More Photos
Loading...
Holidays

El Salvador's Eight

El Salvador
4 reviews
Available Departures: Jan, Oct, Nov, Dec

14 days from

US$2,725

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

Sensational volcano walking holiday in El Salvador

Trip Code: ESE
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

El Salvador's Eight

Highlights
  • Trek up Santa Ana (2381m), El Salvador`s highest volcano
  • VIsit Isla Zacatillo in the Gulf of Fonseca
  • Walk up El Pital (2730m), El Salvador’s highest point
  • Time in colonial Suchitoto, and the Pacific beach resort of El Cuco

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 12
  • 9 days walking
  • 3 days sightseeing and beach R&R
  • Max. altitude 2730 metres
  • Join In San Salvador

Accommodation & Meals
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 6 Lunches
  • 11 nights Hotel
  • 1 nights Fixed Camp
  • 1 nights Guesthouse
Overview

Overlooked by many travellers to Central America, El Salvador is the smallest country in the region and one of the most delightful. Our superb 2 week walking holiday takes us on journey around the country, walking to the summit of 8 of its 20 volcanic peaks as we go. Along our way, we also take time out to experience El Salvador’s colourful colonial towns, cloud forest trails, Maya ruins, coffee plantations and stunning beaches. Starting in El Boqueron National Park, we take the short walk to the viewpoint on San Salvador’s namesake volcano (1800m). Heading east to the Los Volcanes National Park, we hike up the perfect cone of Volcan Izalco (1952m) and scale San Salvador’s highest volcano, Ilamatepec/Santa Ana (2381m). Journeying north to the Honduras border, we reach the country's highest point at El Pital (2,730m). On a clear day we’ll be rewarded with views over into Honduras and across to the volcanoes of Pacaya and Agua in Guatemala. Next, we spend 2 days in and around the delightful colonial town of Suchitoto on Lake Suchitlan, where we enjoy a well earned relaxation day before climbing the dormant Volcan Guazapa (1438m). The coffee farming towns of Berlin and Alegria, nestled in the Eastern Highlands, will provide our next base as we climb Tecapa (1593m) and Chinchontepec/San Vincente (2173m). Onwards, we climb the stunning beautiful cone of Volcan Chaparrastique (2129m). After a day spent exploring the serene islands in the Gulf of Fonseca, we tackle our last volcano, Chonchagua (1225m). We end with a a day relaxing on the beach, a perfect end to our Central America adventure.

 

All the walks are day excursions, and many of them are completed in the morning, so an average of 4-5hrs walking. We do have a couple of longer day walks of around 6-7hrs. It is possible to opt out of any of the walks. Generally the walks follow established trails through coffee plantations, forest or jungle. However, some of the ascents of the volcano cones themselves present quite challenging sections due to the climate, steep terrain and much of the underfoot surface consisting of ash. Temperatures can be hot and humid in the lower and coastal region. However the temperature on walks at higher altitudes will be a little cooler. There is a mix of accommodation from comfortable hotels and homely casas, and 1 night camping at a very comfortable fixed glamping site. Please note that whilst walking in national parks it is obligatory to be accompanied by a police escort provided by the park.

Why KE?

This walking holiday is unique to KE. Find out for yourself why we rate this tiny pocket of volcanoes, verdant coffee plantations and stunning remote beaches as one of our favourite destinations in Central America. We summit no less than eight volcanoes and explore colonial cities and islands and soak up the charm and warmth of this fabulous country.


Journalist Martin Symington recently travelled with us to El Salvador for Wanderlust Magazine, read the article here.

