Starring murals upon murals in the rainbow-colored, naïve art–style made famous by local boy Fernando Llort, La Palma is a tiny village that makes a big splash. A two-hour drive north of San Salvador, the clean mountain air and access to exceptional hiking trails is reason enough to visit, but given that every bus stop, spare wall and park bench screams at you in thick pastel daubs, the playful irreverence keeps you happily grounded.
These bright, primitive images of mountain villages, campesinos (farmers) or Christ are synonymous with the modern Salvadoran art movement. Llort taught local residents how to create the same images and started a successful cooperative.
When it is time to move on, there are challenging peaks to ascend. Serious hikers often prefer lodging in the neighboring village of San Ignacio as it’s closer to the main trails.