Camping and hiking at Conchagua Volcano are some of the most unique travel experiences you can have in Central America. Also known as Volcan de Conchagua and ‘Guardian of the Gulf’, this volcano is located in the municipality of Conchagua in the department of La Union in El Salvador. Hiking up and camping at Conchagua Volcano means you’ll enjoy an awesome sunrise the next morning. You’ll have mesmerising views of the Gulf of Fonseca; plus, you’ll see many beautiful islands and volcanoes that surround El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about hiking and camping at Conchagua Volcano. We’ll explain how to get there independently and cover the different options for visiting. But, we’ll also reveal how to find heavily discounted camping group tours. These tours often involve going to the beach on the second day of the tour such as a trip to Playa Las Flores in San Miguel.

We’ll also look at the hiking involved and show you some epic sunrise photos. Plus, we’ll talk about the town of Conchagua, alternate accommodation options if you don’t wish to camp and, we’ll provide some interesting facts about Conchagua Volcano.

We hope you find this guide useful. For other fantastic El Salvador hikes, check out our 7 Waterfalls Hike, El Imposible National Park and Peñon de Comasagua Sunset Hike guides. Or, read 20 Epic El Salvador Hiking Trails Not To Miss.

Visiting Conchagua Volcano

At 1,242 metres above sea level, this stratovolcano offers extraordinary coastal views. The volcano is located on the western side of the Gulf of Fonseca. This means you’ll enjoy an outstanding vantage point looking across many islands. These include Chuchito, Conchaguita, Conejo, El Ilca, Meanguera del Golfo, Perico, Pirigallo and Zacatillo.

Located in the far east of El Salvador, Conchagua is far away from popular tourist destinations such as Santa Ana, Juayua, El Tunco and San Salvador. In fact, Conchagua is about 192km away from San Salvador, and even further away from Santa Ana, Juayua and El Tunco.

So, for many, getting to this volcano isn’t easy. Personally, Beck and I visited from San Salvador. So, getting there involved a long journey. It was a roughly 4.5 hour drive. That’s one of the main reasons that tourists and locals decide to camp overnight at Conchagua Volcano. It would be one hell of a long day to drive all the way there from one of the major cities, hike up and down, and drive all the way back. Camping overnight at Conchagua Volcano will help you get the most out of your trip. Plus, sunrise from the peak of the volcano is the main attraction. So, you wouldn’t want to miss that!

Admittedly though, most tour companies only offer Conchagua Volcano as an overnight camping trip anyway. So, it’s not like you’ll have much of a choice if you decide to visit Conchagua as part of a group tour. But, if you visit independently, you’ll have a bit more freedom to choose exactly how you want to visit and experience Conchagua Volcano.

Beck watching sunrise at Conchagua Volcano

Visiting Conchagua Volcano Independently

It’s possible to visit Conchagua Volcano independently. The logistics and costs depend on a few factors. These include whether you:

  • have your own car to get to La Union
  • drive a 4×4 vehicle that can handle the 4×4 accessible only road to the main Mirador at the summit of the volcano
  • plan to camp overnight
  • own your own camping gear
  • want to hike up and down the volcano

If you want to camp and/or don’t drive a 4×4, you’ll need to plan your trip in advance by contacting CODECA (Coordinating Association of Communities for the Development of Cacahuatique) on Whatsapp (+503 7484 9950). You’ll be contacting the people who run the campsites, and, who organise transport to and from it. In fact, the main campsite is located at the most popular Mirador. It’s called ‘Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña’, which translates to ‘Spirit of the Mountain Viewpoint’.

By contacting this number, you can make a reservation at the main campsite, rent camping gear and/or book a seat on the pick-up truck, that takes you on the 4×4-only accessible road to the campsite. This is very important when visiting independently. That’s because, there’s only a limited number of pitches at the main campsite and seats available on the pick-up truck.

For those visiting independently, let’s look at the different options for exploring Conchagua Volcano below.

