Capricho Beach House has the same owner as Ximena’s Guest House in San Salvador. When I emailed the owner Lena about the rooms I got a very quick respond. At Capricho there is a very rustic dorm and four double rooms. The double rooms cost about 50 dollars, which was too expensive for me. I emailed Lena and asked for a single room, or single rate. At this time I had got doubts about going to Barra de Santiago as I was afraid to be very isolated there. But as I got the answer from Lena that I could have a room for 25 dollars a night (June 2009) I decided to go. After arriving I paid 50 dollars for two nights, but decided to leave after one night. I then got 20 dollars back.
My room at Capricho Beach House was nice and clean with two beds (one double and one single), there was A/C which I didn’t use and a bathroom with a shower. There is a nice veranda outside the room facing the garden where it is nice to sit and read and listening to the sound of the waves. Things that were not so good: when showering water did not go away, curtains didn’t close completely and I was still hungry after breakfast and dinner.
After arriving to Barra de Santiago I spent my day walking on the beach, laying in the hammock reading and waking on the beach again. It was all very calm and relaxing. There were no guests at the hotel next doors and no other guests at Capricho’s (it was in the middle of the week). After I had had my dinner and the woman working there had cleaned up and returned to her house further away I was sitting alone with half a bottle of beer in the light. It was all dark around and even if I had heard that Barra de Santiago is a safe place it felt like the spotlights were on me telling everyone that here was a lonely tourist, an easy target. It would have been nice if there had been some other guests there as well.
Hotel Happy House is situated in a calm street near the big shopping mall Metrocentro. I had made a reservation for a room some weeks before going to San Salvador and arrived late in the evening with a taxi from the airport.
I got a big room which I found to be very convenient. There was a double bed and a single bed. On the bedside table next to the bed where I slept there was a good lamp for reading. There was a TV in the room and A/C, but I didn't use either of them. There was also a lot of hangers to put clothes on and in the bathroom there was a lot of space in the shower.
For one person occupying the room it was 20 dollars (June 2009).
The breakfast was 3 dollars. It includes bread, eggs, beans, platains, cheese, a fruit drink and coffee or tea.
Downstairs there is a computer to use for free.
In El Salvador 100- and 50-dollar bills are not accepted at most places and that includes Happy House. The can be changed at a bank though.
This is the place to stay in when you are in Tacuba. The hostel is run by Manolo and his mother Lydia and father Don Osiris in their friendly home. I had my own room with bathroom and it was 15 dollars (June 2009). There are also dorms. Around the house there are some hammocks were it is nice to relax after a long hiking day and in the fridge there is beer. Lydia also cooks breakfast and dinner.
Dinner 5 dollars
Breakfast 3.50 dollars
Beer 1 dollar
Manolo organises great hiking tours around, or in to, Parque Nacional El Imposible.
When we orginally arrived in San Salvador we wanted to stay at the International Guest's House. Our idiot cab driver (I hope his wheels fall off his cab) ripped us off and took us here. I didn't mind it so much but only stayed here one night. It is within walking distance of the main bus terminal. It is on the edge of the city center area of town and close to a lot of university buildings. It is run by a friendly old couple and the place feels like visiting your grandparents old cluttered house. My room was a good size although you can tell that it is a bit aged. Nobody with any association with the wall paper (designing it, buying it, putting it up) could possibly still be around. The toilet seat's colour was rubbing off due to age and use. In the front they have a patio with a restaurant that I never used but still looked nice. For me it was a decent place but I wouldn't recommend it as a first choice but as a third or fourth choice.
When I arrived in Ataco I first went to an Internet café to look up the name and address of a hostel I had seen on Hosteltrail. When I later looked for it , it turned out that it had closed down. I asked someone for another cheap hotel, but didn’t find it. Then I went to a hotel mentioned in my guide book. It had changed name to Cipi@Ataco Hostel and both the door and gate were closed and no one opened as I knocked on the door. I sat down to look in my book for another place when a man passing by said I should knock again as there were people at El Cipi. And, yes I was lucky.
There were no other customers at the hostel at the moment, because most visitors come at weekends. I got a big room with bathroom for 12 dollars (June 2009). All rooms are facing a garden and there are chairs or sitting hammocks outside the rooms. In the middle of the garden there is a roofed area with table and benches. There were no breakfast or dinner served when I visited, but I guess it is only during weekends when there are more people. There was also a good place where I could do some hand washing. It seems to be a nice place which I can recommend.
Hotel Anáhuac is a lovely hostel where the rooms are set around a courtyard. There are four private rooms with bathroom and two dorms. All rooms are decorated differently by artists. I had my own room and paid 15 dollars per night (June 2009).
In the garden there are hammocks and around the courtyard there are several places with chairs and tables where you can sit. There is also a small kitchen you can use and in the morning you can buy breakfast. For 2.50 dollars I got a great breakfast with a fruit salad, avocado, warm bread, butter, jam and a big cup of coffee.
When I tried to make a reservation at Casa Frolaz neither the web page nor the email address worked, so I made a phone call from Tacuba. I booked my own room, a double room with bathroom for 18 dollars (June 2009). Most people staying at Casa Frolaz stay in the dorm though, for 7 dollars a night. I liked the room, it was big with paintings on the walls. One wall had the same green colour as my room had when I lived in Nicaragua 20 years previous and that was nice.
