The Sierra Tecapa – Chinameca, is a volcanic mountain range with at least five volcanic cones included: Tecapa Volcano, Usulután Volcano, El Tigre Volcano, Laguna Seca El Pacayal and Laguna Alegría; It includes two iconic cities for tourism in El Salvador: Alegría and Berlín.
Alegría is a municipality in the eastern part of the country, department of Usulután, located 142 kilometers from the capital San Salvador, driving you along the Pan-American Highway.
Founded in the mid-seventeenth century by Yaquis or Pipil tribes, its original name was “Tecapa” which means “Laguna de las Piedras” (Lagoon of stones).
With an approximate area of 43.2 km², the Tecapa volcano, of 1,594 MAMSL, stands out in its geography, whose crater contains the Alegría Lagoon which formed after the volcano erupted; Its climate is around 21 ° C in the highest parts, with a maximum of 27 ° C in the month of April, and a minimum of 15 ° C in December.
Its church “San Pedro Apóstol” built in 1792, is one of its tourist attractions, being its main economic heritage the cultivation of coffee.
The tourist activity is beautifully set by its cobbled streets and its natural environment of diverse vegetation, ornamental and fruit plants; which offers tourists accommodation, tours, local cuisine (totopostes, alfajores, quality coffee, among others), restaurants with stunning views of the mountains, handicraft shops, the birthplace of renowned Salvadoran writer Alberto Masferrer and the former President of the country, Manuel Enrique Araujo.
On the other hand, Berlín is located in the Sierra Tecapa-Chinameca-Alegría, in the mountainous area of north-central Usulután, located 112 km from the capital city San Salvador. Founded in 1885, the name was suggested by Don Serafin Brennen, a German citizen, based in the valley.
Originally in the area were settled Lencas villages and later the Pipiles, generating a great cultural and linguistic influence.
Berlín located between 1023 and 1200 MAMSL, has a pleasant climate with average temperatures of 21º, and is surrounded by mountains in which the Pelón, El Pinal and Guandique hill stand out; its tropical vegetation with abundant coffee plantations with many pepeto trees that shade the coffee plantations.
The generation of electricity using geothermal resources is one of the main attractions for the tourist activity of Berlín, being only 3 kilometers from the power generation plants from the geothermal steam that is currently managed by the company La Geo (State company).
The tour is explained by local tour guides, complemented by an interpretive museum, a pool with thermal water, saunas, interpretive trails and viewpoints.
The beautiful architecture of the city center includes old houses with stamped sheet walls imported from Belgium, a construction modality that took place between 1925 and 1930, and which represents the historical pride of the city.
Another local tourist attraction is the local tour to areas of sowing grains and vegetables, to ponds where the cultivation of tilapia fishes and shrimp is practiced, and walks in the middle of the coffee forests, enjoying the observation of both native and migratory birds.