El Salvador is home to one of the lesser-known and lesser-visited Maya sites in Central America – but one of the most interesting – Joya de Ceren. Known too as the ‘Pompeii of the Americas’, as it was covered by volcanic ash from a nearby erupting volcano. Within easy travelling distance are also the Maya ruins at Cihuatan, Tazumal, San Andres.
The Flowers Route is a colourful 36km winding ride through El Salvador’s coffee region, linking the colonial-style villages of Sonsonate & Ahuachapan and named for the explosion of wildflowers which occurs from October – February. The region is also the home to many of El Salvador’s artisan workshops and local markets.
Within El Salvador’s small land area are twenty potentially active volcanoes, providing rich soil for the country’s agriculture as well as a dramatic back-drop when travelling around the country. The crater lake of Lake Coatepeque is one of the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy a hike to the top of Cerro Verde, Izalco Volcano, Santa Ana Volcano, or San Salvador Volcano, to name but a few.
Founded in the 11th century by the Pipiles people, one of the tribes who most fiercely resisted the Spanish Conquistadors, Suchitoto means ‘Place of Birds and Flowers’ in the native Nahuatl language. It is one of El Salvador’s most interesting historical cities, with its metal-work balconies, adobe houses, and cobblestone streets. It overlooks Lake Suchitlan, the largest lake in El Salvador.
Located in the Usulutan department and declared a natural protected Reserve, Jiquilisco Bay boasts the largest area of mangroves in the country and a coastline of 55kms. The bay hosts over 80 species of coastal-marine birds, many of which are threatened or endangered, and is one of two major nesting areas in the Eastern Pacific for the critically-endangered Hawksbill Turtle.
El Salvador’s coastline has any number of right point breaks, along with some great and uncrowded beach left-hand breaks, and is considered to offer one of the most consistent surf breaks in the Central America. Although there are good waves year-round, the best time to visit for surfing is between March and October. Excellent for beginners, those wishing to improve, as well as experienced surfers.
Lying in the Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range, home to a wide variety of animals and birds such as pumas, tigrillos, wild boars, king hawks and black-crested eagles, at just over 38 square kilometres El Imposible is El Salvador’s largest protected area. The Park gets its name from the perilous gorge which used to claim the lives of farmers and pack mules transporting coffee to the Pacific port.
Named after the period of tranquility currently enjoyed by the El Salvadorean people following 12 years of civil war in 1980s-1990s, the circuit is located in the country’s eastern part. Here you can learn about the Lenca origin of El Salvador’s pre-Colombian communities and their traditional way of life. This highland area also offers crystal springs, pristine trails and fresh clean air.