Last Updated on March 31, 2024

Are you looking for the best things to do in Santa Ana, El Salvador (and nearby)?  Don’t worry- in this post, we’ve got you covered!  

I have explored Santa Ana, El Salvador a couple of times now and would like to share with you a detailed list of the top activities and things to do in the area! 

My girlfriend is an El Salvador native so I’ve got to experience the best tourist attractions and the finest local spots. 

Santa Ana is a vibrant and bustling city in El Salvador, boasting incredible natural beauty, unique culture, and plenty of activities for every type of traveler.  Santa Ana is also one of 14 departments (states) in El Salvador. 

Whether you’re looking to explore the country’s rich history, get active outdoors, or simply relax and take in the views, there are countless things to do during your time in Santa Ana.



19 Amazing Things To Do In Santa Ana, El Salvador!

Are you ready to discover the best things to do in this beautiful area of El Salvador?  Let’s strap in and explore together!

A photo of me (Wayne) standing at the grounds of Santa Ana Volcano with stunning background view of the surrounding crater lake and  landscape.

How To Reach Santa Ana Volcano?

If you have your own car, drive to Cerro Verde National Park and aim to arrive by 9 am.

Taking the bus is the cheapest option but for sure not the fastest one because of a shortage of buses. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have a car or find the bus inconvenient. 

You can take a tour like this one where the logistics are taken care of!👈




Tips For Hiking The Volcano


– Wear hiking shoes.  I did not wear hiking shoes when doing the hike and it made it very hard to keep my footing, especially when hiking back down the volcano. 

– Bring water, electrolyte drinks, plenty of sunscreen, and snacks.  Depending on the time of year, it will be very hot and you’ll want to be sure to hydrate and also protect your skin. 

– Come early if possible and pay attention to the weather.  We hiked the volcano in mid-June, so the earlier in the day you hike, the cooler it will be. 

– June is also part of the rainy season in El Salvador so you’ll want to make sure you complete the hike as early as possible because it often rains in the afternoon and night.  There was even a little lightning when we were on the top.

– To avoid the crowds, visit during the week and not the weekend.  The weekends get busier with lots of tourists. 

– Bring cash- If you don’t do this tour, you’ll need cash for entering the park, before you begin the hike, and again to pay at the government office while you’re on the hike.  There are restrooms and also snacks and drinks that you can purchase in this area.     

– You’ll want to make sure you have enough of a health and fitness level that you can complete the hike.  It’s a lot of uphill hiking and a total of about 7 miles.  You’re also climbing over large rocks when making the hike.  My phone said I had almost 20,000 steps and did 71 flights after completing the hike.

–   You can also climb to the top of the Izalco volcano, which although it’s a smaller volcano, has the perfect shape of a cone.  It’s a volcano with a greater inclination and little vegetation, a stony terrain, and it does require greater difficulty to climb it.  Only adults and children over 11 years old can ascend. 


One of my favorite restaurants near Santa Ana is Tekunal Restaurante on Lago Coatepeque 

Photo of me chilling out in a restaurant with a bottle and glass of beer while enjoying the panoramic nature views of Santa Ana.
The crystal-clear waters of Lago de Coatepeque are ideal for those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

This Excursion Includes A Boat Tour Around Lago Coatepeque👈




Papusas are thick tortillas made of corn and filled with various ingredients such as cheese, beans, pork, loroco (an edible flower), spinach, or tomatoes.
Los Cobanos is a beautiful secluded beach a couple of hours from Santa Ana El Salvador

Tips For Visiting Los Cabanos Beach


– After you exit the main road in Sonsonate, it’s about a 30-minute drive on an old, rocky, dirt road that’s not well maintained.  I was afraid that my girlfriend’s car was going to get stuck along several muddy spots in the road.  So drive with caution and take a bigger vehicle if possible. 

– Los Cobonos is located at the end of a rural area.  There are a few local vendors along the way that sell food, drinks, and even inflatable toys for the beach.  There are a couple of stands at the parking lot when you park for the beach. 

– Bring cash for food and drinks.  You cannot bring your bottles or plastic onto the beach. 

