Hot Springs and Volcanoes, Yes Please!

Hot Springs and Volcanoes, Yes Please!

After exploring Salvadorian coffee country with cool and cloudy weather all around us, we gladly ventured off to explore the local hot-springs. With all of the volcanic activity of El Salvador, it made sense there would be thermal waters.  We even saw several commercial geothermal heat-capture operations.We found a nice resort-like facility that allowed camping but had no rooms to rent, so after closing hours we had the place to ourselves. With over 11 different pools, nice showers and bathrooms with flat parking, we were feeling pretty spoiled. With the subtle sounds of nature surrounding us, we slept great after a few good hours of soaking and relaxing to the max.  The following day, we enjoyed a fantastic sunrise soak and a mini hike to the mouth of the spring.  There were great vistas of the surrounding countryside where we could see steam rising above the thermal hot spots.Feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, we headed into the city of Santa Ana on the way to the volcano. We needed to do some laundry and saw the city in the meantime. Speaking of laundry, it is quite different then back home. We’ve grown accustomed to taking everything to a “lavanderia” where they wash, dry and fold everything for you. A coin operated laundromat has yet to be found! This service has been a huge luxury for us on the trip.While exploring the city, we visited a coin museum, where Matt proceeded to painstakingly crack the vault. It was quite interesting learning about this history of Salvadorian currency before they switched to the US dollar.That evening took us to a great camp spot near Volcano Santa Ana (5,800ft). It was a large open field on the saddle between two volcanoes and had great facilities and vistas. Again, we had the place to ourselves because it was during the week. We parked Koru near the end of the field where we could wake up with a view of Volcano Izalco.It is not possible to hike Santa Ana without a guide, and they only leave once a day at 11am. Once we got together with the group and guide, we slowly made our way up the Volcano. It felt great having light day packs, and the weather had cleared so we could see everything around us.The summit was simply stunning. The crater has a turquoise lagoon that is always bubbling and steaming. Santa Ana is very much an active volcano and erupted most recently in 2005.Looking towards the city bearing the same name, the beautiful lake of Coatepeque resided in the crater of another dormant volcano. Peering the other direction we could see past Volcan Izalco all the way to the Pacific Ocean, with the field where we camped in the saddle between mountains.After some time spent taking pictures and taking in the beautiful scene, we slowly made our way back down to camp. We cherished the cool air for one more night knowing the famous Salvadorian surf beaches lay ahead.  Back down the mountains we go!

12 thoughts on “Hot Springs and Volcanoes, Yes Please!

  1. Hello Down There! I’m loving your travel log…but can’t see the pictures anymore…just the box with the teasing question mark. Any advice for the computer semi illiterates??? esther

  2. Fantastic views…one question that keeps popping into my mind is what will I miss or be excluded from in a journey like yours if I am travelling with a couple pups? Are dogs verboten in some places? Will climate conditions be unbearable for them?

    1. We think of this often, as we are considering adopting a pup along the way at some point. There would most definitely be restrictions and sometimes places you just wouldn’t want a furry friend with you, but it doesn’t have to be a show stopper. We did meet a couple from Switzerland that had integrated an AC system into a small space of their camper for their pup when they needed to leave him behind or when it’s unbearably hot. I think it only worked with shore power, but I’m sure with powerful enough solar panels, you could do something similar. It allowed them to explore almost anywhere they wanted without worry.

  3. Wowee Zowee!
    Thanks for posting the crater lake pictures! Excellent photography!
    Sunrise soaks in 11 pools?
    Really liked the interior van photo with the volcanic view out the windshield!
    Who does Sarah’s french braid?
    Keep blogging and slogging!

  4. We too noticed the good looking braid, between spell binding pools and volcanoes. Thanks for getting the pics up…fabuloso!!
    XO Esther

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