Lake Ilopango is a volcanic lake in El Salvador. It measures 8 x 11 km, has an area of 72 km² and a depth of 230 m. It is situated at an altitude of 440 m to 16 kmde the city San Salvador, between the departments of San Salvador, Cuscatlán and La Paz. It is the largest natural lake in El Salvador. Its waters with abundant fishing bream, guapotes and juilines and proper for sailing or motor boats.
The Lake Ilopango caldera was formed as a result of a cataclysmic eruption in the 5th century BC. C., producing huge pyroclastic flows that destroyed various Mayan cities. This eruption produced about 25 km³ of tephra (20 times more than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980), and has a value of 6 on the volcanic explosivity index.
Subsequent eruptions different lava domes formed on Lake Ilopango and along its banks. The only historical eruption occurred in 1879-1880 and produced a lava dome inside the lake, forming the “Burnt Islands”.
In late 1789 tremors were felt in the region and in January 1880 the lake level rose significantly, there were ruins in the immediate villages and large landslides and cracks everywhere.
In this lake, July 5, 1970 Francis Fanci illusionist was submerged inside a trunk which came out after 30 seconds. Furthermore, in 2004 Matthew Hatfield Knight, eldest son of the international consortium of Nike sneakers owner, drowned while practicing diving.