Casa Frolaz is the home of the owner Javier Díaz. It is a nice home and Javier is hospitable and have lots of information on the area. One evening Javier brought all of the people staying at Casa Frolaz to two bars and we had a nice evening out. There is a kitchen (where you can have free coffee in the mornings), and a living room with TV (there are films on DVDs and there is cable TV). There is a garden, but when I was going to sit there I had to go inside because of the mosquitoes. There is also a laundry service for 2 dollars per machine.
Casa Frolaz is situated quite far from the down town area, but it is within walking distance from the buses, market, Metrocentro, some restaurants and there are two Internet cafés just round the corner.
Although it was a bit more pricey than what we wanted to spend, we really enjoyed the room. It was in a great location in San Salvador located close to Metrocentro mall and Blvd de Los Heroes. Our room was in the upstairs of a building in the backyard. It had a little balcony, a large room and 3 comfy beds. Stayed here a little longer because of getting slighty sick. For the price it should really have had a television as I believed some of the other rooms had one. The price includes breakfast which was your standard breakfast food. The maid was really nice even though we had language difficulties. The shower was mostly cold with the occasional warmish water. The main house was very clean and the yard was well kept. They had a couple of turtles wandering around in the backyard.
This is a resort built for the local wealthy people . They buy memmberships but as a person out of country you can book a night here . It´s fabulous , right on the beach with a couple of wonderful huge pools , bar . restaurant and top service . It´s a place to unwind . We were the only people there for 2 out of 4 days!
What a deal at $65.oo a night!
The location and price makes this a hard place to beat. For US $12 for two people, the rooms have a comfy bed, fan, cable tv and lots of toilet paper. Although it is a cold water shower. It is located right next to the main cathedral (seen in picture no. 2) in Santa Ana. There is a large area to hang laundry if you choose to. Staff seems friendly even though I didn't really talk to them. The place is a bit aged as you can see on the stairs but still it gets my recommendation.
A destination unto itself, La Escondida Bed & Breakfast is located 7.5 km northwest of Juayúa in the hamlet of El Portezuelo. The place to stay for adventure-seeking travelers who aren’t pinching every last penny, La Escondida offers guided hikes (to a nearby geyser, the Laguna Verde crater lake, and a small mountain-top cloud forest), mountain bike downhill tours (on good-quality bikes), horseback tours (on Peruvian pacers – a far cry from the typical Salvadoran nag), and even motorcycle tours. Located at the entrance of a private park that includes more than 1,035 acres of coffee plantations and cloud forest, it offers an attractive, comfortable four-room lodge with three bathrooms, fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, stereo, TV, and DVD. The full lodge, with room for as many as twelve people, is available for $150 per night, while a single room, with space for three guests, costs $60. All lodging prices include breakfast. Camping is also an option during the summer months (November – April), for $8 per person (tents, sleeping bags, and other accessories are all available for rent). Owner Julio Vega, who speaks fluent English, can be reached at his cell phone, 7888-4552.
If you plan on taking a few days to explore some of the various hiking destinations that surround the town of Juayúa – destinations include the Río Monterrey, Los Chorros de la Calera, the Route of the Seven Waterfalls, the Laguna Verde, and Los Naranjos – one pleasant, reasonably economical lodging option is El Mirador. Clean, basic rooms with private bath and a fan start at $10. The third-floor dining area, which serves as a nice indoor observation deck, has a large TV available for the use of hotel guests, and an attached “comedor” serves all meals. Call 2452-2432 to make your reservation.
Hotel Ver-Mar is not only the best lodging option around; it’s also the only option around. Run by a friendly family, the Ver-Mar offers five simple, clean dorm-type rooms (some with bunk beds, others with the traditional kind) with fans and a single shared bathroom for $5 per person. There’s also a TV lounge, and outside you’ll find a small wading pool, a few gazebos equipped with hammocks, and plenty of shade from the tall mango and coconut trees that fill in the tropical setting. The only thing that could possibly bother you would be the vocal local frog population.
$5 per person, just a couple hundred yards from the Pacific, and it’s neither a grungy surfer dorm nor a sleazy no-tell motel.
These were my digs the second time I hiked from my home in La Laguna to the El Manzano Ecological Reserve (which is located in the Department of Chalatenango, alongside the road that leads from Dulce Nombre de María to San Fernando). Four walls, a roof, a bed, and an outhouse nearby – what else do you really need? The woman who coordinates the El Manzano project – which includes hiking trails, swimming holes, an athletic field, a coffee cooperative, a cafeteria, a small FMLN museum, and a tiny crafts cooperative – told my wife and I that some if not all of the cabins would soon be upgraded. Until those upgrades are realized, a night at El Manzano will set you back a reasonably $5 per person.
Las Flores de Eloisa, located on the highway at km. 92.5, three kilometers west of Apaneca, offers five charming cabins nestled into a nursery, as well as a small gift shop and a little outdoor cafe that serves breakfast, sandwiches, and desserts. Each cabin has a private bath with hot water and a patio with table and chairs. If they could just do something about the noise from the buses and trucks that pass by on the highway all day long, this place would be nearly perfect. As it is, its beautiful setting, along with extra little touches like fresh-cut flowers placed in each room daily, make Las Flores de Eloisa one of the best hotels in El Salvador in its price range ($19.50 - $30).
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