Tuesday 13th November Tacuba – El Impossible National Park

Today we transferred from the Ruta de las Flores to the small town of Tacuba, where we would have access to the largest national park in El Salvador – the El Impossible National Park.  We arrived in Tacuba in the early afternoon and had some time to walk around the town. We saw the ancient ruins of a church and the current day church and had some lovely fried tortillas with salsa for lunch and the most delicious pupusas for dinner. 

Wednesday 14th November – Tacuba – El Impossible National Park

This morning we met our guide William and his daughter Paula who would be taking us on our hike deep into El Impossible National Park. We rode in the back of his ute all the way up to the top of the mountain. We had some stunning views out over El Salvador and even out to the Volcanoes near Antigua in Guatemala. On the other side of the mountain we could see clearly out to the Pacific Ocean very close by. We were very lucky with the blue sky day and the views were amazing. We began our walk heading down through the coffee plantation and then into the fields below where the local people were growing beans (frijoles). Soon we were ducking into the thick forest of the National Park. The track winding down the mountain clearly didn´t get a lot of use and William needed to use his machete to cut back some of the undergrowth. The going was steep and very slippery with lots of loose stones tripping my feet.  We continued further and further down until we arrived at a viewpoint with amazing views of the canyon rising up above us and the river spilling into a waterfall which crashed down below. We ate our sandwiches here, admiring the views before clambering over the rocks further upriver to find a lovely spot for a swim. William called it the Jacuzi as it was a pretty small space but it definitely wasn´t warm!  After our swim it was time for the tough climb back out of the canyon. The weather had further cleared up and it was difficult not to stop and turn around for the views every two seconds! We arrived back at the ute and it was time to head back to the hostel, back down the rough and rocky road in the back of the pickup holding on for dear life. William stopped off to show us a 600 year old Ceiba Tree which I thought looked like a real life version of the Faraway Tree!

Thursday 15th November

Today we had a huge travel day – but actually only moved a couple of hundred kms from the north of El Salvador to the south. We took 3 buses and an uber to head from Tacuba to San Salvador to San Miguel, the jumping off point for the Ruta de Paz – where we would learn a bit more about the civil war that consumed El Salvador for 20 years leading up the peace agreements in 1992.