Share
    

Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in San Salvador. A single timed transfer from San Salvador International Airport is provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight in the hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

This morning we head into San Salvador for a short tour of some of the main sites; The National Palace, Church El Rosaria and Plaza La Libertad before heading to the pine clad National Park of El Boqueron. Here we'll find San Salvador volcano (1800m), which literally had its top blasted off giving way to an amazing crater 1.5 km wide and 500m deep. We have a short walk to the viewing point from where we can take in the vastness of the crater. Hiding at the bottom of the crater is another 'mini' crater or locally called 'El Boqueronsito' which was formed with the small eruption at the volcano back in 1917. In recent years the northwest fissure has been the most active; it's eruptions have been responsible for burying the ancient village of Joya de Ceren, known as the 'Pompeii of America', which we will visit in the afternoon. This ancient village was buried by volcanic ash and has allowed the preservation of personal belongings, gardening tools, religious utensils, plants and seeds. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 on the basis that it is the only location in the whole Mayan world where you can appreciate the day to day living styles of the inhabitants. Ten structures have been excavated, including houses, warehouses, workshops, kitchens, a sauna bath and a religious structure. In the afternoon we transfer to the town of Ataco in the mountains near the National Park El Imposible. Drive time: 2hrs.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Time

30mins

Ataco is located within the mountains of the Ruta de Las Flores, famous for its abundance of wild growing flowers. This region has beautiful panoramic views of the mountain side coffee plantations, lagoons and dense cloud forests. It is the region with the highest concentration of coffee plantations in El Salvador. Historically coffee has been a major export for El Salvador and in the 1980's it provided more than 50% of the country's export revenue. You will have the opportunity to learn about coffee shrubs, coffee growing, coffee production and agro-forestry at Finca El Carmen. El Carmen produces designer coffee, also known as 'Gourmet, High Altitude' coffee (1200m to 1750m altitude). Your guide will describe each stage of coffee production and explain how the coffee bean is transformed into a premium coffee for export to companies like Starbucks, American Airlines and the Holiday Inn, among many others. In the afternoon we can relax at nearby geysers and thermal baths at Santa Teresa hot springs.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

We make an early start and drive to the Los Volcanes National Park. Here, the volcanoes of Izalco (1952m), Ilamatepec (locally known as Santa Ana at 2381m) and Cerro Verde are set within an area of outstanding natural beauty and immense biodiversity. Early in the morning we set off to hike up Volcano Izalco. This volcano is more difficult to climb up than Ilamatepec /Santa Ana (which we ascend tomorrow) as the cone is a steep and ashy. We take our time to enjoy the great view to the coastline and the valley of Cerro Verde. There is a lot of wildlife in the park, including many types of hummingbird and the black birds known as chara, which feed other birds such as toucans, during their mating season! There are also many beautiful orchids growing in the forests. In these forests we may be able to spot some amazingly tall 300 year old trees. After our walk we transfer to our overnight accommodation in the nearby Cerro Verde National Park. This a fixed glamping campsite with some great views of the Volcano Izalco which we have just walked. Overnight Cerro Verde. Drive time: 1.5hrs.

Accommodation

Fixed Camp

Meals

B L D

Ascent

690 M

Descent

690 M

Time

4hrs walking

Distance

5 KM

Early in the morning we will walk up Volcano Ilamatepec/Santa Ana. At 2,381m it's El Salvador's highest volcano. This volcano has four craters and is located within the hills of Apaneca, surrounded by cloud forests, in a region full of coffee plantations. Some people say that this is one of the most beautiful treks in the country. It starts in Las Burmas Ecopark and takes us through some high plateau and dwarf forest. We have great views to the enormous Laguna Coatepeque, which is next to the volcano. From the crater rim we can see into the small aquamarine crater lake, which is 300m deep, and gives off a significant amount of heat. In the afternoon we transfer (approx 3hrs) to the northern part of El Salvador, El Pital. This is the highest point in El Salvador at 2730m, close to the Honduran border with beautiful views into Honduras and Guatemala. Overnight at a hostel, high on the mountain of El Pital, surrounded by the cloud forest. Drive time: 3-4hrs.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Ascent

420 M

Descent

500 M

Time

3hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

At a height of 2730 metres, El Pital is the highest point of El Salvador. The peak, which is not a volcano (!), is surrounded by cloud forest and pine trees in a region noted as a habitat for several endangered species, such as the quetzal. Our hike to the summit takes around 3 hours and from the top we can enjoy sensational views over into Honduras and across to the volcanoes of Pacaya and Agua in Guatemala. After our walk, we have lunch in the town of La Palma, which is famous as the home of local celebratory artist Fernando Llort. His work can be seen everywhere in the town, in the form of murals and in all the local art shops. We have plenty of time to explore the colourful La Palma before our transfer to Suchitoto, a little colonial town with cobbled streets where we check into our hotel for the next three nights. Drive time: 2hrs.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

