For those interested in getting away from the hustle, bustle, and heat of San Salvador a quick trip up to the Boquerón Volcano is the perfect excursion. Considering that part of the city proper is actually located on the side of the volcano, the trip is quite quick and there are several lookout points along the way to break up the grueling 30-minute ride.
There is indeed a difference between the Boquerón Volcano and the San Salvador volcano in that the former replaced the later somewhere between 40,000 and 1800 years ago—despite this you will hear their names used interchangeably. They are not considered the same volcano due to distinct chemical differences in the magma. Boquerón Volcano has more iron oxide and is slightly more alkaline than its predecessor … hmmm very interesting, huh?
During a one-week stay with a couple local guys I met off Grindr, I had the good fortune of being shown around much of the city and the country for that matter, and this was one of my favorite stops. At over 4,000 feet above sea level, about twice as high as the city, the temperatures here were incredibly mild and the weather somewhat unpredictable. Nevertheless, we arrived to clear skies and a light breeze.
The parking lot is pretty much at the summit, so it only takes about 20 minutes of hiking to get to the top, and the views are definitely worth the quick jaunt. Despite the fact that the whole thing could blow at any minute and completely destroy the city below and kill its 500,000 inhabitants everyone seems to enjoy and celebrate their beloved volcano to the west. Actually Boquerón Volcano has completely destroyed two villages in recorded history, but ask the locals what their concerns are and most of them will tell you it’s those damn socialist running the government.
Despite the Commies recently gaining power, I have to admit I was still a bit uneasy spending a week on the side of an active volcano… but alas I made it out alive and have some great photos to show for it. If you visit on the weekend, you can hike to a small café precariously hanging off the crater. Unfortunately it was closed by time we made it around to that side of the volcano so hopefully you will have better luck and timing. If you miss the coffee, you can always grab some raspberries from the locals along the road. They grow particularly well at this elevation and with the volcanic soil. Otherwise, just enjoy the pictures.