El Salvador trip report
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 7, 2012 8:03 PM Last Post By: rpbroz
Sep 16, 2012 4:12 PM
El Salvador trip reportAfter two years, finally again in Central America!!!
My initial plan was to spend majority of my time in Honduras (visiting Ruta Lenca area and Caribbean cost-Tela, La Ceiba and Trujillo) and then to move in Antigua, Guatemala where some my friends live. Since I bought return ticket: Venice-San Salvador and Guatemala City-Venice I also planned to spend some time (maybe 3 days) in San Salvador, from where I could take direct shuttle to Copan Ruins for 30 dollars. But, on my trip I planned my activities day by day and changed almoust everything I planned before going to Central America.
First three days I spent in San Salvador where I stayed at Tazumal guest house (near Boulevard Universitario and National university of San Salvador). For very clean and relatively spacious single room with private bathroom, air conditioning and TV I payed 33 dollars for the night and the abundant breakfast was also included in that price. The guest house is placed in residential area, but very near of a number of bars and restaurants, two great parks, Metrocentro mall as well and some interesting museums. I found San Salvador to be very pleasant and clean city, with a number of interesting things to see. First day I took a public bus number 9 (the bus stop was very near the hotel) to Parque Cuscatlan, then I walked to another interesting park-Parque Bolivar from where I reached Centro historico. Centro historico has great Central park and one interesting park as well, called Parque Libertad. A lot of very interesting sites are very close such as Palacio Nacional (I think I payed for entrance one dollar), but spent there at least one hour and half, then Biblioteca nacional and Teatro nacional, Cathedral and two great churches-El Calvario and El Rosario. At least two hours I spent sitting in Central Park and watching people and then moved to one cantina nerby where payed 2 dollars for 750 ml of Pilsener (national beer) and some sandwiches.
Next day, by taking bus 30B (bus stop is also very near the hotel where I stayed) went to great National antropology museum in Zona Rosa area where I spent at approximately two hours and I found a plenty of interesting things to see. There is also another museum nearby (Museo de arte) but I leave it for my next visit to San Salvador. From Zona Rosa I took a taxi to excellent Botanical garden La Laguna in Antiguo Cuscatlan area where I spent almoust all the afternoon. I met some folks that offered me a ride from Botanical garden to bus stop where I took a microbus number 44, fo return to my hotel.
For the weekend I visited Ruta de las Flores (I was there two years ago), but liked to repeat great experience. From Terminal de Occidente I took a bus to Santa Ana (I payed less than 2 dollars for one hour and half bus ride) and from Santa Ana I took a bus to Ahuachapan and then to Juayua. Well, there are also buses that go from Santa Ana to Juayua, but every 2 hours...And there is also possibility to take a bus from San Salvador to Sonsonate and then another bus to Juayua (this is bettter and faster). In Juayua I stayed at hostel Anahuac as I did my last time when I visited Juayua. I payed 17 dollars for great, very clean room with private bathroom. I spent the afternoon in Central park in Juayua, I moved to church and I also visited nearby town Salcoatitan...I had my dinner at Pupuseria Cony (great pupusas and cold Pilsener) and then I moved to bar Pitonga where I met some great people and stayed there until 4 am....Next day I visited waterfalls Chorros de la calera (walking distance from Juayua) and Laguna Verde in Apaneca (another pretty town near Juayua). I took a guide for Chorros de Calera-a guy from the hostel and I payed 3 dollars. Another great dinner I had at Comedor tipico in Juayua, paying for whole meal and two beers 3.50-4 dollars. Since last time I ate at Feria gastronomica in Juayua, this time I decided to visit Feria gastronomica in Ataco-my favorite town in Ruta de las Flores. Feria is smaller than in Juayua, but also found a great choice of dishes and a lot of music, performances and positive vibrations....Beside great church, Central park and colorful houses there is also nice Mirador el Cruz in Ataco with easy walking distance from center from where you can see the town and its its surroundings.
I returned to San Salvador taking bus from Juayua to Sonsonate and then from Sonsonate to San Salvador.
