Volcan de Izalco

  • Volcan de Izalco
  • 1950 m
  • Prominence 320 m
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1.
  • Location: El Salvador
  • Location: North 13.81366, West 89.63321
  • Climbed: March 19, 2022


How to get there:
The Cerro Verde National Park has 3 volcano summits. Cerro Verde is the middle one. A road runs all the way up and there is parking on the top. This is the trailhead for Izalco, location N13.8268, W89.62417, elevation about 2020 meter.

A quick summary of the peaks climbed in Central America.

Head back down the road a short walk, the road curves left (as seen from above) and you should locate a wooden gate on your right. Officially, one should start this hike before 1100, however, this rule may be somewhat adjusted if you are an experienced and fast hiker.
Note that in this case the trailhead is higher than the peak. This means that the route first descends to┬┤the saddle between Cerro Verde and Izalco, then ascends the far side to the "small" summit of Izalco. The biggest vertical gain of the route is to ascend back up to the trailhead.
Descend to the saddle following a very big and well maintained path. The ascent from the saddle to the crater rim of Izalco is slightly rougher, but follows a well marked path. The highest point on the rim is a short hike to the right after gaining the rim. One may follow a path all the way around the crater rim.
We checked into the hotel located near the summit of Cerro Verde. From the hotel window we could look down at the summit of Cerro Izalco. Clearly, this ascent would be different from most summit hikes. Adam and I left around 1400 and quickly located the closed, but not locked gate. People were returning from the hike and needed to cross this gate.
We had a good pace going downhill and met the last few tourists still descending from Izalco after starting our uphill climb. The very last people coming down were 2 police officers. They stopped us and informed that it was too late, that we should have started before 1100 etc. We told them that we were totally unaware of such a (stupid) rule, that we were extremely experienced etc. They decided to let us continue with a clear instruction to be careful.
We arrived at the summit 50 minutes after leaving from near the top of Cerro Verde. We spent 20 minutes looking around, including doing a craater rim walk. On the return hike, we again walked fast on the final ascending path overtaking several hikers. Another 50 minutes from Izalco and back up on the paved road.