El Salvador Things to Do

  • Crater of el Boquerón
    Crater of el Boquerón
    by mikey_e
  • Cocoa in the rich volcanic soil
    Cocoa in the rich volcanic soil
    by mikey_e
  • The main structure
    The main structure
    by mikey_e

El Salvador Things to Do

  • Lake Coatepque

    Santa Ana Things to Do

    Coatepeque Lake is considered one of the most beautiful crater lakes in Central America. On its shore there are hotels, restaurants and tourist establishments for practising acquatic sports. In the lake there is also a small island which was a Mayan site of some importance. Coatepeque Lake can be reached from Santa Ana by an about 75 minutes bus...

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  • Fiestas Patronales... anywhere you go

    One of the things that I found most enjoyable, as a special activity, in El Salvador when we lived there (2000-2004), was to attend the local Fiestas Patronales. We had several nearby small municipalities and one or two larger ones, all with their own Saint Day. During the period of time close to and including that day, there was often a festival....

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  • Santa Ana

    Santa Ana is the second largest city of the country and lies not far away from the Guatemalan border. The wonderfull theatre in the centre of the city was originally completed in 1910 and is now one of the finest theatres of Central Amerika. The neogothical cathedral on the other end of the plaza might be an other point of interest in the city.

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  • Cerro Verde & Volcan Izalco

    The 'Parque nacional Cerro Verde' was untill a few years ago a dangerous place to go, but recently things improved amazingly. The tourist police and park guards are certainly responsible for that. The park itself is very nice and the guides will lead you around for a increadibly cheap price. There are also possibilitys to climb one of the other...

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  • Joya de Ceren Ruins

    Visit the Joya de Ceren ruins, a 1500 year old village buried by 14 layers of ash from a volcano erution much like Pompeii or Herculaneum in Italy. Don't expect great pyramids but an incredible view into the life of the Mayas at the time of the explosion of the Volcano Caldera. The site has a museum and well organized tours that explain the goelogy...

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  • National Tourist Office

    There is a National Tourist Office in San Salvador that can give you up to-date information about places and events in the country.

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  • Parque Nacional El Imposible

    Parque Nacional El Imposible is situated in western El Salvador. It became a national park in 1989 and covers an area of almost 3800 hectares, at an elevation of 300 - 1450 metres above sea level. The park is covered with tropical mountain forest and here you find the greatest biodiversity in El Salvador. For example there are 984 species of...

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  • Tacuba

    Tacuba is a small town with a population of 5000 inhabitants. It is situated 14 km west of Ahuachapán and near the Guatemalan border. The surroundings are beautiful with mountains and many coffee plantations. Tacuba is situated on the northern edge of Parque Nacional El Imposible at an elevation of 700 metres above sea level. From Tacuba you can...

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  • Santa Ana

    Santa Ana is the second largest city in El Salvador with more than 250 000 inhabitants in the urban area. The city is situated at an elevation of 650 metres above sea level and has a warm climate with an average temperature of 25°C. As the rest of El Salvador there is a wet season and a dry season.Santa Ana was inhabited long before the Spaniards...

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  • El Torogoz

    The Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota supercilious), in El Salvador called the Torogoz, is the national bird of the country. I saw it during both my hikes in Tacuba. Unfortunately you can’t see in my picture how colourful it is, but you can see the characteristic tail feather. The Torogoz is about 34 centimetres long and weigh about 65 grams. It...

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  • Parque Nacional Los Vulcanes

    Parque Nacional Los Vulcanes has only had that name since 2003. Before it was called Parque Nacional Cerro Verde and that is the name which is still in use by many people. The national park covers an area of 6300 acres and in it there are three volcanoes: Izalco, Cerro Verde and Santa Ana.Vulcan Cerro Verde hasn’t had an eruption for 25 000 years...

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  • Juayúa

    Juayúa is a charming little town along Ruta de Las Flores. It was founded in 1577, but the area was inhabited long before that. In Nahuatl Juayúa means River of the purple orchids. In the town there is a central plaza with a park. Around it there is a white church, some shops and cafés. In the surroundings there are mountains, coffee plantations...

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  • San Salvador

    San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, is situated on the foothills of Vulcán San Salvador in the centre of the country. It is a big city with a population of 1.8 million, almost a third of the total population of El Salvador. The climate is tropical with the wet season stretching between May - October and the dry season between November -...

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  • Revolution Monument

    Probably one of the most notable monuments in San Salvador is the Monumento a la Revolucion (Revolution Monument). Locally it's called the Naked Man. It's located in Zona Rosa at the entrance to the Museum of Art of El Salvador. I didn't go into the museum, I just wanted to see this monument as I've seen pictures of it. It was created by many...