– The beach itself is free but parking is $2 per car and $3 for truck.

– This is not a touristy beach.  There are no restaurants along the beach and no amenities.  There are also no lifeguards here. 

– You’ll also want to be careful when visiting because there are a lot of large rocks in the water that are slippery from walking on. 

– The good thing about the rocks is that they form a barrier where the water is shallow, making it good for little kids to play.  You have to go beyond the rocks to really get to the deeper parts of the water. 



Los Ausoles is an incredible natural phenomenon located in the municipality of Ahuachapán, El Salvador. It is a series of volcanic cracks that emit hot water and sulfur up to the surface.
Tazumal Ruins is an archaeological site located in the department of Santa Ana, El Salvador.
Concepcion de Ataco is a small city located in the department of Santa Ana, El Salvador. It's known for its vibrant culture and stunning colonial architecture.
Grab a cone or cup today and treat yourself to an unforgettable ice cream experience. Boston Premium Ice Cream is the perfect way to cool off after a day of exploring Santa Ana!

9. Cool Off With Ice Cream At Boston Premium Ice Cream


After a long day of sightseeing in Santa Ana, there’s no better way to cool down than with ice cream from Boston Premium Ice Cream.

This popular spot serves up delicious treats and is now one of the most beloved sweet spots in El Salvador.

From creamy classics like chocolate and vanilla to more exotic flavors like Tamarindo and Mango Verde, Boston Premium Ice Cream has plenty of dessert options.

You can even mix and match different flavors to create your own custom ice cream concoction!  They serve cones, shakes, sundaes, banana splits, and cakes. 

One of the best things to do in Santa Ana is to try the local vendors! Because these small-scale vendors offer a unique experience that you won't find anywhere else.
Visiting Santa Ana is a great way to experience El Salvador's vibrant culture and nightlife. And the best place to do it is at Inna Jammin! This lively bar and restaurant serves up delicious pizzas, burgers, and other tasty treats.

11. See Live Music (& Have Some Pizza) At Inna Jammin

Visiting Santa Ana is a great way to experience El Salvador’s vibrant culture and nightlife. And one of the best places to do so is Inna Jammin. 

This lively bar and restaurant serves up delicious pizzas, burgers, and other tasty treats.  But that’s not all – they also host a variety of live music events throughout the week. 

The atmosphere at Inna Jammin is always buzzing, and the live music is sure to get everyone in the mood for a good time.

And did I mention the delicious pizza – it’s some of the best you’ll find in El Salvador.

Inna Jammin has some of the best pizza in Santa Ana El Salvador

Tip- Another top spot for pizza in Santa Ana is Simmer Down Pizzeria & Restaurante, which is a great delivery option. 



Santa Ana Cathedral is an 18th-century Catholic Church located in the heart of Santa Ana, El Salvador. It stands as a beautiful example of colonial architecture and a reminder of the city's rich history.
Located just outside Santa Ana, Cerro Verde National Park offers a unique opportunity to explore the country's diverse natural beauty.

Photo credit – El Salvador Positive Tours

Santa Teresa Hot Springs is the perfect destination for those looking to relax and rejuvenate. This natural oasis boasts a variety of hot springs, pools, and other attractions that make it an ideal spot for travelers of all ages.

Check out this Santa Teresa Hot Springs & Santa Ana Private Day Tour in El Salvador!👈




Photo credit – Wikimedia

Santa Ana Theater is the home to El Salvador's National Symphony Orchestra, making it the perfect spot to experience some of El Salvador's best music and culture.
Ruta de las Flores is a must-see for visitors to El Salvador. It's a magical, winding route that traverses the lush hills of Apaneca and Alegria in the west of the country.

16. Ruta De Las Flores

Ruta de las Flores is a must-see for visitors to El Salvador.  It’s a magical, winding route that traverses the lush hills of Apaneca in the west of the country.

Along this captivating stretch of road lies some of El Salvador’s most stunningly beautiful scenery – from towering volcanoes to rolling green hills, it’s sure to make for a memorable experience. 

During the trip, be sure to check out the amazing restaurants, markets, coffee farms, and vendors along the route.   

