5 Things To Do When You Visit El Salvador
So, you’ve heard of El Salvador and now you find yourself traveling there. These are 5 things you must do when you visit this beautiful and colorful country.
1. Hike the Tamanique Waterfalls
You get off in the town of Tamanique and meet your local guides at the Central Park. You take a 50 minute — intermediate to challenging — and get to connect with the surroundings. Birds chirping and running water set an adventurous ambiance. The more you walk, the louder, yet exciting, the sound gets. You have finally reached the waterfalls. A natural rock slide that lands you into jump 1 and 2 of the waterfall. This is the spot where many people stop; but you have to keep going! A majestic 40-meter fall is just nearby. No, you can’t jump it, but you can swim underneath it and take a cool dip. Don’t forget to take a couple of actions shots while you are there. Guides we recommend are Tunco Life and El Zonte School. The hike is about 3 hours long. You must bring tennis shoes, your bathing suit, water bottle and some sunblock and mosquito spray. Enjoy!
2. Visit Coatepeque Lake
It’s absolutely picturesque and a must-see: Coatepeque Lake. Located in Santa Ana Department, about 45 minutes drive from San Salvador, a natural 25km2 lake that fills the crater of, what was once, a volcano. Lush greens and beautiful lake houses make Coatepeque stunningly beautiful. There is an island on the right side of the lake and a ferry that takes you to the most exclusive houses and architecture in the place. Whatever your vantage point, you will always have a panoramic view. ‘Lagosto’ is a 3-day party that takes place annually in August, boats and yacht gather around to good music and day drinking. The lake also has some tourist attractions like La Pampa Coatepeque and Cardedeu Hotel and Residences. This hotel has a small church with a breathtaking view into the lake. And if this is not enough, the lake changes its colors to a deep turquoise blue every once in a while; that color change only last for a couple of days and it’s always a mystery, why!
3. Take a surf lesson in El Zonte
Known as the ‘land of the rights’, El Salvador has some ’sweet spots’ for surfing. Amongst the most popular ones is El Zonte, also known as ‘Pueblo Loco’ or crazy town. Located about 45 minutes away from the airport and/or San Salvador, this magical town is home to Bryan Perez, a local promising surfer. Since La Libertad department is known as the surfer’s department, there are a lot of surf schools to take a couple of lessons while you are here. In El Zonte, we recommend you book surfing lessons with Alex from Esencia Nativa or Puro Surf Hotel and Performance Academy. An international – now local, legend is Neettee from The Salty Souls. She would gladly share her knowledge with you. Make sure you get some snapshots while you are riding your first wave!
4. Eat Pupusas!
We saved the best for last…Pupusas! You must try them. Pupusas are the traditional food of El Salvador. A stuffed corn or rice tortilla with cheese, cheese and beans, ‘chicharrón’ (pulled pork) or ‘revueltas’ — the combination of the 3 ingredients. If you are in El Zonte, Pupusería Jeisi is the place to go. On your way from the airport to your destination, you can stop by Olocuilta, the pups town; and if you are in the city, you can visit pretty much any pupuseria. One of our favorites is Pupusería La Suiza.
5. Visit Ruta de las Flores and try the local coffee
Ruta de las Flores, (Flowers Path) is a must take tour. You get to visit 2 departments in the same tour: Apaneca in Ataco, located in Ahuachapán, and Juayúa, located in Sonsonate department, amongst other small towns. In this tour you get to experience different scenes: tasty local food, nature, adventure and extreme sports (canopy, buggies, hiking, camping areas). This tour is well-known for visiting world-class coffee farms, and yes!, you get to taste it too. Some landmarks you need to check or activities to do while in the tour: walk around the historic district of the 3 villages and visit the churches in their Central Park, get yourself souvenirs at the market, take a baggie tour to Laguna de las Ninfas, experience all the extreme sports at Albania Laberynth, have a good coffee cup at Axul Café. We suggest you plan a whole day to take this trip.
These are just a few things to do on your journey to El Salvador. Stay tuned for more recommendations and #ShareTheGoodlife.