Transport to Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña
Transport to Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña

Conchagua Volcano Day Trip Option With Hiking

If you don’t want to camp and are keen to hike to Conchagua Volcano, you don’t need to make any reservations in advance. If you have a car, that’s not a 4×4, simply, get yourself to the entrance of the access road leading to Conchagua Volcano. You can park there. This access road seconds as a hiking trail for those who are happy to walk.

This access road entrance is located in the town of El Faro, which translates to ‘the lighthouse’ in English. On Google Maps, the spot is marked by Alexandra´s Mexican Food (Food Truck). Once you arrive at the Mirador, you’ll pay a $5USD entrance fee.

If you have a 4×4 vehicle, it’s possible to drive to the top of Conchagua Volcano independently. You’ll pay a $5USD road access fee. It’s only $1USD for motorbikes. Keep in mind that the road is very rocky and uneven. You better hope your vehicle is high clearance and you have some experience 4×4 driving. Again, you’ll pay the $5USD Mirador entrance fee. Driving to and from the Mirador is possible between 7am and 8pm.

If you don’t have a car, you’ll need to use the 4×4 pick-up truck service from La Union. Find out more about this below.

Conchagua Volcano Day Trip Option Without Hiking

If you don’t want to camp overnight, nor want to do any hiking, you can organise 4×4 transportation to Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña. For $10USD per person, from La Union, you’ll have the convenience of pick-up and drop-off. Drive time is around 1 hour. This service runs twice daily. The first trip departs La Union at 8am and leaves the Mirador at 1:30pm. Whilst, the second trip departs La Union at 3pm and leaves the Mirador at 6pm.

If you want to do this day trip option, we highly recommend the afternoon transport service. This will give you a chance to experience sunset at Conchagua Volcano. Of course, sunset is nowhere near as spectacular as sunrise. So, really, we’d highly recommend camping.

Read more: Accommodation in La Union El Salvador

Dan enjoys sunrise at Conchagua Volcano

Camping Without Hiking Conchagua Volcano (Transportation Included)

The most popular option for visiting Conchagua Volcano is to camp overnight and arrive by 4×4 transportation from La Union. By calling the number above and organising directly with the campsite operators, this option costs $17USD. If you don’t have your own camping gear, you can rent a 2-person tent for $10USD or a 3-person tent for $15USD. Renting a sleeping bag costs $5USD.

For this option, you’ll take the 3pm 4×4 pick-up truck service from La Union. The 4×4 service leaves Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña at 9am the next day. Don’t be late, or, you’ll be hiking back down!

Camping and Hiking Conchagua Volcano (Transportation Not Included)

Most people who choose to visit Conchagua Volcano, won’t hike up and down the volcano. But, this is certainly possible. For this option, you’ll need to get yourself to the access road entrance. Or, for the hikers, the trailhead! The road/trail leading to the peak of Conchagua Volcano is called ‘El Tigre Que Vuela’. In English, it translates to ‘The Flying Tiger Trail’, or ‘the tiger that flies‘.

If you have your own car, simply park at the trailhead. Then, make your way up the volcano on foot. If you don’t have your own car, you’ll need to get the 3pm 4×4 pick-up truck service to the trailhead, hop off, and do the hike! You won’t get your full money’s worth. But, it’s a guaranteed way to get yourself to the trailhead and it’s possible to book this in advance. This way, you will arrive in time for sunset!

If you’re backpacking El Salvador and need to get to La Union, find out how below.

How to Get to La Union Independently

If you don’t have a car, you’ll need to get a couple of buses starting from San Salvador. Jump on the #301 chicken bus at Terminal de Oriente heading to San Miguel. This service starts and finishes around 3am and 5pm, respectively. It leaves around every 15 minutes and costs $3USD. The journey can take about 3.5–4.5 hours.

Another option is the Super Especial bus that takes about 2.5–3.5 hours. It leaves less frequently. Timetables are constantly changing, but the usual schedule has buses departing at 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am, 11am, 12:20pm, 1:40pm and 3pm. Price is $5USD.

