One of the most advertised things to do in Suchitoto is visit a local waterfall called Los Tercios, 2km from town. I wasn’t going to bother (there wouldn’t be any water) but decided to join André when he said he was going to do it.
The tourist office organises a free, accompanied trip to Los Tercios at 3pm if there are people interested in going. This is really just to ensure that tourists aren’t pick-pocketed on the way to the waterfall so we were quite surprised when we ended up being accompanied by a policeman (William) and 3 guys from the army!
Seemed like overkill to us, but I chatted with William quite a bit throughout our hike and he was explaining that because there are not enough police, they always patrol with 3 guys from the army in this way. He was also telling me about life as a policeman in El Salvador – it’s a tough gig to earn only about 1/3 more than the minimum wage. Very long hours and the fact that he can be transferred with little notice, meant that he was one of very, very few people over the age of 25 I’ve met that isn’t married with a family. I asked him why people do it – he replied that at least it was a steady income stream. Fair enough!
The reason the waterfall attracts so much attention is because of the hexagonal, columna structure of its rocks. It does look cool, but if you’ve been to Fingal’s Cave in Scotland, you may be disappointed if you go in with high expectations as it is much, much smaller.
Still, we had fun scrabbling around the super-slippery rocks (we’d just had a torrential downpour) to the bottom of the waterfall and back up again, while joking with our protectors. We also stopped off at the viewpoint overlooking Lake Suchitlan before heading back to Suchitoto (we actually managed to get a free lift in the back of a truck!)
Recommendation: Its a nice little trip that isn’t difficult if you have done a bit of rock scrambling in your time. You could also catch a bus/get a lift to the waterfall which would cut out about 3km of walking, but it’s really not necessary. Make sure you go with the protection just to be safe.
Booking: Ask at the Amigos de las Turistas office and they will organise.
Time Required: About 1.5 hours, but depends on how fast you walk and how long you stay at the waterfall.
Cost: The trip and the protection are free, but it is customary to give a small tip to the guy who maintains the site.