El Salvador Travel Guide

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Speaking of beautiful travel destinations, today I will tell you everything there is to know about the tiniest country in Central America: El Salvador.

With a land surface of just 21,040 square kilometers and a population of six and a half million, El Salvador is a densely populated area, bordered by Honduras, Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean.

However, despite being a small country, El Salvador is a true gem from the traveler’s point of view, being a place incredibly rich in natural wonders.

If you like epic visions, El Salvador will not disappoint you a bit. This is a marvelous place to be in,blessed with incredible natural beauties, ranging from crystal-clear lagoons to smoking volcanoes, romantic sandy beaches and pristine and evergreen forests.

Nature aside, El Salvador will delight you with its warm hearted and lively people.

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Basically, as far as paradise-on-Earth places go, El Salvador can be described as a small tropical land, no bigger than, let’s say Massachusetts, but fully packed with natural beauty; let me mention just a few magnificent natural parks, which are as bio-diverse as Earth itself: Montecristo, Cerro Verde or El Imposible.

If you’re into water sports, you can always shoot the country’s rapids  using white water rafts, or go for long-lazy boat trips on the volcanic lakes (crater-lakes to be exact) in Coatepeque and Ilopango.

Californian surfers will definitely enjoy the outstanding breakers in the Pacific area, namely El Zonte, Sonsonate and La Union, all these being very close to the country’s capital, San Salvador, just a short drive and you’ll be there.

The Maya empire has left its vestiges in El Salvador, in Tazumal, which used to be the farthest outpost of that great ancient empire; Ruta del Flores is the place to visit if you’re into romantic-color filled villages, where you can enjoy volcanic hot springs and local markets. Here you can buy souvenirs for your friends and family back home, from the indigenous craft markets or visit the local coffee plantations.

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What to do, what to see in El Salvador

El Salvador’s most important ecological reserve is El Imposible, the place to visit for the nature aficionados. Here you can canyon down the rushing rapids and admire over five hundred species of birds, including the very rare black hawk eagle.

The volcanic lakes in El Salvador are perfect for water skiing, sailing, fishing or kayaking. You can even go for a dive in Ilopango and Coatepeque, where the water is pleasantly warm all through the year.

Cerro Verde is world renowned for its cloud forests, which offer spectacular-sweeping views. This is the perfect place for hiking and taking long walks, breathing the clean mountain air and explore the 3 volcanoes in the national park.

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The most luscious scenery in El Salvador is on the west coast of the country, on the scenic Ruta del Flores, a place filled with old and dormant villages, where you can climb volcanoes or explore Pre Colombian-era ruins. Let me mention a few hot-spots: Juayua, Nahuizalco, Apaneca, Ahuachapan and Ataco.

Barra de Santiago is famous for its butterfly spotting opportunities, being a nature reserve for lots of species of birds but mainly butterflies. Also, this is El Salvador’s “numero uno” beach, where you can rent a canoe or a boat and admire the mangroves in the Zapote estuary.

Guazapa Volcano is a place of unspoiled wilderness where you can go horse riding in an absolutely beautiful scenery, chill, relax and end your day eating maize tortillas .

Paz, Lempa and Guajoyo are the perfect places for white water rafting in the rainy season, where you can enjoy the thrills that come along with extreme water sports.

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Tazumal, San Andres and Joya de Ceren are filled with old vestiges from the ancient Maya empire, which stretched as far as El Salvador, before the Spanish conquered the land.  Here you can visit a perfectly preserved Maya settlement that was buried after a volcanic eruption, under ash, 1400 years ago, a place that’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

El Salvadorian Food and Drink

El Salvador is a gourmet’s paradise, its cuisine being a melting pot of pre-Colombian, Spanish and Pacific heritage. A typical dish in El Salvador is tortilla, but also shellfish, crabs, lobster, fresh fruit (bananas, papaya, mango,pineapple, coconuts).

Specialties include tortillas filled with cheese, pork, veggies and beans, fried plantains with eggs and local cheese, black beans and rice, corn tortillas, soups made from rooster, corns and dulce de tapa, cow’s feet, plantain and tripe.

Regional drinks include coffee, fruity drinks and spirits made from distilled sugar cane.

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Visa Requirements

Before you go to visit El Salvador, be advised that you’ll need a valid passport, but no Visa. Also, keep in mind that the local currency is US dollar, and that’s awesome if you’re from North America.

 

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