Cerron Grande Dam (Suchitlan Lake)
Cerron Grande Dam (Suchitlan Lake)

Cerron Grande Dam (Suchitlan Lake)

The basics

The Cerron Grande Dam and Suchitlan Lake area is a popular spot for locals to fish, kayak, and boat. You can visit on your own, but most international visitors see this area of El Salvador via a guided tour from Santa Ana or San Salvador to Suchitoto. As the surrounding small towns have limited overnight accommodations and bus routes, it’s best to plan your arrival and departure ahead of time so your trip stays on schedule.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Hacienda Santa Barbara east of the lake has a nice hiking area with viewpoints of this estuary.

  • The island’s single center island, Isla Leteras, is accessible by boat or kayak.

  • Don't swim in the lake, as certain parts of it may be polluted.

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How to get there

The closest town to the Cerron Grande Dam is Cantón Quitasol across the Puente Colima bridge. Cantón Quitasol is 34 miles (56 kilometers) north of San Salvador. You can drive, arrange private transportation, or take a public shuttle bus, though many visitors stop at or pass by Lake Suchitlan while on a tour of northern El Salvador.

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When to get there

Given El Salvador’s warm temperatures, most times of the year are enjoyable for visiting Cerron Grande Dam, Lake Suchitlan, or any area of the Rio Lempa. However, avid bird watchers will tell you that Suchitlan Lake is best enjoyed between September and April when migratory species are seen throughout the country at their highest frequency.

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The best views await in Suchitoto

Although the views you get when visiting the dam up-close are nice, try heading to nearby towns for picturesque lookouts of Rio Lempa from a distance. Visit Casa 1800 in Suchitoto, a town south of the Cerron Grande Dam, to be treated to a warm cup of coffee, delicious local foods like pupusas, and great garden-flanked views of Lake Suchitlan.

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