Artículos en Inglés
Enjoy the Magic of Montecristo
Translated and Edited into English by: Arianna Trabanino
The Montecristo Park is located in the municipality of Metapan, department of Santa Ana, El Salvador. It is one of the most biodiversity packed places in El Salvador due to its wide longitude that spreads between 700 and 2,418 meters over sea level. This site contains a an interesting variety of plants, animals and natural resources that, due to the climate conditions, are able to adequately and beautifully develop.
Another remarkable characteristic is that Montecristo Park is one of the most important cloudy forests in the region and shows significant similarities with Bosque Pino-Roble Mesoamericano, considered to be one of the most advanced ecosystems in the world. Also, Montecristo park protects several species in danger of extinction, which currently only exist there, among them: the Momoto (an exotic bird) of the mountains, the red deer, and the Montecristo serpent and lizard.
According to its web site, the Montecristo Park has an extension of 1,973 hectares (4,875.4 acres) and is part of the Biósfera Trifinio reserve; this was the first area declared protected by El Salvador. Because of its trees, which measure up to 30 meters high, Montecristo provides the water that arrives to the City of Metapan and also contributes in a great way to the high basin of the Lempa River.
What can you find there?
In the Montecristo Parque you will find the greatest biodiversity of orchids, nation-wide, as well as epiphytes, giant ferns, forest species, mosses, bromeliads and aroids. Of mammals you may find Mountain Cuches (like a warthog), red tacuacines (a native rodent similar to a possum), armadillos, rabbits and ocolotes(a na, squirrels, cotuzas, agoutis, tamarins, white-tailed deer, among others.
Schedules and Prices
The visiting schedule is from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the cost of 3 dollars for nationals and 6 dollars for foreigners, 0.50 cents for national students and 1 dollar for foreign students.
Parking costs 1 dollar a day for smaller cars, and 2 dollars a day for larger trucks or buses. Renting a cabana costs 35 dollars for 24 hours, the camping zone (up to 8 people) is 5 dollars, and the Casco Colonial room is 10 dollars a day, the same price as renting the auditorium.
How to get there?
Driving to the park travel towards the City of Metapan. Once you are in the city, you will find a detour that leads to the National Montecristo Park and there you will take a road that will lead to the entrance of the park. During rainy seasons you have to take a double transmission vehicle to get to the park. From the City of San Salvador to the park it takes approximately 3 hours.
To get to the Park from San Salvador take the CA-1 highway towards Santa Ana, then take the detour CA-12 that goes towards Metapan. When finally in Metapan take the detour that is located in the corner of a hotel named “San Jose” which leads to the park. It is 5 km from the city of Metapan to the entrance of the park and 12 km from the entrance to “Los Planes” area. It’s a bumpy sandy road, which has a steep incline so its recommended to go in a 4×4 vehicle, mainly during the rainy seasons.
Requirements to enter the park?
The Nacional Montecristo park forms part of the natural areas identified as the priorities of conservation in El Salvador. Therefore, all those who wish to visit it have to fill out a form to enter, which is requested by the Ministry of environment and natural resources (MARN). This form can be faxed to 2267 6259 or emailed to Nancy Alvarez at email@example.com between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.