After spending fourteen days in El Salvador, here are 14 things, in no particular order, we found out we love about the country, one for each day.
- Pupusas – We could eat these lovely little things morning, noon and night.
- Sunsets over the Pacific – beautiful every single day we were there.
- Suchitoto –With loads of culture and located on the shores of lake Suchitlan, the cute colonial town is equally popular with foreign tourists and weekenders from San Salvador.
- Salvadorians – don’t let the number of people packing pistols throw you off – the good-spirited people of El Salvador are as kind and helpful as they are lively. There might be rotten apples in every bunch, but during our time in the country the number of times people went above and beyond to help us is countless.
- The Beer – El Salvador is hot, and they serve up their beer cold. There is nothing like a 5 o’clock Golden or Pilsener in El Salvador.
- Villa Balanza in Suchitoto – worth a visit for a cheap, very well-prepared lunch or a great hotel stay with wi-fi, lake views and peace and quiet.
- Climbing the volcano crater and mountains around La Laguna de Alegria
- Escencia Nativa – although we were not fans of the beaches of El Salvador, Escencia Nativa hostel in the beachside spot of El Zonte does everything right. Owner Alex, a former champion surfer turned hostel owner and native of El Salvador, has constructed a perfect chill out spot which works as well for surfers after a hard day on the waves, as well as for non-surfers who spend the day relaxing at the pool and scarfing down the delicious food and drink.
- The Painted Phone Poles – Artistic spirit is very much alive in El Salvador, and, more than in most other Central American countries, there is plenty of street art, murals, and inspiring graffiti. In the towns of Ataco, Alegria, and Suchitoto, the phone and electricity poles are all painted on the bottom, individually designed by different artists and displaying many positive messages and histories.
- The colorful buildings of Ataco, a village among the ‘Ruta de las Flores‘, El Salvador’s Flower Route
- Entre Piedras hostel in Alegria – read here for a full review.
- The vendors on chicken buses – Travel long enough through Latin America and you come to know: where there is a ‘chicken bus’ there are people selling food. In El Salvador, the entire bus+food vendor process is taken to a whole new level. Rather than one or two, there are up to 15 vendors on one bus at any given time. Regardless whether every single vendor on the bus is selling the same thing, each individual makes her/himself heard while selling pupusas, fish, or entire chicken meals with fries on plates wrapped in plastic. But it’s not just food. One day, we bought toothbrushes for a great deal on the bus. The next day, for half the price, we could have gotten the two toothbrushes with a pack of three pens. Why didn’t we wait?
- Frozens – similar to licuados (or fruit+ water shakes), in the hot, hot sun of El Salvador, the Frozen is a very large, very frozen version and is delicious.
- The seven waterfalls around Juayua – these waterfalls are located just past the popular tourist town of Juayua, and tours can be organised in town. Jason and Aracely, the TwoBackpackers, also explored the 7 waterfalls when they came through El Salvador and have great video footage on their website.