Driving Advice in El Salvador
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 7, 2012 7:39 PM Last Post By: rpbroz
Oct 7, 2012 8:48 PM
Driving Advice in El SalvadorWe're going to El Salvador for a few days at the end of this year and since we'll be driving, I have a few questions about some of the routes we're planning to take there. I'm hoping that someone familiar with the roads in the country can help.
1) My guidebook calls the road between Aguilares and Suchitoto a "4WD backroad". Is that really the case? I was hoping to go to La Palma from Suchitoto, but we'll have a low-clearance 2WD car, so if that means going south all the way to the Pan-Am, driving into the capital and dealing with the traffic there and then driving north again to La Palma, it might be a bit too much of a detour to be worth it.
2) How is the road from Suchitoto to Ilobasco, through Cinquera? Is that doable with a regular car or should we head for the Pan-Am again and take that to Ilobasco (which means skipping Cinquera).
3) What's the fastest and least confusing way to get to Suchitoto from Parque Nacional Cerro Verde?
Oct 8, 2012 1:05 PM
Oct 8, 2012 1:16 PM
21) There is a paved road between Suchitoto and Aguilares - any car can travel through it
2) This, I don't know. I havent' done it. I think this is a dirt road. I would advise going down to the main Panamerican road and then up again. It is longer, but on paved roads. When in Suchitoto, look for Robert Broz - El Gringo - you can ask him anything about Cinquera tours, etc. and how it is to Ilobasco
3) Cerro Verde when coming down from the hill, you can go left (north) or right (south). I think (left) is better in your particular case... then you go bordering Lake Coatepeque (nice vistas) up to El Congo, where you take the Panamerican Highway to San Salvador. On the way to San Salvador (and this is crucial, if you want to save time), there is a left turn to Quezaltepeque N13.779049° W89.373615° which bypasses San Salvador completely. You pass Quezaltepeque and Nejapa until you get to a round-about, where you will turn left (going around the round-about), which will be north-east (Roundabout N13.777282°,W89.205725°. Then you'll find another roundabout a bit north east (Are you looking at this in Google Earth, yes?) - here you continue straight - will pass under some bridge over pass to Apopa (you could take the Apopa route for Aguilares, but it is faster to go through the main highway). The crossing to Apopa (which, I wouldn't take) is at N13.787420°,W89.173946°. If you continue with the highway, which meanders a bit, you'll end up at Carretera de Oro (The gold road, because some local politicians became rich with it). N13.733426°,W89.065778° you pass the Ilopango crossing and continue (I mention the Ilopango crossing because that's where you would end if going through the San Salvador city). You are now near San Martin. Take the "horseshoe" bridge leading back at N13.736091°,W89.049280°. Just when you round the horseshoe, there is an exit right with markings for Suchitito. Follow these markings inside San Martin, and when you find open road north, you just drive about 35 kms up to Suchitoto.
Oct 8, 2012 1:18 PM
Oct 11, 2012 7:08 AM
Oct 11, 2012 2:42 PM
5Also: If on this trip your forcus is Ruta de las Flores, you can use Ataco, Apaneca or Juayua as bases - or even some places in between, like "El Jardin de Celeste" between Ataco and Apaneca, or "Santa Leticia", outside Juayua. Ataco is more of a bohemian vibe, and Juayua more of a typical town, but with the food festival. If you are visiting multiple placesn in the area, it also may make sense... One way or another, El Salvador is small.
Oct 12, 2012 8:51 PM
6You're right, we're planning to check out the Ruta de las Flores. It's going to be a short trip, because we're focusing on Guatemala this year with a short side-trip to see Copán in Honduras and a few days in El Salvador. Hopefully we'll be able to return a couple of years down the road and visit some of the places we won't make it to this time around - such as La Palma and Perquín.
At the moment, we're planning to arrive by car on a Friday from Guatemala. We'll spend Saturday in Juayúa, followed by a trip to Parque Nacional Cerro Verde on Sunday (to climb Volcán Santa Ana) and then spending the night and the next day in San Salvador. On Tuesday, we'll make a day-trip to Ilobasco as I'm really interested in the sorpresas they produce there and I'm hoping to pick up a few as gifts as well as a few for myself as souvenirs. On Wednesday, we'll head back to Guatemala, with a stop to see Joya de Cerén on the way. (This will be in early December.)
Thanks again for your advice!
Nov 7, 2012 7:39 PM
7With such a short time in El Salvador it is quite likeley that you will be back for more sooner than you think. What most travelers notice is how authenticaly nice the people here are.
In Ilobasco make sure you check out a place called Proyecto or Casa Moje this is a group that works with teen at risk you will love there work and products. Their store from and workshop is located about a block before the park or perhaps 3 blocks from where the main street split in a V.
If you decide to come out to Suchitoto drop me a message it is one of El Salvador true jewels and reason why I made it home.
Enjoy your trip
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