Traveling the Ruta de las Flores, slowly and purposefully, is like a meander through the story of El Salvador. It's a beautiful series of villages, each with a mix of colonial architecture in indigenous tones. Those who like the good life can feast on local food, particularly at the weekend markets, browse the craft tiendas (stores), or undertake firsthand research into why El Salvadoran coffee is renowned across the world. If the pace is too slow, you can hit the Cordillera Apaneca, a volcanic mountain range filled with waterfalls, mountain-bike trails and pine forest hikes where white flowers bloom in May.
In 1932 this region witnessed the horrible Peasant Massacre, when mostly Nahuatl coffee farmers were slaughtered by government troops for an attempted insurrection and mass protest. The actual number of deaths is still unknown, but 30,000 people is a close estimate.