From San Miguel, you’ll take the #324 bus to La Union. You have both the regular ($1USD) and Especial ($1.50USD) buses. The regular bus takes about 1.5 hours and leaves every 15 minutes. The Especial takes around an hour and leaves every 30 minutes.

From La Union, it’s possible to get the #382 bus to Conchagua. But, given the driving route from La Union to the access road entrance, it’s actually unnecessary to go to Conchagua specifically to visit the volcano.

Other Camping Options at Conchagua Volcano

El Bosque

Alternatively, you can camp in a different area on Conchagua Volcano, away from Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña. This campsite is called El Bosque. It’s actually only 150–200 metres away from Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña. El Bosque is located in the serene woods near the top of the volcano. If you have driven up there in your 4×4 or motorbike, you can park your vehicle by your tent. There’s also a shelter with a few tables.

Actually, it’s possible to watch sunrise without paying the $5USD entrance fee for Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña. But, the views won’t be as spectacular. We recommend still paying the $5 entrance fee for Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña, even if you’re camping at El Bosque.

Keep in mind, you’d have to get in touch with the campsite owners, by using the number above, to make a reservation at El Bosque. Camping here is $2USD. It’s a great option if Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña campsite is booked out. But, admittedly, you can’t beat the location of the campsite on offer at Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña.

CODECA

Another option is to camp at the access road entrance. It’s possible to camp on some land next to the house owned by CODECA. This association helps with maintenance and preservation of Conchagua Volcano.

You’ll see the park rangers guarding the entrance, opening the gate to allow people and vehicles through. At the basic campsite, there is drinking water. There is no set or fixed price for camping here. At the very least, it’s expected that you tip the rangers for using this land and their facilities for camping.

From this campsite, you can get up really early and hike to Conchagua Volcano for sunrise. The hike to the Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña can take around 2–2.5 hours. So, make sure you time your hike to arrive in time for sunrise! There’s actually another viewpoint, about halfway up the volcano. Beck and I noticed the sign for this viewpoint. But, we’ve heard the views aren’t that great from here. So, it’s up to you whether you check out this lookout too.

Other Hikes at Conchagua Volcano

Unfortunately, there aren’t really any other recognised hiking trails at Conchagua Volcano. Simply following the access road up to the volcano is the hike! Certainly, you won’t visit Conchagua Volcano for a great hike. You visit Conchagua Volcano for a great sunrise. The hike just forms part of your visit, which we recommend for a more satisfying experience.

Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of better volcano hikes in El Salvador. Our favourite volcano hikes in El Salvador were San Miguel Volcano, San Salvador Volcano, Volcan Tecapa, Izalco Volcano, Santa Ana Volcano and San Vicente Volcano.

Conchagua Volcano Group Tour

Admittedly, it’s much easier for tourists to organise visiting Conchagua Volcano through a tour company. Surprisingly, most locals will follow suit, as planning the trip independently requires time and effort. All of the major tour companies in El Salvador offer the Conchagua camping tour. The price can range from $150–$250USD per person. Thankfully, Beck and I noticed a few tour companies offering the tour for a much cheaper price.

There are a few companies that offer group tours at a much cheaper rate on the weekends. Obviously, many more locals can join on the weekend, so companies can offer a discounted group price. These companies offer tours to all different places in El Salvador. But, the destination most often involved with these discounted weekend group tours is Conchagua Volcano. That’s because, it’s one of the most popular destinations to visit in the country.

You’ll usually find these discounted group tours advertised on Facebook. So, if you’re a tourist, it’s easy to miss these great deals. One company offering the Conchagua Volcano camping tour at a discounted price on the weekend is Club de Mochileros.

Club de Mochileros Conchagua Volcano Weekend Tour

Club de Mochileros offer a heavily discounted weekend group tour to Conchagua Volcano from San Salvador. They offer roundtrip transportation from San Salvador, camping gear, campsite reservation and the Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña entrance fee for only $40USD per person! Pick-up is on Saturdays at 1pm from Gas Puma Los Heroes in San Salvador.

