Top things to do

Top Choice International in La Costa del Bálsamo

Covana Seaside Kitchen

Such impressive architecture is a surprising find in the beach hamlet of El Zonte, but the lofty dining room at Puro Surf is a stunning spot. A soaring, palm-thatch roof frames ocean views, while polished concrete f…
Top Choice Ruins in Central El Salvador

Joya de Cerén

Known as the Pompeii of America, Unesco World Heritage Site Joya de Cerén was a small Maya settlement that was buried under volcanic ash when the Laguna Caldera Volcano erupted in AD 595. Residents fleeing the erupt…
Top Choice Seafood in La Libertad

Punta Rocamar

Overlooking the point is the pride of expatriate surfer Robert Rotherham, who has been feeding the notoriously fussy surf community for decades. The gringo frijolero (grilled fish or meat with beans, vegetables, avo…
Top Choice Craft Beer in La Costa del Bálsamo

Cadejo La Libertad

Perched on a clifftop west of Playa El Sunzal is this branch of the San Salvador brewery, serving the country's best beer with ocean views. There's plenty of tasty bar snacks and seafood available, making it a place…
Top Choice Salvadoran in Santa Tecla

El Sopón Don Guayo

Sopa de Gallina is a Salvadoran specialty and this family-run restaurant is the perfect place to try it. Whole chickens are first roasted in a wood-fired oven before being made into tasty soup, served with tortillas…
Top Choice Italian in La Costa del Bálsamo

Tunco Veloz

The thin-crust pizzas at the Speedy Pig are good anytime of day – topped with spinach and egg for breakfast, or laden with whatever you might fancy for lunch or dinner. Homemade pastas and gnocchi are also on the me…
Top Choice Bar in La Costa del Bálsamo

Monkey Lala

Everyone's favorite Tunco sunset spot is this gorgeous cocktail bar, east of the main beach. Crisp electronic beats are the default sound, as well-heeled locals and savvy travelers mingle above the sand.
Ruins in Central El Salvador

Parque Arqueológico Cihuatán

The modest ruins of Cihuatán were once an immense urban area alongside the Río Guazapa, possibly the largest pre-Columbian city between Guatemala and Peru. Today Cihuatán makes a convenient excursion for those stayi…
Park in El Boquerón

Parque El Boquerón

El Salvador's most accessible volcano is El Boquerón (the mouth), one of Volcán San Salvador's two peaks. An easy trail leads around the crater, offering views of San Salvador to one side and a smaller cone within t…
Salvadoran in La Costa del Bálsamo

Loroco Bistro

This laid-back bistro with open-air seating serves great local breakfasts (US$3 to US$3.50). Come evening, candles add a romantic touch, while the menu of pizzas, burgers, schnitzels, salads and ceviche is excellent…