Hiking to Peñon de Comasagua for sunset is one of the most amazing El Salvador travel experiences. Also known as Quepis Salvadoreño (Salvadoran Kepi) or Piedra de Santiago (Santiago’s Rock), this phenomenal landform is located in Comasagua, in the department of La Libertad in El Salvador. El Peñon de Comasagua offers incredible 360-degree panoramic views. At sunset, you’ll enjoy a magnificent golden hour that lights up the surrounding mountains, volcanoes and even the Pacific Ocean.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Peñon de Comasagua sunset hike. We’ll provide a trail description, some epic sunset photos and talk about how to get there.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For other fantastic El Salvador hikes, check out our Laguna de Alegria, Hidden Waterfalls Hike and San Miguel Volcano guides. Or, read 20 Epic El Salvador Hiking Trails Not To Miss for more awesome treks.
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Peñon de Comasagua Hike in El Salvador Preview
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 2.4km
- Time: 1–1.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 125m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Peñon de Comasagua Car Park
- Map: Wikiloc
Peñon de Comasagua Hike
The Peñon de Comasagua hike is only a short trail in La Libertad, otherwise known as, Surf City. For such minimal effort, you’ll be rewarded with a mindblowing sunset! During the initial stages of the hike, you’ll catch your first glimpse of the daunting rock formation in the distance.
The hike then continues to weave in and out of farmland. You’ll notice the plots of land are mostly cornfields and bean crops. They’re lined with tropical leafy trees.
Starting the hike late in the afternoon, means you’ll have golden hour to enjoy straight off the bat! The trail gently inclines and winds. Next, you’ll arrive at a flat section where you’ll find a sign, labelled, ‘El Salvador’. From this flat area, your views of the surrounding landscapes increase.
Then, there’s a short decline, leading to a wide trail that connects you to the base of Peñon de Comasagua. This final section leading to the huge natural rock formation is only approx. 900 metres into the hike. Actually, this is a great place for a photo. That’s because you’ll see the spectacular rock; plus, the sun setting next to it!
Peñon de Comasagua Sunset
The golden hour glow parades on and around Peñon de Comasagua. Views of the rock from the trail are superb. But, it’s definitely worth reaching the peak to watch sunset.
There is a steep set of concrete steps leading to the summit. Having spent a lot of time taking photos on the trail below, I found myself speed hiking up the steps to make it in time for sunset. To say I was blowing out of my behind would be an understatement.
What’s speed hiking? It’s our love and passion! Find out more about speed hiking here.
Reaching the summit of Peñon de Comasagua is one of the most remarkable places to watch sunset in El Salvador. Marked by a cross at the top, the gigantic rock formation sits 900 metres above sea level. So, expect fantastic views of the surrounding Balsam mountain range, valleys and the intimidating San Vicente Volcano. On a clear night, you should be able to see waves crashing in from the Pacific Ocean.
Beck and I visited in the dry season. As to be expected, the surrounding landscape was quite barren, dominated by brownish tones. But, in the rainy season, you’ll see vividly green valleys and hills. Either way, when visited at sunset, there’ll be a wicked mix of orange, pink and purple hues over the horizon.
Returning From Peñon de Comasagua
Even once the sun has set, the sky will continue to throw off amazing colours on the return hike. So, keep your camera at the ready.
By the time you reach the end of the hike, it would have just turned dark. Now, it’s time to head home for a feed! Or, you can grab some snacks from the small tienda (shop) at the trailhead to tie you over.
Peñon de Comasagua Hike Recap
El Peñon de Comasagua in La Libertad, El Salvador is an unbeatable place to watch sunset. Given the short distance of the trail, you can start the hike very late into the afternoon. And, you’ll have golden hour to enjoy, essentially throughout the entire hike! Let’s look at how you can experience this awesome adventure below.
Visiting Peñon de Comasagua Independently
If you have your own car, you can simply drive to the trailhead in Comasagua in La Libertad. Although, the road is bumpy and uneven. So, you’ll feel much more comfortable and confident in a 4×4. The road stays in a fairly good condition during the dry season. But, during the rainy season, the road condition can deteriorate. In this case, you’ll definitely want a 4×4 to visit.
If you don’t have a car, you’ll need to visit by bus, or, do a Peñon de Comasagua tour. It’s certainly possible to visit Peñon de Comasagua independently during the day. This involves getting the #104A bus to and from San Tecla. You’ll catch the bus from San Tecla at 6 Avenida Sur, next to Novocentro. From Comasagua, you’ll catch the bus from Alex Martinez Street next to the park.
You can also visit Comasagua from La Libertad, otherwise known as El Puerto de La Libertad, by using the #660 bus route. Both bus schedules have specified timetables. But, buses don’t run regularly. For bus departure times, check at the local bus stations. Either way, whether you arrive from San Tecla or La Libertad, you’ll need to walk 1.5km from the El Peñon de Comasagua bus station to the trailhead of the hike.
Unfortunately, if you want to experience Peñon de Comasagua, specifically for sunset, you’ll need to do a tour. That’s becuse, the bus service doesn’t run that late into the evening. We highly recommend visiting Peñon de Comasagua for sunset for the best experience. So, which is the best tour company to go with?
Peñon de Comasagua Tour
Not many tour companies in La Libertad, or, in El Salvador, offer the Peñon de Comasagua sunset tour. Luckily for Beck and I, we found a great company, offering the tour at a very affordable price. Based in San Salvador, Club de Mochileros organise cheap tours around El Salvador, including the Peñon de Comasagua sunset tour. Their group tours are cheaper because they charge per group, instead of per person.
A Peñon de Comasagua tour with Club de Mochileros is $60USD per group. So, with a group of six, it’s only $10USD each! Plus, you’ll pay the $1USD entrance fee. Sometimes, you’ll pay $2USD for a local guide. But, when Beck and I visited, we didn’t hike with a guide. We simply hiked with the friendly crew from Club de Mochileros and a few other locals, who joined us for the trip.
Comasagua El Salvador
Not to be confused with Peñon de Guatape in Colombia, Peñon del Aguila in Argentina or El Peñon del Cuervo Malaga in Spain, Peñon de Comasagua is located in Comasagua, La Libertad, El Salvador. Comasagua is located 30km from San Salvador. Whilst, Peñon de Comasagua is positioned on the outskirts of Comasagua. The natural rock formation is roughly 6km south of Comasagua.
Peñon de Comasagua isn’t protected by or located in a national park, or, parque nacional, in Spanish. It actually falls on private property. But, thankfully, the farmers who own the property are super friendly and are happy for you to visit.
Of course, the main attraction in Comasagua in El Salvador is Peñon de Comasagua. But, in town, you’ll find lovely restaurants and coffee shops lining the cobblestone streets. The most famous is Finca Santa Marta, which is a fantastic coffee estate.
Five Hiking Essentials
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
Make sure to also pack 1L of water, snacks and sunglasses.
For a more complete hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Otherwise, for a broad summary of everything you’d need for a trip, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.
- Don’t skip El Salvador: many tourists miss El Salvador during their Central America trip. Check out our El Salvador guides or use our search function to find other incredible places to visit. #dontskipelsalvador
- There’s no need to pack your Passport: leave your important documents at your accommodation. This advice, generally holds true, when you do any hiking or outdoor activities in Central America.
- Make sure to also check out Tamanique Falls: close by, in the town of Tamanique, you’ll find a series of breathtaking waterfalls.
What do you think is the best hidden gem in El Salvador that not many people know about? Is it El Peñon de Comasagua? Let us know what you think in the comments below.