a successful water project that is being implemented by AAP in neighboring communities. We will enjoy a nice lunch with the Mayor of El Porvenir along with other community leaders to talk about their community and learn about their ongoing efforts. Then, we will head back to Santa Ana for some free time and get ready for a local dinner.
Our travels continue to the highland town of Apaneca, El Salvador’s second highest town (1,450m). Here we will have a relaxing lunch at the Eco-hotel and enjoy a walking tour through its cobbled streets, colorful adobe houses and learn about the culture, art and history of Apaneca. We will then have a traditional local dinner with other community members.
After a nice morning breakfast, we will continue our travels to the nearby town of Nahuizalco. Here we will learn about its strong indigenous customs, culture and history while spending time at the Nahuat Pipil Community Museum. We learn about the use of natural fibers, wicker and tule handcrafts, and archeological artifacts. Then we will enjoy a nice walk through the town looking at other local shops and finish off the day by having a traditional meal along with a cultural activity.
Now we embark on a journey to enjoy nature! We will travel to the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Biosphere Reserve, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in September 2007. Here we will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy the scenic views of volcanos, lagoons, wildlife and various ecosystems within the reserve. After some free time to rest and recharge our batteries we will go back to Apaneca for a local dinner.
The adventure continues as we travel to the Cerro Verde National Park. We will get to enjoy more iconic views from lookouts where you can admire the majestic view to the Izalco and Santa Ana volcanoes, the Coatepeque Lake, and unique flora and fauna. This is also a great opportunity for bird lovers to enjoy a wide variety of bird species that inhabit the park. Then we will enjoy a lovely lunch in the garden while talking to park rangers and getting more details about the area. After some down time, we will have the option of taking a hike to Santa Ana volcano for a breathtaking view!
Last but not least, we take a short drive and visit Coatepeque Lake. This large Crater Lake sits in the middle of the volcano complex in the east part of the Coatapeque Caldera. Get to enjoy the shore with a holistic view of the lake and its surrounding mountains and then have a relaxing lunch right in front of the lake. After some down time, we will drive back to San Salvador and have a great goodbye dinner!