Things to do in Chalatenango Department

El Pital, Chalatenango Department: Address, Phone Number, El Pital Reviews: 4.5/5

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4.5
26 reviews
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colonial
County Galway, Ireland161 contributions
In my top five most beautiful views in the world
Jun. 2019
Cerro Pital is gorgeous and charming. You will find redheads and even people with blue eyes because there are generations of Spaniards who were isolated here and it is so cute to see freckles in the middle of the mountains of el Salvadort and the people are so friendly and humble. I loved it! But the most aestriking thing is the striking natural beauty that Makes cCerro Pital one of The most Beautiful places in the World.
Written 15 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

benfica2010
Edmonton, Canada41 contributions
Wonderful place
May 2019 • Family
Before you go make sure you have running shoes there is a lot of walking and hiking, a place must visit,
Written 4 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Roger M
London, UK10 contributions
wonderful views
Jun. 2013 • Friends
Always a pleasure to visit here and spend a day away from it all. Often chilly so take a jacket, try the local restaurant its not flashy but the food and service are good.
Written 28 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TMR1004
Valley Forge, PA389 contributions
Unique and Wonderful HIke
Mar. 2014 • Solo
Cerro El Pital

Unique and Wonderful Hike

Unique and wonderful are the two words I would use to describe this hike. Unique because all but the last few minutes of the trail are on a dirt road, which doesn't sound that appealing but the beauty of it is that all along the road are small homes, farms, flowers, dogs barking, and children playing. It is a wonderful walk through rural mountain El Salvador and I loved every minute of it. What I didn't love was trying to get good information about this hike before I did it, so I thought I would try to provide others with information that might be helpful in planning their adventure.

1. Trailhead: The trailhead is in Rio Chiquito, 5 miles from San Ignacio. Buses stop here on a regular basis or you can drive. Walking the 5 1/2 miles from San Ignacio is not recommended. It's almost a 4000 vertical ft climb on a narrow, winding road that buses and trucks come flying down. Other than the physical challenge of doing it, I can't think of why anyone would want to! The trailhead starts on the cobblestone road where the bus drops you off in Rio Chiquito.

2. Guides: You do not need a guide to do this hike. You will not get lost. You follow a dirt road to within 200 yards of the summit of both peaks.

3. Distance of Trail:
A. 3 miles one way to summit #1 (El Pital has two summits). Summit # 1 is the higher of the two and has the white stone marking the summit and the border between El Salvador and Honduras.
1/2 additional mile to Summit #2
Total round trip for both summits is 7 miles.

4. Elevation Gain:
1. Trailhead elevation 7440 ft
Summit #1 8960 ft
Summit #2 8840 ft
Total elevation gain including ups and downs if you do both summits is 1850 ft.

5. Driving / Hiking Options: I realize that most people who are reading this are hikers and might scoff at the idea of driving part way, or all the way, to the top but not everyone can hike 7 miles and climb almost 2000 vt. feet and it would be a shame to miss the wonderful views and experiencing Salvadoran mountain culture. If you do decide to drive, you will need a 4 Wheel drive vehicle. You will be able to drive to within less than a 15 minute walk from the summit.

6. Estimated Hiking Time: Obviously, this varies due to conditioning, experience, pack weight, weather conditions, etc. but a fit hiker with a 10-15 lb. pack can summit both peaks in 1:30 or less and descend in 1 hour. Most people will take 2 - 2 1/2 hours to summit and 1 1/2 to descend.

7. Water: There is some water along the trail but it looks questionable and I would purify it. There are also a few places that sell water along the road to locals and also Salvadorans who like to camp near the summit on weekends. Caveat: If you want a quieter experience avoid weekends and holidays. I hiked on a Tuesday and saw no other hikers.

8. Views: The best views are on the way up, especially near but not at the summits.

9. There is a $3 fee that you will pay at the camping area near the summits.

10. Nearby Lodging: There are a number of hotels / hostels in San Ignacio and La Palma. If you want to splurge ($75 per night), I recommend Hotel Entre Pinos, about 1 km from San Ignacio. They can arrange other excursions in the area if you have interest. They have a great pool area and restaurant and well cared for horses that you can ride for $6 / hour.

Most hikers will consider this a relatively easy hike but it is one that I am very glad I did. I loved the immersion into rural mountain culture and I found the experience intoxicating. Enjoy!
Written 24 March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

A K
Denver, CO51 contributions
El Salvador's High Point
Mar. 2014 • Friends
Cerro El Pital is hardly a country high point worthy of accolades. It is a country high point, nonetheless, and therefore peaks the interest of my friend and I. We boarded a bus in San Miguel in the morning and many hours later and two transfers, we were chugging up the steep grades of the 526 bus out of San Ignacio. We hopped off at Rio Chiquito and started the slog up the road to the 'park' entrance. Since we were pressed for time, the ~2.5 miles and 1500 ft took us about 45 minutes. We had to pay the $3 entrance fee and were guided over to the proper summit. It's none too pleasing on the eye with the radio tower and barbed wire all around. We were then guided down to log bridge over a giant cracked rock to a great overlook towards Honduras. The short walk back ended the experience and we were able to grab a ride with some other Americans all the way back to Las Palmas since the sun was setting.

If you're looking for a hike, you should avoid this. If you're seeking to strike a country high point from your list, it doesn't get a whole lot easier. The 'park' near the summit did offer camping and had a big field. It looked like it could be quite a fun place to camp out if you had the gear.
Written 17 March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

HelenaGuerra
Washington DC, DC14,495 contributions
Go to Cerro Verde National Park
Mar. 2013 • Friends
Tip: before you go take altitude sickness pills.
There are tours that pick you up in San Salvador (check Miramundo Eco Tours El Salvador)e . Walk to there is not recommended, it's deeply inclined, dangerous and it would take 1 day.
Instead of going to this area you should go to Cerro Verde National Park (check my review and pics).

Cons: it's really hard and dangerous to get there, lots of garbage, the view is not great (Lonely Planet claims that it has the best view but it's exaggerated).
Written 7 April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Johana C
Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador3 contributions
Nice escape from the city
Jun. 2012 • Family
I had visited this place many times before, I really enjoy the great climate, the opportunity to pick by my own fresh strawberrys and different local fruits that are cropped there. However, this time my trip went a little further, we got all the way down to the Jiboa River, which is the natural frontier between El Salvador and Honduras. It's a great place to enjoy with your family and relax from a long week of work.
Written 10 June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

thelittlegecko
Madrid, Spain59 contributions
Pretty!
Nov. 2011
We combined this trip with a visit to La Palma. The road trip was attractive and the views stunning at the top. We camped near a little cabin out of the wind (the main areas is a bit of a wind tunnel) and away from the main camping site. There is a main camping site in between lodges and another one a little higher up - with apparently better views. Unfortunately the main campsite seemed to be the destination for groups of locals who wanted to drink, then camp for the weekend... we were glad to be away from it all. Nevertheless - good enough facilities - drop toilets (with no real seat). The walk up to the peak is only 15 minutes if that - a little disappointing really as there is a lot of tree growth blocking your view. A small walk down to this apparent 'metro-rite' was about 15 minutes too - the walk across the log over a 12m drop is worth it for the view across Guatemala and El Salvador. No trees blocking your view here! some good bolted climbing routes too! i liked the location purely for the view it had to offer.
Written 15 January 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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