Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bosque El Imposible National Park

One of El Salvador's natural treasures is Bosque El Imposible National Park. Located in far western El Salvador, the Rainforest Alliance described the park this way:

Because of it size and biological diversity, Bosque El Imposible National Park is considered the most important natural area of El Salvador. Located in the department of Ahuachapan, El Imposible contains a highly threatened dry tropical forest that forms part of the coastal mountain range Apaneca-Ilmatepec. The 9,000 acre forest ranges from 900 feet to 4,300 feet above sea level and is home to the country's most crystalline water. Bosque El Imposible's unique topography lends a splendid beauty to this refuge. More than 500 species of birds live there, including the great curassow, king vulture and turquoised-browed motmot. Ocelots are also found in Bosque El Imposible. Traders from Guatemala used to travel to El Salvador's markets through this forest, carefully leading their mules through the steep "Impossible Pass," from which the park takes its name.

Recently wandering writer Nath Richards was there, and tramped to the lip of a 30 foot high waterfall to jump into the tiny pool below:
Wading down the boulder-strewn river, hemmed in on both sides by thick jungle, I could hear the rumble grow louder. Oh man, I thought, here we go again.

This rumbling had become a familiar sound today and, like so many times already, was once again the unmistakeable roar of water crashing into the base of a waterfall. But this time - even before I had reached the edge of the cascade - the resonating thunder was loud enough to send the alarm bells ringing. By a long shot, this was the loudest set of falls so far. It could mean only one thing: the biggest waterfall yet. Even more alarmingly, once again I would be expected to blindly run off the end of it.

Before now, if I’d ever pictured myself hurtling off the edge of a 30 foot jungle waterfall it would’ve been immediately preceded by a hectic race downstream in an attempt to open the distance between me and at least 50 angry pygmies, each armed with blowpipes and machetes. But there were no pygmies here to coax out any unnatural airborne activity, for this was Central America. Instead, encouragement to leap came only from our magnificently bold (or slightly unhinged – you choose) eco-tour leader with personal liability insurance seemingly as robust as his nerves....

Read the rest of the story.

6 comments:

Larry said...

When I came back from a trip to El Imposible, several Salvadorans asked me, "Como fue?" My answer was simply, "imposible!" The switchback trails were murder. Even some of the Salvadorans I was with vomitted from the strain of the climb back up. The most humorous part was a sign that described "Life and death in the forest"!

I also proposed a motto for El Imposible: Take only photos, leave only your stinking corpse!

Anonymous said...

If there were one bird I wish Imposible had, it would be the Harpy Eagle. Its now gone in ES and I would have hoped for a program to try to introduce it back, but no luck to date.

inner-self said...

thanks for doing this post on el imposible tim. even though i've never been there, i feel like it is the only little spot of wild natural reservoir, or the closest to something like that in el salvador. let's protect and care for that area as el salvador's natural patrimony. on the business side of the coin, perhaps some decent tourism could be milked out of it, but again, i am not sure, i will have to go and see it with my own eyes and perhaps feet to judge.

HODAD26 said...

ummm, that is sad, no more Harpy's
they are huge birds and care the shit out of you when you see them out of the corner of your eye while in the woods. did me
maybe Roy Beers [way cool guy, the raptor guy] can get this started as far as introducing these birds back, but basically they shoot and kill everything in ElSal
shame, used to also be large iguanas, caimans and lots of deer
cotton, corn,sugarcane planted to destroy the woods,
is ES still 90% deforested as the stats say?
El Imposible and all old forest growth needs to be preserved for sons and daughters of mothers and fathers

Anonymous said...

its name describes it all... is an amazing place to go :)

Anonymous said...

I WENT TO EL IMPOSIBLE IN 2003 IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THIS PLANET BUT I WISH IT WOULD HAVE MORE EXPOSURE TO INTERNATIONAL MEDIA LIKE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICS AND OTHER TELEVISION SHOWS THAT WE SEE IN OUR LIVINGROOMS