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  • Joya de Cerén

    Joya de Cerén is the only Unesco World Heritage Site in El Salvador. It is often referred to as the Pompeii of America because it was buried by volcanic ashes in AD 595 when the Laguna Caldera Vulcan had an eruption. Joya de Cerén is not as grand as Pompeii, but still a very interesting place to visit.Joya de Cerén was a Mayan village and remains...

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  • There are a good number of...

    There are a good number of must see activities. Starting in San Salvador I've already mentioned the National Museum. Downtown San Salvador is an interesting and 'exotic' place. It's overwhelming with activity, people, noise, etc. The City Hall has been doing a lot of efforts to try to clean up the area and have been somewhat succesfull. A lot of...

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  • Vulcán San Salvador - El Boquerón

    Vulcán San Salvador (Quezaltepeque) is situated northwest of the city and it has two peaks. The highest peak is Picacho with 1967m and the other is Jabali with 1397m. Jabali has a symmetrical crater called El Boquerón. The crater is 45m high and it got its present look after an eruption in 1917.With a guide you can walk around the crater, or down...

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  • Ruínas de San Andrés

    At the Archaeological Park of San Andrés you can see old Maya ruins, not as impressive as in Mexico and Guatemala, but still interesting. San Andrés was the capital of Valle de Zapotitlán between AD 600 - 900. At its peak it is believed that up to 12 000 people lived here. The park covers an area of 35 hectares and it was inaugurated in 1996.The...

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  • Lago de Coatepeque

    Lago de Coatepeque is a beautiful crater lake at the foot of Vulcán Santa Ana. When we climbed Santa Ana there was a viewpoint from where you can get a nice view of the lake, but unfortunately it was too cloudy and we couldn’t see it. Not until we were on our way back the lake was visible, and you will also pass the lake on your way to El...

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  • Concepción de Ataco

    Concepción de Ataco is a pretty village along Ruta de Las Flores. Colonial and newer houses are painted in bright colours and some have colourful murals. The streets have cobble stone and there is not much traffic. There is a central square where it is nice to sit in the shade for a while watching people. Around the square you will find the church,...

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  • Barra de Santiago

    Barra de Santiago is a small fishing village in western El Salvador. I only passed the village itself by bus as I continued another 3 km to Capricho Beach House. Capricho Beach House is situated near La Bocana, where you have the ocean on one side and the estuary and mangrove reserve on the other side. This part of Barra de Santiago is a protected...

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  • Turtle Release Program

    There is an eco resort located in El Salvador called La Cocotera Resort. You can locate it online here http://www.lacocoteraresort.com

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  • Local markets and villages

    A great way to view the countryside is to do the Routa de Flora.In Nov., the trees are in bloom and the scenery spectacular.Local markets are awaiting you.

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  • Near by local beach

    There is a bus leaving every day from the hotel (see hotel tip)to this beach, 20 min. away.(private). There is also a small pool. Food is available at the beach bar. Walk for miles. Ocean can be choppy on windy days

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  • Coffee plantation tour

    This tour took us both to a nursery and a coffee transformation.The scenery is beautiful as the plantations are on the mountainside.The information on the culture of coffee was excellent.Give you an appreciation for your next cuppa.

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  • Cascades of Juayua

    We went on this tour.Must be in shape to hike average trails.Can be slippery.Three different cascades pouring out of the volcanic rocks.Water is collected in basin and run down the mountain side to produce local electrcity.

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  • Santa Ana Cathedral

    The Santa Ana Cathedral is the top site in all of Santa Ana and probably the most impressive religious building in all of the country. Where most of churches in Central America have a colonial style look to it, this one has a gothic style to it. Construction began in the early 1900s and was consecrated in 1913. It has a beautiful facade but the...

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  • El Salvador del Mundo

    This statue is a symbol for El Salvador and you will see it on license plates. El Salvador del Mundo is a statue of Jesus standing on top of the world. It's located on Plaza Las Americas in San Salvador. It's worth taking a couple of minutes to check it out or hang around the park. The plaza is surrounded by lots of traffic and I wouldn't make it a...

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  • Joya de Ceren

    The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the coolest archeological site in El Salvador and is ofter referred to as the Pompeii of the Americas. It was accidently discovered in 1976 as they were building new structures in the area. This is the only Mayan site that shows how ordinary Mayans lived. The reason it's called the Pompeii of the Americas is...

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  • Parque Nacional El Imposible

    This is one of the only national parks in the country and is located in the Northeast.The main trail takes you down into a valley to a river and then you have to hike back out.This coral snake was the best wildlife we saw.