560 M

Descent

560 M

Time

3 - 4hrs walking

Distance

9 KM

Another day, another volcano, the dormant volcano Guazapa. It is not possible to walk to the summit of Guazapa, but we have a lovely long walk through some of the most beautiful plantation and forest landscape in this part of El Salvador. We include the highest areas at 1200m where we can see the ancient volcano crater and volcanic rock formations. Guerrilla forces occupied this upland area during the Civil War of 1979-1992 and there are some interesting relics of this conflicts found alongside our path. We have a traditional lunch made by the local community. Return to Suchitoto and our hotel. Drive time: 1hr.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Ascent

1140 M

Descent

1190 M

Time

5 - 6hrs walking

Distance

14 KM

Today we spend time exploring the small and colourful lakeside town of Suchitoto, which has a wealth of interesting colonial era houses and churches and charming cobbled streets. The lake is man-made and was created by the damming of the river in 1974. It has a very interesting ecosystem and is a magnet for ornithologists who come here to observe a variety of species including pelicans, herons and storks. We will take a boat ride out to some of the lake's little islands, such as the Isla los Pagaros. The afternoon is free for further exploration and independent sightseeing. If you want to sample some typical Salvadorian cuisine we can recommend heading to a Pupuseria to sample some traditional Pupusas!

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today's volcano is Chinchontepec, otherwise known as San Vincente. The volcano has two peaks, one at 2173m and the other at 2083m and we climb the highest of the two. This is the second-highest volcano in the country, and has the largest vertical gain. Between 600-1600m we walk through the coffee plantations, and above this we are in the dense cloud forest to the top. From the summit, we are rewarded with some great views as we can see almost the entire country. We return via the same route and transfer to our accommodation, the mountain 'cabanas' in Berlin or Alegria. Drive time: 1.5hrs.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L

Ascent

1100 M

Descent

1100 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs walking

Distance

10 KM

This morning we transfer to San Miguel, home of the mighty Volcan Chaparrastique. At 2129m high and a with a crater 800m across, it is considered to have one of best perfectly-formed cones of Central America, as well as being one of the most active volcanoes in El Salvador still producing cloud eruptions of smoke and dust - but is currently considered safe to its visitors. This is the hardest volcano to climb on your journey in El Salvador, a steep 9 hour trail to the crater.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

9 hrs walking

Distance

10 KM

After a full-on and challenging day yesterday, we spend the day relaxing and exploring as we board a boat and set sail across the Gulf of Fonseca, a body of water shared by El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. As we cross the gulf we will be treated to stunning vistas of small volcanic archipelagoes, small fishing villages and black-sand beaches. Once the stomping ground of 17th centuary pirates, this beautiful region entices the traveller in with lovely coves and warm waters. We stop off to explore the trading post of Isla Meanguera and climb the small Volcan Evaristo before sailing to Zacatillo for lunch, perhaps making the most of the wonderful fresh seafood on offer. Depending on the season, the keen observer may be treated to glimpses of playful dolphins, migrating birds and sea turtles. We head back to the mainland and return to our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

4 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

The twin peaks of Volcan Conchagua overlook the Gulf of Fonseca. Known as Cerro del Ocote and Cerro de la Bandera, we will walk up to one of the two cones. There are numerous active fumaroles on both peaks, making for an atmospheric trek. Conchagua boasts some of the finest views across the coastline. From here you can see across to the islands in the Gulf, as well as the city of La Union and the territories of Nicaragua and Honduras. After our descent we transfer to El Cuco.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

This morning is free for relaxation at the beach wihlst in the afternoon there is an optional surf lesson from an expert instructor. The warm waters of the Pacific are a perfect learning "ground" for this, harder than it looks, fun watersport. If surfing isn't your thing, it might be possible to visit one of the local community turtle conservation farms at Playa Lacal, where we have the opportunity to learn about, and participate in, the conservation and monitoring efforts being carried out by this beach community. Overnight at the hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

After breakfast we transfer (approx 2 - 3 hours drive) to San Salvador's International Airport, where KE Land Only package services end. Depending on flight times we may have the morning to enjoy the beach and resort).

