Relax and Enjoy Slow-paced Life
There is no much of sights and attractions, in the usual sense of the words, to mention about Ataco. It is a small village with the typical Spanish-colonial architecture: a central square with a church and a grid of streets lined up with brightly-painted one-story houses. It is a pretty village, but does not compare indeed to Suchitoto or, just few Kms down the the road, to Juayua, that have more significant sights as well as better developed tourist infrastructures.
I guess the charm of Ataco is right the fact that, more than in Suchitoto or Juayua, modernization has not made yet all its way through. The village itself is a work-in-progress, with nicely-remodeled "villas" right next to rundown houses, elegant cobblestone streets intersecting dirty roads and SUVs parked next to decades-old trucks and wagons. At time of my visit in May 2007, Ataco was undergoing a gentrification process driven by the local government trying to foster tourism, but the place still retained the flavor of a rural, little village lived by the locals.
Anyway, in the end, "what to do"? Just set yourself at a slow-pace, relax and enjoy the cool climate and a good sample of Salvadorian rural life.
See Murales Adorning Shops and Houses
In wandering Ataco's streets you will come across a handful of murals (murales), generally depicting scenes from local rural life, floral motifs or religious subjects, adorning walls, shops and houses.
The mural in the photo, seems to be the second-top travelers-choice sight in Ataco (for the top-one see my other tip), based on the number of postings on "Flickr.com". It is a large work of art, the whole wall high and many meters long. Scenes of rural ordinary life are depicted. The mural is found right at the beginning of Av. Central Norte at the Southeastern corner of the Main Square.
There are few others murals scattered around the village, that you won't have any trouble in finding (just keep wandering the streets of the center) and of which you may have an anticipation in the other photos attached.
El Parque Central
The Main Square (Parque Central) is the center of the village life and there is no way you are going to miss it. Ataco's Main Square has the traditional Spanish colonial town structure with a small park surrounded by the Church, the City Hall and other administrative and civil buildings. That I know, the Church has no artistic, religious or historical relevance.
The Main Square is a pleasant and lively place good for some relax, people watching and to taste some street-food sold at the food stalls.
Colonial Houses - Check out what "Colorful" Means
Ataco has many remarkable examples of Spanish colonial houses and, if you haven't done it yet by the time of your visit, you will easily realize what "brightly-painted" and "colorful" means when referred to Spanish colonial houses. A visual representation will provide better than words explanation and it is given in the photos attached. You don't need directions, just wander the streets.
The Top Travelers' Sight
Believe it or not this woman seems to be the top sight in Ataco. If you don't believe it, check out the photo-sharing website "Flickr.com", search for photos taken in Concepcion de Ataco, and note how many travelers have taken photographs of this woman standing behind the front-door of her house in the Main Square. Different clothing, different lighting, but the same blue front-door, the same woman and the same white headgear as well! If you visit Ataco, look out for her and take a photograph!
Visit the Galerìa Zorro
This great little art gallery is filled with vibrant artwork that is a fabulous memento of this colourful town.
Owner artist Bailey Bédard offers a warm welcome and always has a funny story to tell. If you`re there for a couple of days, you can even arrange art classes - make your own memento!
- Arts and Culture