CERRO EL PITAL

Cerro El Pital, at just below 9000 feet above sea level, is El Salvador's highest point. The forests on El Pital contain a mixture of pines, cypresses and broadleaf evergreen cloud forest trees. El Salvador shares El Pital with Honduras, and the high point is right on the border between the two countries. The base of the mountain is around 3000 feet above sea level.

First...a view of El Pital from the west (partially shrowded in clouds)...



A view from the northwest (this is actually from Honduras)...



A view from near the top (above some clouds) looking down (to the west)...



A non-cloudy view from near the top...



A steep slope (as a whole, El Pital had reasonably moderate slopes)...



A cabbage farm (surrounded by pines and cypresses) at about 7000' on the slopes of El Pital...



A typical mid-slope (7500') pic...



The forest at the top (there were relatively few conifers at the top compared to the middle slopes)...



Border marker at the very top...



Dense cloud forest just north (on the Honduran side) of the top...



Hydrangeas (non-native H. macrophylla from Japan) planted near the top...

Not sure what this tree at the top is...possibly a Clethra species...



Mexican Cypress (Cupressus lusitania) at around 7500'...



Native Dahlia (Dahlia imperialis)...



Bocconia frutescens in bloom (6000') with its oak-like leaves...



Cows tongue (Conostegia oerstediana) at the very top...typically a large shrub or small tree...



Schefflera (not sure of the species) at around 6000'...



Bromeliad on a pine at 7000'...



The most common pine on El Pital (probably Pinus pseudostrobus) has drooping needles and a silvery hue...



Mystery blooms (can you ID this???) at around 5000'...



A close relative of the North American pokeweed (this is Phytolacca rugosa), from about 8000'...



Tithonia diversifolia, a very common aster family member (blooming along most roads and highways in northern El Salvador), at around 5000'



The road from the town of San Ignacio (3500') to Rio Chiquito (7000') is very steep with most grades probably between 10 and 15 percent (thus forcing trucks like this one to go very slowly).



And finally a funny sign at the top! However, there was no dog visible in the (fenced-in) tower facilities at the top.



All of the above pictures on this page were taken in November 2007 by Brandt Maxwell.

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Copyright 2007 Brandt Maxwell.