Keep in mind, that you’ll pick up the rented camping gear at Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña once you arrive. Although, if you have your own camping gear, the group tour is actually only $25USD! Better yet, if you have your own car and camping gear, and meet the group at the access road entrance, it’s only $12USD for the campsite reservation and guided group hike.

Included in the tour, on the way to Conchagua Volcano from San Salvador, you’ll make a brief stop at Cuscatlan Bridge at Rio Lempa. It’s a decent spot for a photo.

Beck sits on a concrete block on Cuscatlan Bridge and looks over Rio Lempa, on the way to Conchagua Volcano from San Salvador
Cuscatlan Bridge at Rio Lempa

What’s more, after watching sunrise and hiking down Conchagua Volcano on the second day, you’ll visit Playa Las Flores in San Miguel. Beck and I really enjoyed having a swim and eating a nice seafood lunch on the beach. You’ll find other tour companies offer something similar on the second day of the tour. Some other companies visit a beach or coastal area around the Gulf of Fonseca or other Eastern El Salvador beaches.

Club de Mochileros Conchagua Volcano Week Day Tour

If you’d like to do the Conchagua Volcano tour with Club de Mochileros during the week, they offer it for $200USD per group. So, if you can round up a group of 10 travellers, it’ll cost only $20USD per person! Plus, roundtrip transportation involves pickup from your accommodation in San Salvador. And, you can visit on any days you please! This is ideal for missing the weekend crowds.

To book either of these tours with Club de Mochileros, hit them up on Whatsapp (+503 7602 0000 or +503 7600 3454). You can also drop them a message on Facebook or Instagram.

FYI – campsite reservation is booked for you as part of the tour. But, you’ll need to pay the $7USD camping fee upon arrival

Our Experience Doing a Discounted Weekend Group Tour

Overall, Beck and I had a fantastic experience doing a discounted weekend group tour to Conchagua Volcano. Obviously, the cheap price was a huge positive. Hiking tours in El Salvador can be pricey. So, we really valued the affordability of this trip. Plus, the stargazing, sunrise and visit to the beach were all fantastic parts of this group tour.

However, there are a few things to be aware of when doing these discounted group tours. Firstly, visiting on the weekend is the busiest time to visit. This means you’ll join hundreds for sunrise on a fairly narrow wooden platform. Sure, it was an epic sunrise. But, it wasn’t so tranquil experiencing it with crowds of people. Plus, Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña may be overbooked and chaotic on the weekend. Expect a noisy night, lack of sleep and a less than desirable camping experience.

Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña is busy on the weekends
Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña is busy on the weekends
Missing Sunset at Conchagua Volcano

One other drawback is hiking up Conchagua Volcano at night. With such a long journey from San Salvador, it’s possible that you’ll reach the access road entrance in the late afternoon. This means that you’ll likely be hiking up Conchagua Volcano in the dark.

Personally, Beck and I watched sunset, from the van, as we approached the foot of the volcano. Once we arrived at the access road entrance, daylight was coming to an end. We then hiked up Conchagua in the dead of the night. Admittedly, we didn’t enjoy hiking up in the dark.

So, make sure to ask the tour company that offers a discounted weekend group tour, whether they offer sunset as part of the tour. Sure, sunset is nowhere near as spectacular and special as sunrise at Conchagua Volcano. But, still, we’d prefer a sunset and hike during daylight hours compared with no sunset and a hike in the dark!

Alternately, if you visit independently, you can get the 3pm 4×4 pick-up truck service. That’ll take you to the access road entrance, or, to Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña in time for sunset.

Conchagua Volcano Map & Trail Preview

  • Type: One-way (Ascent)
  • Distance: 5km
  • Time: 2–2.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 600m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Conchagua Volcano Access Road Entrance
Powered by Wikiloc
  • Type: One-way (Descent)
  • Distance: 5km
  • Time: 1–1.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 6m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña
Powered by Wikiloc

Conchagua Volcano Hike

Having arrived just after sunset, Beck and I enjoyed the final fleeting moments of daylight from the side of the van as we readied ourselves for the hike up. With our headlamps fastened and our heavy backpacks secured, we began to ascend Conchagua Volcano in the dark.