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Peaks Peaks
Direction Direction
Transfer
Boat

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualifed tour leader
  • Single timed airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • National park entrance fees
  • All activities/excursions mentioned unless specified as 'optional'

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional
  • Tips
  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure - drinks and souvenirs etc

The group will meet at the hotel in San Salvador.

A single transfer from / to San Salvador Airport is provided on the first / last day of the land only itinerary.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 1 dinner are included in the holiday price.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

The cuisine of El Salvador is similar to that of its neighbours, with a strong reliance on indigenous foods like corn, beans, squash and tomatoes. The influence of Mayan culture as well as the kitchens of Spain have created a diverse and tasty cuisine. Probably the most ubiquitous of all El Salvador dishes is the pupusa - thick, corn tortillas filled with anything from meats to cheeses to refried beans to pork rinds. Pupusas can be purchased from pupuseras, as well as streetside vendors.

In San Salvador, Ataco, Suchitoto and La Union you will stay at comfortable hotels with en suite rooms.

In Cerro Verde National Park we have 1 night at a fixed camp with shared bathrooms and great view to the crater of Volcano Izalco.

At El Pital we will stay in simple, en suite, wooden bungalows, with up to 4 people sharing 1 room. Here we will be at an altitude of 2400m and it is usually surrounded by cloud - very atmospheric!

We will also have 2 nights at a neo-colonial style guesthouse in rooms with private bathrooms in Berlin on the slopes of Tecapa Volcano.

Our last 2 nights are at a simple beach resort with swimming pool in El Cuco. Please note that it is common for these simple resorts to shut down in the evening with staff going home after dinner has been served; we should be prepared to enjoy some quiet evenings - all part of the laid back coastal life. A pack of cards and a good book are excellent packing ideas!

With the exception of the accommodation at El Pital, all accommodation is based on twin sharing. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired with another solo traveller of the same sex.

Single rooms are available for an additional cost, with the exception of the two nights at El Cuco (Days 12 and 13). There are only a limited number of single rooms available on Days 5, 9 and 10 so single occupancy on these nights willl be dependent on group size and availability. Please contact the KE office for details.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

A total of US $250- $300 should be sufficient to cover your personal spending including the non-included meals (5-10USD per meal), tips for drivers and trek staff, miscellaneous expenditure on drinks, souvenirs etc, and airport departure tax (if applicable – this is dependent on which airline you fly with as it maybe included in your ticket). It is possible to use credit and debit cards to withdraw money from ATMs in most large towns. If you are bringing your travel money with you we recommend you bring this in cash US dollars. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES EL CUCO: Please note that prices are subject to change Kayaking: $40 per person for 2.5hrs Community sea turtle conservation project at Playa El Icacal: £45 per person Surf Lesson: $40 per person for 1.5hrs, including surf board and instructor

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and drivers. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. We recommend that you give a tip to your guide and driver if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. The actual amount is up to you but we suggest that you do this as a group rather than on an individual basis.

There is no restriction on the weight of your trek bag other than that imposed by your airline. However, you will have a more comfortable travel experience if you pack as light as possible. We do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag and a small day pack.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH THE USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$21 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. You will be required to have a passport with an integrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Cuba, Iran, Syria or North Korea since March 2011* you will have to apply for a visa rather than the Visa Waiver Programme (* a full and up to date list of countries can be found on the US government website here.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA

All citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

 

Visa El Salvador

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transitted for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV are unlikely to be found above 2,000m altitude. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk

 

The unit of currency in El Salvador is the US Dollar. 

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an walking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Regular walking in hill country is the best preparation but if this is not possible, then running and swimming are also good for developing better stamina and general cardio-vascular fitness.

