When I arrived into San Salvador, I had absolutely no plans and thought I’d just use it as a pit stop for a couple of days, relax a bit and hit the road again making my journey southwards to Costa Rica. However that didn’t happen at all because of this wonderful traveller from Japan that I met on the bus, who mentioned that she was in San Salvador just to hike Santa Ana volcano & I thought ah why not.
So when we checked into the same hostel and were trying to find out how to reach Santa Ana another traveller, Doug, overheard us and mentioned that he was hitting the volcano the next day, that he had a car & we could join him if we wished to. That night I slept with excitement of hiking to the summit the next day.
Skipping all the story about the volcano (which needs a post of it’s own), when we started the next day the girl backed out and instead a 3rd guy joined us and we ended up hiking the volcano & back. It was after the hike that we decided to go to Tamanique to check out the waterfalls that not many had heard of. I had no clue what it was and a few boys at the hostel mentioned that it was popular with the travellers & to go if I got an opportunity.
And so we made our way to the small town, a village more like. The drive to get there from Santa Ana, was so beautiful and right over the summit of some mountain ranges, giving us great views of the San Salvador fauna and the Pacific Ocean coast at the distance. About 2 hours of small narrow windy roads drive later, we arrived into the town and started asking the locals about where the Cascadas (waterfalls) were. One such local, Abel, came up to us and said he could take us to the waterfall and that it was a hard hike to go there by ourselves.
Having already hiked a volcano in the morning, we agreed anyway and made our way to the waterfall, starting at the edge of the small village. After a couple of mins Abel showed us a detour n said it will take us faster to the waterfalls but is pretty steep and slippery. We went anyway 🙂 About 25mins later we started to hear the flow of the water and wondered how good or bad it might be.
When we made it to the flowing water, I thought to myself where is the waterfall !! Just a few steps away, Abel took us to the first cliff about 25ft above from the pool below and told we need to jump into the water to get to the next falls. I was super excited already, given how much I love water. With no hesitation, I got down to my boxers and took the plunge. It was super awesome. Water was perfect and after the volcano hike we needed some sort of shower anyway which the Tamanique waters washed us off with.
I took 4 more plunges after which Abel took us to the next cliff and it’s waterfall which dropped about 40ft into a pool below which again Abel said we need to jump into. Woah ! As much as I was excited, I did have a tiny bit of fear this time. But then I said to myself that I have done a 90m Bungy and a 17000ft skydive, this should be no biggie. So took the plunge..It was my highest cliff dive ever after about 30ft dive in Budva, Montenegro a couple of years ago. It was super exhilarating to say the least.
One more jump later, we took our gear & headed to the main waterfall that drops from about 150ft. There was no jumping this time but we got to swim in the pool right below the waterfall. It was super awesome. At that time of the day there was no one anywhere and we had the whole waterfall and the foliage all to ourselves. We spent about 20mins in the water, took some photos n videos before making a long way back up to the car park.
The hike back wasn’t anything easy, I was so knackered that half way through I didn’t want to go upwards anymore. But hey, no pain no gain eh. Took a deep breath, some water to cool my throat and 1hr later we were back at the car. On our way back to the hostel we went to have the country’s best Pupusas at El Atico, to celebrate the super awesome day we had and called it a night a couple of hours later.
Click HERE for the video of the jumps 🙂