El Salvador Trip

5 days

Despite its size, El Salvador offers a world of adventure and unique experiences for travelers seeking something different in Central America. During this 5-day trip, you’ll discover this hidden gem’s many attractions, from coffee plantations against the backdrop of volcanoes to the best surfing on secluded, distinctive black sand beaches. You’ll explore charming villages with vibrant murals while discovering breathtaking national parks.

Travelers to Central America can find everything they are looking for in El Salvador, including charming colonial towns, breathtaking volcanoes, vibrant handicrafts, beautiful beaches, and exceptional cuisine that is among the best in the region.

San Salvador

The handsome capital city

The Labyrinth of Albania

Central America’s biggest maze

Ataco

Street murals with art

Pacific Coast

Beautiful black sand beaches

Highlights

  • Explore the serene cobbled streets of Suchitoto and appreciate the lively street murals along the Ruta de las Flores.
  • Indulge in delicious Salvadoran treats at a weekly food festival.
  • Experience an exciting hiking journey up Santa Ana, the highest volcano in El Salvador.
  • Take leisurely walks along the black sand beach on the Pacific Coast and soak in the relaxed atmosphere.

Itinerary

Your journey will commence in San Salvador. Upon arrival at the El Salvador International Airport (SAL), a chauffeur will wait to transport you to your lodging. El Salvador’s central city, San Salvador, boasts beautiful plazas surrounded by stunning volcanoes and pedestrianized zones. It is truly a picturesque capital.

We’ll take you to the National Craft Market if you arrive in the early afternoon. You’ll witness firsthand the incredible skill and artistry of artisans nationwide. Once you’ve finished exploring the market, we’ll stop at the breathtaking El Rosario church (if it is open to the public). Though its exterior may appear simple, inside, the church has a stunning display of natural light and arches that create a rainbow effect across the altar. To truly appreciate the church’s beauty, we’ll visit it in the late afternoon when the lighting is most dramatic.

We’ll drive you to El Boqueron National Park, the most easily reachable volcano in El Salvador. El Boqueron is one of the two peaks of Volcano San Salvador. You can watch the sunset and the city lights while relishing the delicious grilled meats and seafood at the famous restaurant Las Brumas. 
Overnight in San Salvador

You’ll have a tour around Lake Suchitlan and Los Pajaros island for excellent birdwatching. We’ll head to the charming San Juan port in Suchitoto, where we can explore its colorful souvenir shops, delicious restaurants, and scenic dock that offers a stunning view of Lake Suchitlan. We’ll have a boat tour around the little islands, including Los Pajaros island, its trees shrieking and singing with the voices of hundreds of species of primarily migratory birds. 

Once you’ve finished your lunch, you’ll check in at Los Almendros de San Lorenzo. This stunningly restored mansion has become one of El Salvador’s finest properties. The hotel boasts an impressive collection of high-end Salvadoran art and features antique and modern furnishings. It also has several beautiful fountains, custom doors, spacious rooms with high ceilings, extensive tiled bathrooms, and elegant yet simple décor. You can unwind by dipping in the refreshing pool, browsing the luxurious library, or strolling through the lush garden. Additionally, the hotel offers a trendy lounge bar and a superb restaurant to complete your experience.

You’ll have a city tour of El Salvador’s cultural capital. Walking along the cobblestone streets of this charming colonial town is a gratifying experience. There are only a few places in the country with cobblestone streets, and Suchitoto is one of them. The Santa Lucia Church is a well-known tourist destination due to its magnificent architecture and rich historical significance. Other places to visit in the area include The Ruins’ Theater, House of Crafts, and numerous art galleries. If interested, you can also learn about the traditional method of dying cloth items using indigo.
Overnight in Suchitoto.

Once we have enjoyed a relaxed breakfast, we will drive to Joya de Ceren, often called Central America’s Pompeii. This particular site is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and it was once a Maya settlement that became buried beneath volcanic ash after the eruption of the Laguna Caldera Volcano. Interestingly, the fleeing residents left many everyday objects behind, providing valuable clues and insights into ancient home-building techniques, planting methods, and food storage practices.

Let’s head to Cerro Verde National Park, which boasts three stunning volcanoes – Izalco, Cerro Verde, and Santa Ana—multiple hiking trails, including a simple half-mile loop offering unforgettable scenic views. The park boasts hectares of verdant forest that serve as a haven for numerous migrating bird species. For physically fit people, we can organize guided hikes up to the peak of Izalco Volcano’s steamy cinder cone or Santa Ana’s picturesque calderas and lakes. These hikes typically take between three to six hours to complete.

You’ll have lunch by the beautiful Lake Coatepeque we saw during our hike.
Overnight in Concepcion de Ataco

El Salvador’s La Ruta de las Flores—the flower route, is considered one of the most picturesque itineraries in Central America. The route stretches from Sonsonate to Ahuachapan, boasting its stunning coffee fields, charming small villages adorned with flowers, bustling markets, colorful murals, and delightful shops. 

You’ll spend a day exploring the country’s western region, with stops in the charming towns of ApanecaAtaco, and Salcoatitan. You’ll see the Apaneca Lagoon (Green Lagoon) and the captivating Albanian Labyrinth.

On Saturdays, we can visit Juayua’s renowned Gastronomic Festival, where vendors sell flavorful plates of spiced prawns, grilled meats, and delicious rice dishes on styrofoam plates. If it’s not a Saturday, we can spend additional time exploring Ataco.

When visiting Ataco, we’ll see Axul Artesanía, a one-of-a-kind handicrafts shop that offers a truly immersive experience. You’ll witness working looms and discover unique paintings that could easily be mistaken for high art. The shop owners are also responsible for creating Ataco’s incredible collection of murals perfect for capturing great photos.

Afterward, we will learn about the coffee cultivation surrounding us at El Carmen Estates’ plantation. Subsequently, you will return to your hotel located on the beach.

Later, we head to your beachfront hotel on the Pacific Coast. We can relax along the black sand beach walkway and enjoy the calm atmosphere.
Overnight at a Pacific Beach.

There are no scheduled activities for today. A driver will be available to take you to the international airport for your journey back home.

map, expenses & price

El Salvador Trip

Expenses included:
-All private transportation.
-Four nights of hotel accommodations.
-Tours and excursions as listed.
-All park entrance fees.
-Professional local guides.
-Daily breakfast.

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