El Salvador has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons. Almost all the annual rainfall occurs during the rainy season which extends from May to October. From November through to April, the northeast trade winds control weather patterns. During these months, air flowing from the Caribbean has had most of the precipitation removed by the mountains of Honduras and by the time this air reaches El Salvador, it is dry, hot, and hazy. This season is known locally as verano, or summer. Temperatures vary little with the season and elevation is the primary determinant of temperature. The Pacific lowlands are the hottest region, with annual averages ranging from 25°C to 29°C. San Salvador is representative of the central plateau, with an annual average temperature of 23°C and absolute high and low readings of 38°C and 7°C, respectively. Mountain areas are the coolest, with annual averages from 12°C to 23°C and minimum temperatures sometimes approaching freezing.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • El Salvador. Footprint Focus Guide/Handbook (2015): Richard Arghiris

  • Explorer's Guide El Salvador: Paige R. Penland

  • The History of El Salvador: Christopher M. White

Nicaragua - Honduras - El Salvador, Reise-Know-How Verlag

Indexed, waterproof and tear-resistant road map of Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador at 1:650,000 with topographic and tourist information, published by Reise Know-How as part of their highly acclaimed World Mapping Project. The map is double-sided to provide the best balance between a good scale and a convenient size sheet.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Walking boots

  • Trainers for travelling

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirts and/or T-shirts

  • 2 layers of fleece – warm jumper and jacket

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Warm gloves

  • Sunglasses

  • Daypack 25 litres

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x 2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets
  • Travel clothes

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small padlock

  • Insect repellant

  • Basic First Aid Kit including the following: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea

The following items are optional:

  • Sandals

  • Spare laces

  • Gaiters

  • Shorts

  • Beach towel

  • Swimwear

  • Trekking poles

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

NOTE:

Sleeping mats and sleeping bags are provided in El Salvador. Please do bring a sheet sleeping bag for your comfort and hygiene.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Galapagos Islands Cruise

7 Days
Situated over 600 miles from the mainland of South America, the remote archipelago of the Galapagos Islands needs little introduction. The Galapagos Islands are considered to the crown jewels of the natural world, achieving near mythological status following visits by Charles Darwin. It was on his second visit aboard HMS Beagle in 1835 that Darwin's scientific studies introduced the world to the theory of evolution. The islands teem with life, much of which seem totally unphased and perhaps curious of visitors. Of the thirteen major islands, on five have any form of human habitation. The environmental footprint is kept to an absolute minimum, allowing you, the visitor, a chance to explore the incredible biodiversity of these famous islands untouched by human development.Expect close encounters with blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, albatross, giant tortoises, seals, turtles and dinasaur-like lizards amongst many, many other examples.
Extension Code: GALP
Sharing Price from
US$5,105
Deposit Per Person from
US$2,400

Extension Itinerary

Arrive in Quito any time.

We take an early flight to San Cristobal Island, stopping off for refuelling at Guayaquil. In the afternoon, we board our boat, the Monserrat, and visit Isla Lobos, to be greeted by sea lions frolicking in the waves. We will explore this island on foot and perhaps by panga to view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. There will be an opportunity to snorkel in the waters of Isla Lobos too.

Meals

B L D

We visit Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island. Here we can observe sea lions, marine iguanas and seabirds. In the afternoon we visit the giant tortoise breeding area in the highlands. Later we set sail for Bahia Gardner, a sheltered cove off Espanola Island.

Meals

B L D

Today we visit the magnificent, white sandy beach of Gardner Bay, home to colonies of sea lions and birds. There will be a chance to snorkel the turquoise waters and spot large schools of tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish and bump-headed parrot fish. We may even be lucky enough to spot white-tipped reef sharks, napping on the bottom! We then visit Punta Suarez, one of the most wildlife-rich landing spots in the Galapagos. Here we can observe many nesting birds including the waved albatross.

Meals

B L D

Upon landing at Punta Cormorant and Floreana Island, we visit the amazing multi-coloured beaches. We observe flamingoes and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Penguins and marine iguanas can also be spotted on the water's edge. We then move on to Champion Islet where we have another chance to snorkel with sea lions and, if we're lucky, turtles and rays. Afterwards, we visit Post Office Bay where we learn all about its unique history. English whaling vessels placed a barrel here in the 18th centuary where it functioned as a rather unusual post office!

Meals

B L D

We disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we can observe many species of tortoise and land iguanas at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre. We learn about the conservation work and scientific research that is undertaken on this remote archipelago. We than catch our flight back to the mainland, and Quito.

