Welcome to Eastern El Salvador
The quaint village of Alegría, the visceral war history around Morazán, and the long, sandy surf beaches near El Cuco and Las Flores will give even the most worldly traveler something to savor. They see only fleeting traffic from nearby cities such as San Miguel, the working-class capital with a distinctly cavalier attitude. Real off-the-beaten-track coastal adventure is found at Bahía de Jiquilisco, where birdlife soars, and in tiny fishing villages with little contact with the outside world.
Prior to the war, subsistence farming was long the primary means of survival here. The inevitable demand for nationwide land reform resonated throughout the poorer communities, and the northeast in particular became a fierce guerrilla stronghold. Far from the capital, these mountainous areas witnessed horrific atrocities – none worse than at El Mozote – but barely a village was spared from the fighting, and the resilience of the locals will stir visitors for generations to come.
There are two ways to travel east – along the Carretera Interamericana or along the Carretera del Litoral (CA2); the latter accesses the beaches, and the former the northern reaches. The Ruta de La Paz (peace route; CA7) runs north from San Miguel.