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The Great Lake Preserve

Lake, River, or Waterfall

San Salvador is also known as "The Land of Lakes." In the center of the island, lies the Great Lake, at 10 miles long and 2 miles wide, which stretches the entire length of the island and connects all of the island's major settlements. It was the main way of traveling from one settlement to another before roads were constructed around the island.

On the other side of the lake, opposite Cockburn Town, there were four settlements: Fortune Hill, South Victoria Hill, Old Place, and Allenes. In the old days, people used to visit these settlements either by boat or by horseback. Today, you can drive there, but the settlements have all disappeared and are now just ghost towns. The former inhabitants abandoned these little villages because they wanted to move to places that have electricity and all the conveniences of modern life.

From 1887 until the 1950's, kerosene for the Dixon's Hill Lighthouse was transported on the lake. In the early years, the locals collected small portions of salt crystal from the lake seasonally, which was used for cooking and curing meat or fish when there was no electricity on the island. During the late 1980's, the Cabanas Club, led by Mr. Clifford Fernander conducted a tour of the lake for the Organization of the American States (OAS). It has been designated a protected area to preserve its natural pristine wonder for future generations.

Some of the inhabitants of Cockburn Town farm on the other side of the lake, producing corn, pigeon peas, cassava, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane. These crops are not sold commercially, but are more for self-consumption and to share with friends and family.

Accessibility Notes

The lake is accessed by following the main and only road from Cockburn Town straight down until you see the water. Persons who are physically challenged or in wheelchairs should be careful when moving around the area.

Pet Friendly Notes

Leashed pets are welcome but should be properly controlled.

Recreational Opportunities

The lake is home to several species of birds, like cormorants, and makes a great bird-watching area. Other activities that can be enjoyed here include sailing on small sailboats and hiking around its perimeter.


Seasons Accessible

Year Round



Nearby Places