Meals

B

Depart anytime.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Return Internal flights from Quito to Baltra and associated airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Double or twin berth cabin on full board basis (according to itinerary)
  • Cruise on a Tourist Class boat (according to itinerary)
  • Galapagos guide
What's Not Included
  • Galapagos National Park entrance $100 per person ($200 from 1 Aug 2024) payable locally in cash

  • Transit control card $20 per person (must be paid locally in cash)

  • Tips of local staff

  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 from 4 reviews

Great Hiking in a hidden gem! ★★★★

El Salvador has gotten a "bad rap" in our country (US). Contrary to media presentations, the people were lovely and welcoming. The country is beautiful. Our guide, Francis, was lovely. He was very enthusiastic about his country and a wonderful ambassador. The hikes were challenging (especially San Miguel/Chaparrastique). The trip notes did not adequately prepare me for climbing in scree... In fact, the trip notes and web site in general need updating. Be sure to take an indigo dying lesson in Su chitoto at Arte Anil. Irma is FAB!! On the down side, my daughter is vegetarian, and 2 of the 5 lunches provided by the tour were NOT vegetarian. "They didn't know"..... Not sure whose job it was to inform or make it right.. Thank goodness I had a big supply of peanut butter! Finally, the last 2 nights were at a beach hotel owned by the KE rep. Full disclosure, we did everything wrong when we "released" sea turtles at the beach. Beware! (Don't touch them with bare hands, don't release until dark, don't release in the water). Despite, the negatives I have listed, it was well worth it!!!
By Dorinda Indianapolis | 20 January 2022

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your holiday despite finding some of the hiking challenging. It's great to hear you thought your KE guide was a wonderful ambassador for El Salvador. Thank you for letting us know about the 2 lunches which weren't vegetarian. We will investigate how this occurred and make sure it doesn't happen in the future. At KE we don't condone the releasing of turtles by our clients and we have spoken to our local agent about this.


Central American Adventure ★★★★★

My recent trip climbing volcanoes in El Salvador is one I would recommend to any adventurous trekker. It is a challenge without being too difficult, some of the terrain is quite steep so a bit of scrambling is unavoidable. The volcanoes are amazing, like a moonscape up on the crater rims. The guide Joaquin is without doubt one of the best, he is friendly, knowledgeable and nothing is too much trouble for him. His presence was one of the highlights of the holiday.

By Fergus Aberdeen | 26 November 2017

Well organized trip trough a beautiful country ★★★★

This thoroughly enjoyable trip will guide you through many parts of this small country. Several of the volcano hikes are stunning but can be challenging. Visiting coffee farms, tour of the guerrilla war, and the finish at the beach were big positives as well. Pupusas were great way to experience some of the local culinary flavours. Locals are very pleasant and I felt safe during the whole adventure. Transportation, logistics, hotels well all well executed and no major issues occurred. It was nic e to have the same bus/driver for the majority of the trip. The guide was very good and receptive to requests. Note that this is a small country and many places visited have limited tourism infrastructure (e.g. restaurant choices, hotel amenities, etc). The trip notes underestimated some of the extent of hiking on couple of days. Also, many locals do not speak english and some basic Spanish is an asset if eating on your own in a restaurant (but not a must) I found that the amount of food provided was not enough for me and had to supplement with multiple snacks throughout each hike. We were all responsible for supplying our own water. This would be a great fix to make this trip outstanding.
By Mirek Toronto | 20 November 2017

A Volcanic Vacation ★★★★★

We are just some from our two weeks of climbing volcanoes in El Salvador. It was great to be in an "off the beaten track" location for our trip. The local guide was fantastic and it was great to see so much and learn so much about El Salvador. We are working our way south on Central American volcanoes and can't wait until we can head onto our next trip. This trip had it all...a fun group, interesting walks, lots of volcanoes, and a good intro to all this Salvadorian!