After spending one night at Tazumal, next day, from Terminal de oriente I took a bus to Suchitoto-another great colonial town with a number of interesting things to do and see. For a private room I payed only 9 dollars (I stayed at hostel Gringo two nights which I highly recommend). I visted lake Suchitlan, waterfalls los Tercios (tour is provided by local police and is free), some museums, galleries, enjoyed late afternoons and early evenings in Central park and another great park...I found food in Suchitoto to be great and very cheap, but restaurants and comedors close more early, at least during the week, so I forced myself to have a dinner before 8 pm, even at 7:30 pm, which is for me very early:)) I had my breakfast at hostal El Gringo and it was delicious and also very cheap...
After returning in San Salvador I spent another night at my "base"-Tazumal, and next day moved to town Alegria. Took bus to Usulutan from Terminal del sur (I think I payed 3 dollars for direct bus to Usulatan) and from there I took another bus to Alegria. In Alegria I stayed at Estancia de Daniel (great cabanas) and I payed only 10 dollars! Laguna de Alegria is easy to reach from Alegria (approximately 2 kilometers is the distance) and is an excellent place to spend relexed afternoon there....What else is worth to see in Alegria? Mirador de las cien grados, Central Park, church, some colorful houses....Nearby town Berlin is also an easy say trip from Juayua.
After spending two great days in Alegria, I took a bus to Usulutan and from there another bus to El Espino beach (Playa el Espino). There I spent three nights, staying and hotel Sun and beach for 30 dollars (initial price was 40), but I managed this price. Nice room, private bathroom, air conditioning (here you really need it!), great staff....Beside spending time on the beach and enjoying some beers with locals and great seafood I did not do nothing special in El Espino, but this was the point! Although I visited a number of beaches in Mexico, Central America, Europe...this beach I found to be one of the best!
My last day in El Salvador I spent again in San Salvador, visiting some museums (Museo de arte popolar, Museo de la palabra y de la imagen), Metrocentro mall, Plaza las Americas and statue El Salvador del mundo, some parks...I had my meals at Pupuseria la Ceiba (San Antonio Abad street) and Fajitas (Boulevard Universitario) and highly recommend both of them. First for something fast and cheap - "comida a la vista", second for some fine dining-Mexican food mostly.
At the end...Instead of three days, I spent 2 beautiful weeks in El Salvador. All the itinerary I did at the trip, planning day by day everything...Great experience, great people, great vibrations....I only see few tourists in Suchitoto, in other places I found myself to be only tourist. It is a pity, because this small country has so much to offer from great big cities such as San Salvador with a tons of thing to do and see (I even did not see its its surroundings recommended by locals such as Planes de renderos, Panchimalco village), than beautiful colonial towns (Suchitoto, Ataco), incredible beaches, like El Espino and a number of other beaches....Beside, it is very cheap and very easy to travel because bus system is efficient, cheap as well, taxis are plentiful also....I hope to have soon the opportunity to visit this country again, te repeat all the good experiences and memories, to see some new places...Somethimes, the best places are not typical tourist places and destinations, they are even not mentioned in the guidebook and you find them accidentally, or by talking with locals....
I hope I helped a little with this report...Enjoy your time in El Salvador and Central America!
Sep 16, 2012 4:25 PM
Sep 16, 2012 6:00 PM
Sep 17, 2012 6:14 AM
Sep 17, 2012 7:44 AM
Sep 17, 2012 9:40 AM
Sep 17, 2012 1:24 PM
7Great report, thanks for sharing! El Salvador, being most of the time ignored and underestimated and not getting a lot of coverage even here, for me is the CA best kept secret..
I just came back to Guate after a weekend in El Salvador (Santa Ana - Sonsonate - Juayua - Ataco - Ahuachapan - Santa Ana) and I fully agree on all the points - friendly people, great vibe, unique meals, easy, efficient and affordable bus system, I saw just 3 foreigners for 3 days and had hostels just for me :)
Brilliant experience overall and along with Nicaragua, El Salvador is the other CA country where I feel like home, it's really a great and unspoiled destination.
Sep 17, 2012 11:31 PM
8Thanks for the report! Next time you come, contact me for a cup of coffe here in San Salvador!
Sep 18, 2012 5:54 AM
Sep 18, 2012 9:03 AM
Nov 7, 2012 8:03 PM
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