San Salvador volcano

The volcano of San Salvador is one of the most emblematic places of the country; This nature giant is located in the municipalities of “Quezaltepeque, San Juan Opico, Colon and Santa Tecla” in the Department of La Libertad and Nejapa (Department of San Salvador) It can be seen from the capital of the country and a nearby city which it is located eleven kilometers from the center of the city.

San Salvador volcano

The volcano covers a total area of 110 square kilometers and is made up of three parts: A high Summit called “El picacho” (1, 960m), the central part which it is known as the “Boqueron” crater (1, 839m) and a third less prominent elevation in the northeast of the crater called “El Jabali” (1,397 m).

There are also other small elevations which are inactive craters that are known as “La Joya”, “the door of the lagoon”, sea of Chanmico, “Boqueroncillo”, “Los Chintos”, “El Playón” and “Laguneta boiler”. All of these craters have a diameter of ten kilometers.

What its name?

Today is known with the name of Volcán of “San Salvador”, although in the past it was named Quezaltepeq or Quezaltepeque, a source name “nawat” which means Hill of the Quetzal. Some people also know it under the name of “El Boquerón”.

The volcano of San Salvador had its first eruptions at the end of the tertiary period and at the beginning of the Quaternary; It has erupted repeatedly in the last 70 thousand years through its central crater, as well as through fissures in its sides passing destruction in the surrounding areas, especially by caused earthquakes.

The first eruption of which have historical records happened in 1671.

Last eruption

The last recorded eruption was in 1917, specifically between the months of June and August (The eruption began slowly). Before that, in the crater had a gap that was extinguished. The most prominent eruption was on June 6, 1917, when there was also a strong earthquake.

The eruption of 1917 destroyed the entire capital and its lava covered a great expanse of land in its northern part, which is known today as “El Playón”. Today the volcano has very few signs of activity, although it is not considered a dead but sleeping volcano.


This volcano is also a tourist place. Since 2008, the Government of the Salvador has founded the National Park, named “El Boquerón” including trails around the top of the crater, where it is possible to walk around its edge. The South West part has a subtropical forest where you can appreciate the beauty of the wildlife, as well as species of violets in the trunks of the trees.

Some tourist operators offer tours of the volcano, where visitors descend to the bottom of the crater and then climb again. To do this, you must have a good physical condition and also you should carry enough water. Return visitors take advantage of to see plantations of vegetables.

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