Things to do in Santa Ana

Top Things to Do in Santa Ana

Things to Do in Santa Ana

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Top Attractions in Santa Ana





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Tours, activities and experiences bookable on Tripadvisor, ranked using exclusive Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, popularity, user preferences, price, and bookings made through Tripadvisor.
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What travellers are saying

  • Rowan H
    Cairns, Australia1,332 contributions
    My wife and I did the hike on the 29/09/2022 from Santa Ana.

    We found all kinds of information, or should I say misinformation, online and in our guide book (lonely planet) about this hike so I thought I would clarify a few things.

    In terms of getting there there are three options.
    (1) You can get a public bus from Santa Ana to Cerro Verde (Park Entrance of Parque National Los Volcanes). This costs 70c USD x 2. You get bus 248 from the La Vencedora Terminal in Santa Ana. It leaves at 0730am but takes 2 hours to get you to the park entrance so you will get there at 0930. Be aware that La Vencedora Terminal is located adjacent to the parque colon and 11 Calle Pte. The three blocks of 11 Calle Pte that surround Parque Colon is actually the red light district of Santa Ana and is a bit dodgy so perhaps try to go around this particular street when walking there.
    (2) You can drive - there is a parking lot available for a minimal fee
    (3) Arrange private transportation - we used Go Travel El Salvador at a cost of 21USD per person. The cost may be different depending on group size but included a stop at Lago De Coatepeque on the way back, as well as various stops at the miradors on the way up so this was essentially a full day tour.

    To do the hike you are told you need to have a local guide to take you up. Problem is there is only a few of them and they will only complete the hike if it’s worth their while. The cost of a local guide is 3 USD pp when shared within a group but I think they will only go up if they can get a group of 10 or so people together. So if you cannot get a adequate sized group together they either wont go up or you could potentially offer them more money to take a smaller group (I note the tripadvisor review that said a private tour is 35USD). In contrast to previous reviews and online information, multiple groups can go up in a day but it depends on the guides. I think most people arrive at the park at 0900 so if you arrive after this there is a chance there wont be a guide available or there wont be enough people to take you up. The days of a single 11am hike are historical. Another piece of misinformation online was that there is a police escort up the mountain. This is not correct. There was 2 police officers at the summit however, one armed with a M4 and another with a side arm for security. The guides seem to communicate using hand held radios. I wasn’t concerned about security going up the mountain, particularly once we became entangled with a group of around 100 schoolchildren also completing the hike.

    You are charged 3USD for local guide and 6USD at a ticket booth about 20 minutes walk up from the cerro verde. I note a park entry of 3USD is also written in the literature as a ‘park fee’ for parque nacional los volcanes. I didnt pay this, but it may have been included in the tour.

    We started the hike at 0930 and finished at 1300 so a duration of 3.5 hours. We spent about half an hour at the top.

    The hike was challenging in parts but very doable for a person of average fitness. It’s 6.9km with a elevation gain of 467m (Altitude 1823m to 2276m).

    It was quite cold and windy at the summit so would be a good idea to bring a wind jacket or another layer of clothing that you can take off.

    It was also quite exposed at the summit so sunscreen and water would be sensible.

    Overall we had a really enjoyable hike. We stopped at Lago De Coatepeque on the way back and given its off the same road you travel to get to here from Santa Ana makes a sensible stop for lunch and a swim post hike.
    Written 29 September 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Rowan H
    Cairns, Australia1,332 contributions
    Lago de Coatepeque is a 6km lake formed in the caldera of a extinct volcano. It will be your landscape as you drive to the Santa Ana Volcano Hike in Parque Nacional Los Volcanes.

    Although most people appreciate it through their car window and a stop at a mirador on the way to the hike for a picture another option is to drive down to one of the various restaurant offerings located on the shore and enjoy a lunch and drink post the hike. This is what our tour did after we completed the volcano hike. I cannot recall the restaurant we went to but it did provide a platform that allowed us to have a swim in the lakes waters, which were clean and not too cold.

    You can also access it via public bus 220 or 242 but I’m not sure on the specifics of that.

    There is also a ferry that provides 45 minute tourist boat rides in the afternoon at a cost of 5 USD.

    Overall it complemented the Santa Ana volcano hike well and we enjoyed our afternoon there.
    Written 29 September 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LolaGo1
    Washington DC, DC5,804 contributions
    This was the very first attraction I want to see when I arrived in Santa Ana. To my dismay, it was closed when I arrived so I just took pictures of its outside facades and towers.

    My second attempt was a success, it was opened. The main altar has the statue of Jesus on the cross and above it are the statues of Santa Ana and her daughter, Mary. There are few more religious statues on both sides of the church.

    As I was leaving, a man started closing the side entrance and the rest of the visitors started leaving as well.
    Written 16 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN2,142 contributions
    Beautiful region. It was about a 90 min drive from San Salvador and I came up here on a personal guided tour with Centro America Tours. My guide Benjamin was excellent. The hike to the top of the Santa Ana Volcano was the highlight of my stay in El Salvador. My guide on the trail Herzon was great. 4 mile round trip hike that was moderately strenuous but beautiful views along the way including of the nearby Izalco Volcano. Sights and smells of the active volcano when we reached the top were awesome. Didn't see too much wildlife when visiting but it was midday. There is also an observation point with views of Lake Coatepque in the park. It was clouding up at this point in the afternoon but I could imagine this would be beautiful from photos that I've seen.
    Written 12 January 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LolaGo1
    Washington DC, DC5,804 contributions
    Glad that I visited it on my last day in Santa Ana! Entrance fee for foreigners is $5 plus $2 for the use of camera. I had an English speaking guide named Stephanie.

