After being picked up at your hotel, enjoy the drive to the majestic El Boquerón, the imposing volcano that looks over this Central American metropolis. El Boquerón — ‘Big Mouth’ — is a symbol of the city. After entering the national park that covers the top of the volcano, your transport will park, leaving you free to explore with your guide. Walking up to the crater is a relatively easy stroll. Take about an hour to view the massive crater— it’s 3.1 miles (5 km) in diameter and 1,831 feet (558 m) deep — and spend some time on a walk along on the pine-tree-flanked trails or grab a snack to eat (own expense).
On the way to Santa Tecla, briefly explore San Salvador, a city with half a million inhabitants and home to bustling boulevards, ornate churches, and intriguing modern architecture. Travel through the streets of the historic downtown, passing El Rosario Church, the massive Metropolitan Cathedral, and the neoclassical National Theater, as well as Salvador del Mundo (‘Savior of the World’) Square. Discuss with your guide which spots you’d like to stop at to explore on foot and which you are content to drive by.
Then make your way to Santa Tecla, a town in the foothills of the volcano that was built in the 19th century to be the nation’s capital after San Salvador was badly damaged by an earthquake. San Salvador remained the capital, but Santa Tecla has impressive architecture in the city center. Sit down for a traditional Salvadoran lunch (own expense) or just explore the area, walking down the famous Paseo del Carmen, a cultural district where families and friends gather, or visiting the beautiful El Carmen Church. After your visit is over, relax on the drive back to your hotel.