Parque Nacional El Imposible

If the mists clear, you can see all the way to Guatemala from the lookout points perched above El Salvador's most splendid park with the most wonderful name. Parque Nacional El Imposible has some unbelievable beauty and makes a brave attempt at making up for all the lost nature the rest of the country has suffered. Green, rugged hills hold gurgling streams, fern-lined waterfalls, moss-draped caves, and Maya petroglyphs. Abundant with birdlife and animal life, old coffee farms have become forests again, and fragrant flowers and pink mushrooms border the park's trails and eight rivers. Only 2 hours west of the capital, the park has two official entrances, on its southern and western borders, though you might find it more convenient to enter by the northern back door through the sleepy town of Tacuba, at the extreme end of the Ruta de las Flores circuit.


60km (37 miles) W of Sonsonate; 100km (62 miles) W of San Salvador

Tacuba is a small town in far western El Salvador that hugs the edge of the 3,278-hectare (8,100-acre) Parque Nacional El Imposible and serves as base camp for treks into the park. In addition to boasting great views of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes, and a pretty central plaza, Tacuba has a number of tiendas to keep you stocked up on food and drink, and happy after a long day's hike. Until recently, this area had very few tourists, however, and it's still slowly developing its infrastructure. Currently, there are no banks or ATMs, and only a handful of viable lodging options, so plan your accommodations in advance and bring all the cash you'll need.