Waiting at the trailhead of the Conchagua Volcano Hike in La Union, El Salvador

Admittedly, hiking in the dark wasn’t all that exciting. As it stands, the trail to the volcano isn’t the most interesting trail. Essentially, you’ll hike up a steep and bumpy road. Every so often, we’d step to the side, to allow an overtaking vehicle to pass.

Hiking up Conchagua Volcano in the dark
Hiking up Conchagua Volcano in the dark

In humid conditions, the steep climb up was tough. In the dark, without any views for distractions, we found it even more challenging. With sweat-soaked clothes, we were relieved to reach the campsite. Being the first hikers up from our group, we basically made a beeline for Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña. And, luckily we did. We pitched on one of the last remaining spots available on the designated wooden platform camping area.

Unfortunately, though, we had arrived too late to get one of the pitches that would directly face sunrise. So, we wouldn’t be able to get any cool sunrise shots from our tent. Never mind. We planned to get up earlier than anyone else and make our way to that area for sunrise.

A shot of sunrie taken from our tent
Not the best sunrise tent shot – you can see the other tents that are better placed ahead

Conchagua Volcano Sunrise

We set the alarm for 4:00am for some stargazing before sunrise. But, after a very restless sleep, and having stargazed before going to bed, we were happy to press snooze. Eventfully, we awoke around 4:50am. We were one of the first to get up at Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña. So, we made our way over to the best section of the wooden platform and waited for sunrise. We were happy to get up early to secure our spot. That’s because, hundreds would eventually join, gradually crowding and spreading away from where we were positioned.

Sunrise at Conchagua Volcano in La Union, El Salvador

Watching sunrise at Conchagua Volcano was a phenomenal experience. Golden hour really brought the surrounding volcanoes and islands to life. Impressive orange hues spread wide over the horizon.

There’s also a viewing tower platform from where you can watch sunrise. I quickly sussed it out. The tower obviously provides more height and a different perspective. But, you’ll have lots of distractions at the campsite below.

Definitely, head to the edge of the wooden platform facing sunrise for the best experience.

Views from the viewing tower platform at Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña in Conchgaua, La Union in El Salvador
Views from the viewing tower platform at Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña

Hiking Down Conchagua Volcano

With complete darkness on the way up to the volcano, it was nice to see the actual track on the way down. Starting from Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña, we followed the winding track back down. The trail is surrounded by dense forest, which doesn’t allow for any views.

Dan hikes down Conchaua Volcano

It was funny to see the large welcome signs that we could barely make out the previous night.

It only took around an hour to hike down Conchagua Volcano with some speed hiking. Sure, hiking Conchagua Volcano isn’t the most exciting of trekking adventures in El Salvador. But, we still recommend it for a good workout. And, you’ll have an increased feeling of accomplishment and reward, watching sunrise, knowing you worked hard to get there.

What’s speed hiking? It allows for a great workout when you’re exploring the great outdoors. Find out more here.

Playa Las Flores San Miguel

After the hike down Conchagua Volcano, we made our way to Playa Las Flores in San Miguel. As mentioned, this trip to the beach forms part of the Conchagua Volcano tour offered by Club de Mochileros.

After a restless night’s sleep and a steep hike up and down the volcano, it was nice to relax and swim on the beach. If you visit, we highly recommend eating a seafood lunch at Playa Las Flores. The feed was cheap and delicious. Washed down with a couple of beers, we had a great time at Playa Las Flores in San Miguel.

Recap

Watching sunrise at Conchagua Volcano is one of the best things to do in El Salvador. Sure, the hike up and down the volcano isn’t overly special. But, the sunrise more than makes up for that!

