5 reasons to visit El Salvador
Updated: May 17
But really there are so many more.
El Salvador may be the smallest country in Central America, but don’t be mistaken by thinking there’s nothing worth seeing there. It’s got some incredible selling points, and is typically less touristy than other nearby countries, making it the perfect spot for an escape filled with culture and relaxation. This article is exploring five of the top reasons to visit El Salvador.
THE SPECTACULAR BEACHES
The south border of El Salvador backs onto the North Pacific Ocean, and is lined with beaches. With spots for swimming among big waves, as well as for families with young children, there’s a whole host of options for visitors to pick from depending upon individual preference.
Many of the beaches are prime spots for surfing, with wave conditions being among the best around, and lasting all year-round. The surfing scene in El Salvador is considered to be the best in Central America, so for both novices finding their feet, and for skilled professionals honing their craft, El Salvador is hard to beat.
THE TOWNS RICH WITH HISTORY
El Salvador has a history that dates back to colonial times, and its towns are rich with the country’s past. Of course, the bigger cities (San Salvador, for example) are still incredibly interesting places to visit, but the smaller, more tucked away towns are truly unmissable.
They’re filled with historic art and architecture, the atmosphere is authentically Salvadorian, the food is genuine local cuisine, and there is tradition around every corner.
THE NATURAL LANDSCAPE
The country is lucky enough to be home to a vast natural landscape, filled with volcanoes, lakes, and national parks, just waiting to be explored.
With over 20 volcanoes across its landscape, some even being active, hiking these trails is a top draw for visitors to El Salvador. For less experienced hikers, or for those wanting a less exertive activity, the national parks make a great walking spot. These parks can be found all over El Salvador, both close to major cities and in more rural spots. The lakes make the perfect spot for cooling down with a swim, or for partaking in some fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, and more.
THE MAYAN RUINS
There are a number of Mayan ruins still present in El Salvador, that show a snippet of how the country will have looked at one point. These ruins may not be as famous as those of other Central American countries, but they are equally as important. And, due to this lesser fame, the sites are typically very quiet with only a handful of visitors, allowing for a more meaningful interaction with the ruins.
Because the country is so small, it’s possible to see the majority of its ruins during one stay. Wander around the preserved earth homes of Mayan farmers, explore the structures that once would have been temples, and marvel at the artifacts that remain among the ruins.
THE INCREDIBLE FOODS
Last – but by no means least – is the food. El Salvador has a variety of traditional foods on offer for visitors, making the most of its local resources. Fresh seafood and pupusas (corn dough filled with meat, cheese, or beans that is then pressed flat and grilled) are among the top picks, and should be eaten by everyone that visits the country.
For true foodies, the Juayua food festival is not to be missed. Every single weekend, the small town of Juayua hosts a festival wherein people from neighboring villages come together to sell their own dishes, and share in the feast. With stalls lining the streets and makeshift kitchens putting out a variety of incredible aromas and flavors, it’s a must-see event that has visitors returning week after week for more.
El Salvador is a country of rich history and culture, with a beautiful landscape as its backdrop. There’s something for everyone within the country’s borders, from beach days to hikes in national parks, from street food feasts to historic tours through cobbled streets. Why not consider taking a trip off the beaten path, and visit El Salvador for your next vacation.
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