La Ceiba Park – Salcoatitán, El Salvador - Atlas Obscura

La Ceiba Park

Salcoatitán, El Salvador

A legendary tree towers within its own vibrant sanctuary. 


This giant tree towers within a colorful park. The plant is as legendary as it is magnificent.

According to local lore, whoever embraces this Ceiba tree and thanks it in Nahuatl, the indigenous language, will receive a present from the soul that inhabits it. The great tree, which is estimated to be between 300 to 400 years old, is a beloved landmark within the community.

Locals tell stories of a time in the late 20th century to mid 21st century when merchants from neighboring towns gathered beneath its branches to sell their agricultural products. There are also tales of caravans from Guatemala that trekked El Salvador to pass this very tree.

Today, the town elders are educating younger generations about this great tree’s value. It’s now the center of a small park, surrounded by a vivid, colorful wall. The park wall is decorated with paintings of a Mayan god and other indigenous imagery.

Know Before You Go

The tree is located near the entrance to the town of Salcoatitán, on the road that leads to the municipality of Sonsonate. Please do not attempt to climb the tree.

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