By TA St. John's | 04 January 2016

Traveller Reviews
4.5 out of 5 from 4 reviews

Great Hiking in a hidden gem!
★ ★ ★ ★
El Salvador has gotten a "bad rap" in our country (US). Contrary to media presentations, the people were lovely and welcoming. The country is beautiful. Our guide, Francis, was lovely. He was very enthusiastic about his country and a wonderful ambassador. The hikes were challenging (especially San Miguel/Chaparrastique). The trip notes did not adequately prepare me for climbing in scree... In fact, the trip notes and web site in general need updating. Be sure to take an indigo dying lesson in Su chitoto at Arte Anil. Irma is FAB!! On the down side, my daughter is vegetarian, and 2 of the 5 lunches provided by the tour were NOT vegetarian. "They didn't know"..... Not sure whose job it was to inform or make it right.. Thank goodness I had a big supply of peanut butter! Finally, the last 2 nights were at a beach hotel owned by the KE rep. Full disclosure, we did everything wrong when we "released" sea turtles at the beach. Beware! (Don't touch them with bare hands, don't release until dark, don't release in the water). Despite, the negatives I have listed, it was well worth it!!!
By Dorinda Indianapolis | 20 January 2022

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your holiday despite finding some of the hiking challenging. It's great to hear you thought your KE guide was a wonderful ambassador for El Salvador. Thank you for letting us know about the 2 lunches which weren't vegetarian. We will investigate how this occurred and make sure it doesn't happen in the future. At KE we don't condone the releasing of turtles by our clients and we have spoken to our local agent about this.


Central American Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My recent trip climbing volcanoes in El Salvador is one I would recommend to any adventurous trekker. It is a challenge without being too difficult, some of the terrain is quite steep so a bit of scrambling is unavoidable. The volcanoes are amazing, like a moonscape up on the crater rims. The guide Joaquin is without doubt one of the best, he is friendly, knowledgeable and nothing is too much trouble for him. His presence was one of the highlights of the holiday.

By Fergus Aberdeen | 26 November 2017

Well organized trip trough a beautiful country
★ ★ ★ ★
This thoroughly enjoyable trip will guide you through many parts of this small country. Several of the volcano hikes are stunning but can be challenging. Visiting coffee farms, tour of the guerrilla war, and the finish at the beach were big positives as well. Pupusas were great way to experience some of the local culinary flavours. Locals are very pleasant and I felt safe during the whole adventure. Transportation, logistics, hotels well all well executed and no major issues occurred. It was nic e to have the same bus/driver for the majority of the trip. The guide was very good and receptive to requests. Note that this is a small country and many places visited have limited tourism infrastructure (e.g. restaurant choices, hotel amenities, etc). The trip notes underestimated some of the extent of hiking on couple of days. Also, many locals do not speak english and some basic Spanish is an asset if eating on your own in a restaurant (but not a must) I found that the amount of food provided was not enough for me and had to supplement with multiple snacks throughout each hike. We were all responsible for supplying our own water. This would be a great fix to make this trip outstanding.
By Mirek Toronto | 20 November 2017

A Volcanic Vacation
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We are just some from our two weeks of climbing volcanoes in El Salvador. It was great to be in an "off the beaten track" location for our trip. The local guide was fantastic and it was great to see so much and learn so much about El Salvador. We are working our way south on Central American volcanoes and can't wait until we can head onto our next trip. This trip had it all...a fun group, interesting walks, lots of volcanoes, and a good intro to all this Salvadorian!

By TA St. John's | 04 January 2016

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • El Salvador's Eight
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ESE /02/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 26 Oct and ends on Fri 8 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$745
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$15
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • El Salvador's Eight
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ESE /03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 14 Dec and ends on Fri 27 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$745
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$15
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • El Salvador's Eight
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ESE /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 11 Jan and ends on Fri 24 Jan
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$745
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$15
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • El Salvador's Eight
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ESE /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 25 Oct and ends on Fri 7 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$745
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$15
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • El Salvador's Eight
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: ESE /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 13 Dec and ends on Fri 26 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$745
  • Single Tent Upgrade: US$15
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in San Salvador. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Comalapa International Airport (San Salvador) is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


VISAmastercard
Download Trip Notes
Field Required
Field Required
Field Required
Footer logos
Your Wishlist
No Wishlist Items

Start your next adventure.

Click the heart icon on the search or holiday pages to save a holiday to your wishlist.

Holiday Search