El Boqueron National Park - El Salvador
January 1, 1970
by Melissa Jacobo
The beginning of the adventure
I have visited El Boqueron National park twice, and I must say it always amazes me how beautiful it is. The first time I went there was more than ten years ago, and I remember climbing through many lanes and everything being so dusty and not very organized. This second time, I walked in with a whole new perspective, I noticed a lot of things had changed and everything had a modern touch. I have to say I really enjoyed visiting the volcano, and I hope that my adventure encourages more people to go take a look at this park.
How to prepare for this trip
Every time you visit an eco park like El Boqueron National Park, there are some steps you need to follow previous the visit. It is important to remember to dress accordingly to the occasion, get ready some tennis shoes (you don’t need to buy new special hiking shoes, those old that are in your closet will be perfect), a pair of jeans and a nice and fresh t-shirt. Also, have your camera o cell phone well charged in order to take a lot of pictures of the landscape and with your friends. Last but not least, don’t forget to take a lot of water, because normally the sun is always strong and it’s going to be hot!
It is also very important to examine it ourselves. These type of adventures can be very flashy, however, because of it’s nature, they can be physically difficult to some people. To do this type of climbing is advisable to have an intermediate level of physical activity, in order to avoid any inconvenience and so the activity can be enjoyable.
The adventure of #ElBoqueron
I visited El boqueron along with my boyfriend and we both were really excited about this trip. The climb to the main entrance of El boqueron National Park only takes 15 minutes by car. The street to reach the entrance is paved, and is completely surrounded by nature, so the arrival was very relaxing and quiet. We visited the park on a Sunday, and to our surprise it was full so we had to park about 3 blocks down from the parking lot because there were no spaces available. In particular, this really pleased me because we were able to start exploring and to finally stretch our legs!. One thing I noticed that had not changed is that around the street you will find numerous stands of women selling all types of local fruit like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas; I love these type of fruits so obviously I had to buy and they were delicious.
Once we got to the main entrance I noticed it had been modernized. There’s a big sign that says “El Boquerón” and the facilities were much nicer than the last time I was there. The cost of the entry per person is $1, and once inside you can choose whatever path you want and start exploring!.
Different paths along the way
We chose to take the main path. This route led us to a couple of climbs and also to a couple of viewpoints from where you can appreciate the crater of the volcano in all it’s extension. The crater alone is quite amazing, but more than this, the descent, which has more than 20 meters is what impressed me the most. My boyfriend told me that there are trails you can take to get down to the crater but I could not believe that people could really get off. After this, we stopped in the surrounding roads to continue admiring the view, and take a lot of photos. I have to confess that the park itself it’s not very big, you can go through in 40 minutes at the most.
After taking enough photos, my boyfriend and I arrived at the trail that led us to the exit. However, since we both love to explore, we decided to take another path, a little more rustic, to continue exploring. This part of the park was practically empty, in contrast to the main trail that was crowded with people, so at first, I was not sure if we should continue in the road.
What happens at the top
The beauty of this park is that most of it’s trails sorround the crater, so you constantly have a glimpse of it. We started to advance along this new path, and I must say it was quite dusty. Our goal was to reach a small house we saw was at the end of the trail, about 5 kilometers away approximately. The road had a lot of slopes. And it happened to me what I imagined it would happen: I ended up slipping in the dust and sliding down in one of those slopes. At first, I remember being mad at my boyfriend because he was ahead and did not notice when I fell down, and also because I was filled with dirt. However, now that I look back on it, all of it was hilarious. After my not so grateful steps, we had to go back in order for me to clean up and because I thought I had twisted my ankle. We got to the main entrance in less than 10 minutes, it was not so far away. I went to the bathroom and removed as much dirt as I possibly could. I was dressed in shorts, but after this incident, I very much recommend you put on some jeans. We headed back to the car, both pleased with the visit and me particularly because my ankle was fine!
Apart from my fall, the visit to El Boquerón National Park was very satisfactory. It left me with the desire to continue exploring, this is why my boyfriend and I have decided to hike as many volcanos as we can here in El Salvador. It’s fun to reach places you never thought would visit again, as well as to go to those places you never thought you would!