The sun rises on the horizon amongst clouds

Accommodation in La Union El Salvador

If you’re not interested in camping at Conchagua Volcano, there’s always the option to stay nearby in La Union. That way, you can easily do a day trip to the volcano and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep. Although, there aren’t many accommodation options in La Union in El Salvador.

Comfort Inn Real La Union

The Comfort Inn Real La Union is a fantastic option for staying near the Conchagua Volcano in El Salvador. Featuring a gym, two outdoor pools and an on-site restaurant and bar, this hotel has brilliant facilities. Breakfast is included in the price and we hear it’s delicious. Plus, the rooms are spacious and comfortable with great Wifi. Also, expect friendly and hospitable staff.

Hotel La Estacion

The next best hotel option in La Union, El Salvador is Hotel La Estacion. This option is cheaper than the Comfort Inn Real La Union. So, it’s a better choice for those on a budget. Given the cheaper price, the facilities aren’t as good. But, still, it’s a modern hotel, with comfortable and clean rooms. There is a lovely garden area and rustic décor. We’ve heard the Wifi is really good here too.

Conchagua El Salvador

If you’re staying in La Union to do a day trip to Conchagua Volcano, make sure to also visit Conchagua town. Other than its volcano, Conchagua is a lovely colonial town to explore in El Salvador.

You should check out the historic centre. It’s home to the oldest Catholic Church in the country, called Santiago Apostle of Conchagua. It was built in 1693. Plus, Conchagua is well known for Pupuestodromo located near the central park. This local institution in Conchagua serves some of the best pupusas in El Salvador.

Conchagua Volcano Facts

It’s always nice to know a little bit more about a place you’ll visit. Here are some interesting Conchagua Volcano facts to sink your teeth into.

Conchagua Volcano Activity

Is Conchagua Volcano active? Well, technically, it could be considered active. That’s because there are active fumarolic areas on its two volcanic cones. These cones are called Ocotal and Banderas, which both have craters.

Octal is positioned to the west. It’s not shaped like a typical volcano due to many movements and erosions over time. It’s actually on Ocatal, that the main camp sites and Mirador is positioned.

Banderas is positioned to the west. Its cone is more visible and typical looking as it’s a younger volcano crater. So, it’s undergone less wear and tear.

A clear shot of the Banderas crater
A clear shot of the Banderas crater
Conchagua Volcano Last Eruption

When was the last Conchagua Volcano eruption? There have been no confirmed eruptions of Conchagua Volcano. It’s possible, that Conchagua Volcano experienced an eruption a long time ago. It’s unknown when this volcano was formed. So, it’s hard to estimate when a potential previous eruption occurred.

Conchagua Volcano Bitcoin City

Recently in 2021, Conchagua Volcano received a lot of media attention. That’s because the El Salvador president, Nayib Bukele, chose the base of Conchagua Volcano, in La Union, to be the home of Bitcoin City. It’s a proposed futuristic city that will be built using Bitcoin bonds.

Conchagua Volcano Real Estate

Living and working around the Conchagua Volcano location may become more popular in the future. That’s because the president stated that there wouldn’t be any income, property or municipal taxes in Bitcoin City. Construction of Bitcoin City and use of Bitcoin bonds are expected to start in 2022.

More About Conchagua Volcano

So, what else is there to do at Conchagua Volcano? Let’s look at some other activities and highlights at Conchagua Volcano and around Conchagua and La Union in El Salvador.

Conchagua Volcano Tourism

Given Conchagua and La Union’s warm temperature, it’s an ideal place in El Salvador for a dip at the beach. Some of the best beaches near Conchagua in La Union, include Tamarindo, Playa Blanca, Playas Negras, El Jaguey, Las Tunas and Playitas.

Personally, Beck and I enjoyed visiting Playa Las Flores in San Miguel. But, we’ve heard these other beaches near Conchagua in La Union are some of the finest in El Salvador. These beaches are less developed and built-up. So, they feel even more pristine and tranquil. Similar to Playa Las Flores in San Miguel, these other beaches have great seafood restaurants.