    She explained the history of the theater and showed me its various areas. My favorite area is the salon where they do the dancing. On its sides are the separate areas for men and women. The paintings on the ceilings mouldings, chandeliers. etc are all very beautiful.

    There are 3 levels or sections for the audience to sit. The top level is for the poor customers where the seats had been modernised. The bathroom at this level is modern and free to use during my visit.

    There is a small museum on the right side of the theater (ground level). Highly recommende to visit!
    Written 17 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, MN2,142 contributions
    Didn’t hike this volcano when visiting Cerro Verde National Park but did hike up Volcan Santa Ana and along the way had some incredible views of Izalco. My guide told me it’s a more difficult and steeper hike.
    Written 13 January 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Rene_pipp
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands51 contributions
    Very beuatiful quiet place in the middle of the market. Hard to believe something ruimed like this can look so pretty after all!
    Written 15 December 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • dakotamorton
    56 contributions
    I’ve been on other coffee tours before that we’re not even as close to as detailed in comparison to the tour at Finca ale Esperanza.

    Farm owner Eduardo really takes the time to show you every step of the process relating to coffee production on the farm.

    On top of all of that, he’s a really great guy and you can talk to him for hours. We shared some really good vibes and conversations late into the day; which began with some amazing pupusas, and finished with some very tasty desserts.

    Eduardo also took the time to talk about other ecology and plants, animals, that play into the coffee lifecycle on the property.

    The three varieties of coffee grown on the property are all very good, and you get to taste them via the pour-over method - right there at a little table on the farm.

    Moreover, he drove us up the Sahara Ana Volcano for some amazing views of the city of Sahara Ana and surrounding areas.

    He was kind enough to roast our favorite varieties that we sampled during the tour that evening, and then dropped the 1lbs bags at our hostel the next morning.

    Do not miss an opportunity to check out his farm! Thanks Eduardo!
    Written 19 March 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • drea45
    El Salvador4 contributions
    Well, there are different events happening here. Depends on when you go. It changes. But it's very interesting to learn the history. Downstairs in the vault there are gold bars and the history of the money used.
    Written 21 November 2016
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kody G
    Denver, CO138 contributions
    There are many wonderful natural attractions in El Salvador, but El Imposible makes you work for it. Although it's quite doable to drive there, it is quite challenging. First off, I would recommend having a 4x4 vehicle for the drive. Once pulling off the highway onto the road that winds it's way up to the park entrance, the road has many areas made of stone rather than pavement. It appears the stones were laid one by one to form the road, mostly on uphill/downhill areas. This makes for a very bumpy road, but also risks getting a flat tire. Unfortunately, we got a flat about halfway up, while driving our small rental car. After changing it, we went incredibly slow until we made it to the entrance. To this end, you should provide plenty of time to get up and down from the park entrance (probably should be the only thing you do that day). The parking was clear and there was a park ranger waiting at the top to give us instructions. We hiked down to the river then all the way to the top of Cerro Leon. It was a challenging hike, but mostly shaded by the trees. At the top, we were welcomed by nothing by clouds. We waited to see if it would pass, but a las, they did not. Not unexpected during the rainy season (we were there at the end of September). We didn't see another soul the whole time, so it felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. It did rain on us a little bit on the way down, but again, the dense trees provided a lot of protection. I would recommend this spot to other hiking enthusiasts, but be aware of the time and technical driving it takes to get here.
    Written 9 November 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • rapha_y_nici
    Zurich, Switzerland5,970 contributions
    It‘s basically a normal shopping mall but surprisingly big for Santa Ana. This is the place if you need to replace some simple electronic items or memory cards or whatever. Food court is the normal mall standard (kind of hidden on the backside of the mall). Starbucks available but the experience in a local coffee shop somewhere is more genuine! If I got it right, the international Tica bus leaves somewhere around this area. If you have to get there in the dark from somewhere in the city center and with luggage I would recommend to take a taxi!
    Written 25 January 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LolaGo1
    Washington DC, DC5,804 contributions
    I came across this place while walking around the Cathedral. There was no one shopping there at 10:30 a.m on a Friday morning. Lots of different stuffs to buy here ranging from bags, wallets, shirts, hats, magnets, wall decorations, etc. All goods for sale represented to be made in El Salvador, not in China. At the entrance, they are also selling local sweets and other stuffs.

    Bring your cash as they don’t accept credit cards here. Happy shopping!
    Written 17 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LolaGo1
    Washington DC, DC5,804 contributions
    This attraction is located in front of the Cathedral. During my visit, I noted a number of military guys standing around the gazebo. There is a manger on display at the gazebo and a tall paper mache.

    There are benches for one to sit down and listen to the very loud music coming from the “Claro” store located near by. Also, nearby is the National Theater, restaurants, food stalls, etc.
    Written 16 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Margareta S
    3 contributions
    We were travelling with this Company the second time. Always punctual, helpful and courteous staff. We appreciate that drivers are helping tourists with cross boarding. We will use this company again
    Written 1 September 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Santa Ana Attractions Information

Attractions23
Attraction Reviews941
Attraction Photos1,076
Local TimeFriday 7:15 AM