Discover these 10 hidden gems in Central America’s hidden gem, El Salvador

El Salvador is a small but diverse country in Central America, with a rich history, culture and nature. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or something in between, El Salvador has something for everyone. Here are 10 offbeat experiences that you can have in El Salvador, that will make your trip unforgettable.

Explore the Pompeii of the Americas

Joya de Ceren is an archaeological site that preserves the remains of a pre-Hispanic village that was buried by a volcanic eruption around 600 AD. Unlike other Maya sites, Joya de Ceren shows the everyday life of the common people, not the elite. You can see their houses, workshops, kitchens, gardens and even their corn cobs and beans. Joya de Ceren is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a unique window into the past.

Travel along the Flower Route

The Flower Route is a scenic drive that takes you through some of the most charming towns and coffee fields in El Salvador. Along the way, you can visit colorful markets, colonial churches, street murals, waterfalls and food festivals. The route is named after the flowers that bloom between October and February, but it is beautiful all year round. Some of the towns you can stop at are Juayua, Apaneca, Ataco and Nahuizalco.

Surf on world-class waves

El Salvador is a surfer’s paradise, with over 300 km of coastline and consistent waves for all levels of surfers. Some of the best spots are El Tunco, El Zonte, La Libertad and Las Flores. You can find surf schools, camps, rentals and tours to suit your needs and budget. If you are not into surfing, you can still enjoy the beaches, sunsets and seafood.

Hike up to Santa Ana Volcano

Santa Ana Volcano is the highest and most active volcano in El Salvador, with a stunning crater lake that changes color depending on the weather. The hike to the summit takes about two hours and offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. You can also visit the nearby Coatepeque Lake, a caldera lake with clear blue water and lush greenery.

Visit the Little Prince Park

The Little Prince Park is a whimsical tribute to the famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, located in San Jose Villanueva. The park features sculptures of the main characters and scenes from the story, as well as a replica of the author’s plane. The park is also a botanical garden with over 200 species of plants and flowers. It is a place to enjoy nature, art and literature.

Learn about the civil war history

El Salvador suffered a brutal civil war from 1980 to 1992, that left deep scars in its society. To understand more about this period and its consequences, you can visit some of the museums and memorials that document the events and honor the victims. Some of them are the Museum of Revolution in Perquin, the Monument to Memory and Truth in San Salvador, and the Chapel of Divine Providence where Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated.

Swim with iguanas at Lake Ilopango

Lake Ilopango is a crater lake that was formed by a massive volcanic eruption around 450 AD. The lake is home to hundreds of iguanas that live on the small islands and rocks in the water. You can take a boat tour to see them up close and even swim with them if you dare. The lake is also a popular spot for fishing, kayaking and diving.

Taste the local cuisine

El Salvador has a delicious and diverse cuisine that reflects its indigenous, Spanish and African influences. Some of the dishes you should try are pupusas, thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans, pork or other ingredients; curtido, a spicy cabbage salad that accompanies pupusas; sopa de gallina india, a hearty chicken soup with vegetables and herbs; and quesadilla, a sweet cheese cake. You can also enjoy the local coffee, chocolate and fruit juices.

Discover the biodiversity of El Imposible National Park

El Imposible National Park is the largest and most important protected area in El Salvador, with over 3800 hectares of tropical forest. The park is named after the dangerous gorge that used to be crossed by mule drivers transporting coffee. The park is home to more than 500 species of plants and animals, including endangered ones like the spider monkey, the puma and the harpy eagle. You can hike, camp, birdwatch and admire the waterfalls and views in the park.

Experience the urban life in San Salvador

San Salvador is the capital and largest city of El Salvador, and it offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. You can visit its historical landmarks, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace and the Monument to the Revolution. You can also explore its cultural scene, such as the National Theater, the Museum of Art and the Museum of Anthropology. You can also enjoy its nightlife, shopping and dining options, as well as its parks and gardens.

ENS Editors

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