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  • Go to the beach

    For such a small country, El Salvador has a lot of coastline and the beaches are mostly black sand and erupt with people during the weekend.From West to East:-Barra de Santiago - in the far north near Guatemala border. mangroves and hanging out.-Zonte and Sunzal - surf beaches in La Libertad close to San Salvador-Costa del Sol - popular beaches in...

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  • Liga Mayor de Fútbol

    In El Salvador, when it comes to sports, fútbol (soccer) is the undisputed king. Although basketball and baseball leagues also exist, the nation’s ten-team Liga Mayor de Fútbol (LMF) is the only domestic sports competition that really captures the public’s interest. Traditionally, the four most successful squads have been FAS (who play in Santa...

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  • Suchitoto

    According to some people, Suchitoto is El Salvador’s nicest, cleanest, most tourism-worthy town. I’d even heard Suchitoto described as “Antigua Guatemala before it was discovered.” So, after having lived in El Salvador for four years, I finally joined two friends and made my first (and probably only) trip to Suchitoto in June 2005. Truth be told, I...

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  • The Pyramid Ruins

    The San Andres Ruins & Tazumal is absolutely the most beautiful and interesting gift that the Mayans left us. I recomend to ask for a guide at the front desk. That is the best way to get the most information out of the trip.

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  • Apaneca

    Half-way between Sonsonate and Ahuachapán, along El Salvador’s much-visited “Ruta de las Flores,” lies the town of Apaneca. At roughly 4,580’ above sea level, Apaneca is the country’s highest (and coldest, and probably windiest) municipality. The town itself is fairly drab, but its surroundings – which include coffee-covered mountains in all...

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  • Instantaneous Tour

    When in San Salvador and in need of a tour guide, consider Abraham Rodriquez at InterTours. Abraham has an encyclopedic mind about all things El Salvador including flora, fauna, history, social changes, the civil war, geology and the many volcanoes. He can tell you what the Spanish were looking for in El Salvador and if they found it? My list was...

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  • Buses

    Like the rest of central america, they have fairly colorful school buses. Many have Jesus on them, and many have American references (guessing that is the result of so many spending time in the US)

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  • Markets

    I have never seen so many people selling things anywhere. Stands in front of stands that were in front of stores. Must have been 100 sellers to every buyer. The area was interesting, inexpensive and seemed safe. We started at Plaza Barrios. It is even denser than the pictures portrait it

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  • El Zunsal

    There is a nice reef break here. When I surfed here for a few days at the end on March the waves were 1/2 to double overhead, and were clean and easy to ride. I am an intermediate surfer so I was intimidated at first byt the size but after throwing myself out into the waves and just going for it, I discovered how perfect the waves are. In the early...

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  • Juayua Waterfalls

    These waterfalls are located an hour northeast of Sonsante in the mountains. We hired a few guides and walked 7 hours through the jungle and climbed cliffs with rope as we hiked to get to them.There was about 5 of us and we paid $20/per person for the entrance fee and guides including lunch. The trek is very difficult, wet, and slippery. Guides are...

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  • Juayua

    Juayua is a lovely little town in the Sonsonate Department and one of the main stops along the Ruta de las Flores. It is a great town just to stroll around. There is big white church in front of really nice looking plaza. The town is surrounded by mountains covered in coffee fields and at least one volcano. I didn't know this when I was there but...

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  • San Salvador

    San Salvador is the capital of El Salvador with a metropolitan population of 2,200,000 which is around 1/3 of the country's population. It is the second largest city in Central America. Roughly centrally located, chances are you will come through here if travelling across El Salvador. I found this city to be very comfortable. We got stuck here for...

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  • Lago de Ilopango

    Lake Ilopango is the largest lake in El Salvador at about 100 km2. It is a volcanic crater lake in which the caldera orginally formed in 260 A.D. and it's last known eruption was in 1880. The lake's average temperature is 26 degrees celsius with a maximum depth of 231 metres. Legends tell about crater witches making whistles at night time to get...

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  • Ruinas de Tazumal

    Tazumal, about 13 km west of Santa Ana are one of El Salvador's most important Mayan ruins. Artifacts found here show trade that spanned practically all of Central America. Thanks to Stanley Boggs, Tazumal has the concrete covering way of preserving old buildings creating a look that is obviously historically inaccurate but easy on the eyes. This...

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  • Puerta del Dialblo

    The reason why I wanted to visit Puerta del Diablo was for it's recent history. I guess during the war it was used as place to easily dispose of bodies after being executed here. Today it is a family retreat with little food stalls, carnival rides for the kids, souvenir stands and rappelling and other rope work. The view from the top is amazing as...

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El Salvador Things to Do

Reviews and photos of El Salvador things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for El Salvador sightseeing.
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