Ilopango is El Salvador's largest and deepest lake and offers a pleasant afternoon break from the city heat. But unless you are on a prearranged scuba diving trip, Ilopango is overrated as a major attraction. You're better off heading 56km (35 miles) east to Lago de Coatepeque, which has more pristine surroundings, better restaurants, and more activities. But if you just want to get out of the city for a few hours, the 100-sq.-km (40-sq.-mile) Lago Ilopango is an easy 16km (10-mile) drive from the city, and its tourist center, called Parque Acuatico Apulo, offers a handful of inexpensive, gazebo-style restaurants with lake views, a big pool, and $10 (£5) per 30-minute boat tours. You can swim in the lake but the park features only a small, uncomfortable, pebble-filled beach.
Ilopango, which reaches a depth of 250m (820 ft.), is a popular diving spot and El Salvador's top diving tour company. El Salvador Divers (tel. 503/2264-0961; call in advance to arrange a trip) has a lakeside dive facility with dive equipment, boats, and overnight facilities.
- © Frommer's 2013
- tel: 503/299-5430
- Ilopango, El Salvador
- Canton Dalores Apulo, Ilopango
- Daily 8am-4pm
- No Sweat
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