Boats depart the fishing village of Coyolito, on the coast of the Golfo de Fonseca, southwest of Jícaro Galán, for the volcanic ISLA EL TIGRE, whose conical peak rises sharply against the sky across the sparkling water. With good beaches, calm waters and constant sunshine, it’s an ideal spot to hide away for a couple of days.
The island’s only town is AMAPALA, once the country’s major Pacific port and now a decaying relic of the nineteenth century. Looking up from the dock, you’ll see ageing wooden houses clustered along the hillside, while the restored church in the Parque Central shows signs of the island’s desire to get on the tourist map. Nonetheless, during the week there’s every chance you’ll be the only visitor on the island.
From the southern side of the island there are stunning views across the gulf to Volcán Cosiguina in Nicaragua, and in some places to Isla Meanguera and mainland El Salvador. The island’s peak can be climbed in a steep and very hot two- to three-hour walk; ask for directions to the start of the trail, opposite the naval base, about 15 minutes’ walk southwest of Amapala.