After visiting the local beaches and islands surrounding Conchagua Volcano, you could also explore the nearby Gulf of Fonseca. After seeing the gulf in all its glory during sunrise atop Conchagua Volcano, you can experience the tranquil waters by taking a boat ride around the gulf and its islands!

Conchagua Volcano Ecotourism

Conchagua Volcano is covered in vegetation. So, there are many different species of flora to be found on the volcano itself. Coniferous and pine forests have been developed, and, are conserved by the CODECA park rangers. There are a couple of faint side trails that can be explored to see more of these plants and trees. You’ll also notice dense areas of other tropical trees. These areas are wild and inaccessible.

Plus, the volcano is home to many animals. But, given the hiking trail up is also the road for 4×4 vehicles, the noise can easily scare away wildlife. That’s why you shouldn’t expect to see much wildlife. But, if you’re lucky, it’s possible to see spider monkeys and even white-tailed deer.

The sun rises in the distance

Five Camping Essentials For Conchagua Volcano

Camping Essential


Why do you need this?

See it in action

For an extra layer of warmth, cleanliness and an extra anti-mosquito measure, you should take a sleeping bag liner

A headlamp is absolutely necessary if you're hiking up Conchagua Volcano in the dark. It's also useful around the campsite at night

The most convenient, comfortable and compact camping pillow you will ever find! This pocket size pillow is a must for camping

If you visit Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña on the weekend, it can be very noisy during the night. Pack a sleep mask and ear plugs to help you sleep

It can be a bit chilly when waiting for sunrise. The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket is lightweight and compact. But, it's very warm!

Five Hiking Essentials For Conchagua Volcano

Hiking Essential


Why do you need this?

See it in action

These hiking boots are really comfortable and a great choice for hiking Conchagua Volcano

This camera is lightweight and compact, so it's perfect for an overnight hiking trip. The Sony Cybershot RX100 VII takes high-quality photos and 4K videos

A waterproof jacket is a non-negotiable, particularly if you do this trip during the wet season

The Osprey Aether AG 70L backpack has anti-gravity suspension, which makes the backpack feel super light. You can also adjust the back support so it fits your body perfectly

It's best to have a power bank to charge your electronics overnight. You don't want a flat battery on your phone or camera during sunrise!

Other than the five hiking and camping essentials, here’s a general list of other things to wear/pack for the Conchagua camoing trip:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Quick dry T-Shirt
  • Waterpoorf trousers, or water-resistance trousers and packable waterpoof over-trousers
  • Hat (cap)
  • Spare pair of underwear and quick-dry hiking socks: c’mon guys, hygiene!
  • Sunglasses
  • Trekking poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush/biodregadable tooth paste
  • Baby wipes/toilet paper
  • Any necessary medications
  • Action Camera (GoPro Hero 9)
  • Phone (alarm clock/watch)
  • Tripod: night photography
  • Bag for rubbish to take back down with you

At Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña, there are bathrooms, a restaurant and a small shop. So, it’s possible to buy food and water up there. But supplies and variety are limited. So, it’s best to pack your own food. The bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper. But, just in case, pack your own toilet paper!

For a more comprehensive hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Otherwise, for a general summary of everything you’d need for a trip, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Don’t skip El Salvador: many tourists miss El Salvador during their backpacking trip of Central America. Check out our El Salvador guides to find other amazing places to visit and hike. #dontskipelsalvador
  • Plan your trip in advance: it’s important to call +503 7484 9950 in advance to book campsite reservations and transportation. This is particularly true if you’re visiting independently. It would be a shame to travel all the way to Conchagua in La Union and not be able to camp at Mirador Espiritu de La Montaña to experience the best sunrise in El Salvador.
  • Visit during the week: if you can avoid camping at Conchagua Volcano in La Union on the weekend when it’s busy, you’ll have an even better experience.

Do you want to find out about other great hikes and experiences in Central America? Check out our other Central America country guides – Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica (coming soon).


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