Cities in the Ruta de las Flores include some that we’ve already covered, Ahuachapan and Atcaco, and others such as Apaneca, Juayua, and more. 

The best thing to do is to take this tour and fully immerse yourself in the experience, enjoying all that la Ruta de las Flores has to offer 👈




Exploring El Salvador's waterfalls is an ideal way to get away from it all and enjoy some of nature's most spectacular sights.

17. Explore The Waterfalls

Exploring El Salvador’s cascading waterfalls is an unforgettable experience.

Located in El Imposible National Park, these majestic marvels of nature are a must-see for any traveler visiting El Salvador.

The best way to explore the waterfalls is to take a guided tour.

A knowledgeable guide will be able to point out the best spots and provide insight into the local flora, fauna, and culture.

Exploring El Salvador’s waterfalls is an ideal way to enjoy some of nature’s most spectacular sights.

Check out this Santa Teresa Hot Springs & Santa Ana Private Day Tour in El Salvador!👈




San Salvador is El Salvador's bustling and vibrant capital city. It owes its popularity to its unique mix of urban culture, stunning natural beauty, and historical sites.

18. Visit San Salvador

San Salvador is El Salvador’s busy and popular capital city.  It owes its popularity to its unique mix of urban culture, stunning natural beauty, and historical sites.

The city is bursting with exciting things to do for visitors of all ages – from local markets and street food stalls to museums and art galleries, there’s so much to see and explore. 

There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

San Salvador has something for everyone – whether you’re looking to explore the city’s culture or take in its amazing views, this vibrant metropolis is sure to be a highlight of your trip.



El Tronconal is an unmissable spot for foodies visiting El Salvador.     Located in Santa Ana, this restaurant serves up some of the best dishes from the region and offers its guests a unique culinary experience.

19. El Jardin de Celeste

El Jardin de Celeste is an unmissable spot for foodies visiting El Salvador.

Located in Santa Ana, this restaurant serves up some of the best dishes from the region and offers its guests a unique culinary experience.  There are also cabins, social events, and a greenhouse here. 

One of my favorite times to come here is for breakfast.  Whether you get the Tipico- scrambled eggs and refried beans, or Aguacatero, which is fried eggs, avocado, and refried beans, you can’t go wrong.

They also have pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast options. 

But it’s not just the food that makes El Jardin special – it also offers stunning views of the area, as well as a garden where guests can relax and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Plus, there are even some resident animals- turkeys and ducks, living in the garden, providing visitors with an up-close look at El Salvador’s wildlife!



The city of Santa Ana, which is the capital of its province, is the second largest city in El Salvador.     It's a great place to start if you want to go on volcano tours, visit Lake Coatepeque, and see the Mayan ruins of Tazumal.
Santa Ana El Salvador is an incredible destination to explore with its natural beauty, fascinating culture, and unique attractions such as the National Theatre, Ruta de las Flores, and the El Tronconal restaurant.

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Booking a last-minute trip to Santa Ana El Salvador?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and experiences!

Top Tours in Santa Ana El Salvador

Santa Ana Volcano Hiking + Panoramic View Lake Coatepeque (Best Day Tour)

Hidden Waterfall Guided Tour (Discover El Salvador’s El Imposible National Park)

Santa Ana Volcano Sunrise (Catch The Sunrise From Santa Ana Volcano)

Thermal Tour: Cafe Albania + Hot Springs + Ataco + Lunch  (Private Day Trip In San Salvador)

Hike Santa Ana Volcano With A Sulphur Lake Inside & Coatapeque Lake (Great For Backpackers Who Wants An Outdoor Adventure)

Top Hotels In Santa Ana El Salvador

Hostal Las Puertas(Best Budget-Midrange Hotel In Santa Ana)

Equinoccio Hotel – (Modern-Style Hotel With Swimming Pool)

Remfort Hotel – (Top-Rated Hotel With Buffet Breakfast)

Captain Morgan Hostel Lake Coatepeque – (Highly Booked Hostel With Mountain Views)

 Looking To Get Around In El Salvador

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗



Travel Resources


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