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4.27.2011

Tamanique Waterfall in El Salvador


Rock statue on the side of a river




If you are having doubta about traveling to or through El Salvador...don't. I've lived here for years and it is Central America's best-kept secret. Especially when it comes to surfing. There are so many good spots and I'm not going to say my favorite because it's never crowded.  El Salvador has so many gorgeous spots that you will miss out if you decide to skip it. Don't believe all the negativity you read.

I have been going to the beach at El Tunco for years now and one of the locals told me about some beautiful waterfalls near the beach. In celebration of my birthday, we decided to go hiking to the Tamanique Waterfall. One of the local surfers from El Tunco was our guide and we jumped on a bus for $0.50 and rode up into the mountains about 20 kilometers to the quaint little town called Tamanique. We then hiked a good 30 or 40 minutes down to the waterfalls.

jumping off a big rock into a riverThe cool thing about this hike was that 15 minutes into it you were already seeing small waterfalls, rapids, and crystal clear pools and lagoons. We had fun at one of the first waterfalls jumping off the rocks into the beautiful and cold pools of water.










girl in the water by a huge waterfall
 Finally, reaching the bottom was the biggest and most beautiful waterfall. As we were swimming toward the falls it was really difficult because of the pressures coming off of it. It was so much fun and so beautiful. According to El Salvador Travel Tamanique means hill of the capture in the indigenous language of El Salvador which is Nahuatl. Supposedly the old Tamanique town was known as "Cinacant├ín" where a major battle of natives and Spaniards took place. It is said that the town of Tamanique is older than the Republic of El Salvador.

The hike is somewhat strenuous but totally worth it. My only recommendation would be a good pair of hiking shoes, comfortable clothes to hike and swim in, a rope, plenty of water, snacks and don't forget a reef safe sunblock . It could easily be an all-day event, it's definitely more fun when you can take your time and enjoy the scenery. 

So when you go to El Tunco beach go find the local surfers and ask around for a guide to take you to the waterfalls. It's something you don't want to miss.  I love surfing and I almost didn't go because of surfing. I highly suggest you take a day off to experience this beautiful hike and amazing river and waterfalls. You will not regret it.

If you looking for another extraordinary hike but much more strenuous and having a hiking stick would be a plus you should hike the Volcano Izalco. Hiking a volcano should definitely be on your bucket list. It is an experience you will never forget.

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