Local colour is a phrase that fits El Salvador well. The people are proud of their rich heritage encapsulated by its unique landmarks that tell their story to the world. Once a colony of Spain, the country was well known before for its indigo plant and coffee, which sustained its economy. This changed through the years, especially after the independence of El Salvador. The country has since then expanded its economic efforts, which has made it one of the highly industrialised parts of Central America.
Travellers visiting El Salvador will be enamoured of its history back in the war, which presents an interesting look at its past in the museums. The El Salvadorans themselves who come back to live here again after they emigrated years ago add to the energetic feel of the place, which is becoming an emerging destination for tourists venturing to the area.
What to see & do
There are many places to see in El Salvador, where one can fully appreciate its rich culture. There is Santa Ana, one of its biggest cities, which is exciting to explore on foot. Some of the largest coffee plantations in the country surround this city, which adds to its prestige. One will also find here a lively nightlife due to the youthful population. Those going here will marvel at the impressive landmarks here such as the Teatro de Santa Ana, a Renaissance-style building with beautifully decorated interiors. From here, one can visit the Catedral, a large neo-Gothic church completed in 1913. Ornate mouldings cover the entire front with high arches which add to its sense of glamour. There is also the Museo Regional del Occidente to see, which displays a selection of artefacts and the development of the Salvadoran money.
Tourists who want a light and carefree trip can venture to Ruta de Las Flores, which is well known for its attractive colonial towns where one can indulge in eating savoury dishes in the restaurants or head out into the mountains for some physical activity. Those going here can check out the Plaza Concordia, where one can enjoy free events sponsored by the city. For a more raucous atmosphere, one can check out Juayua which is famed for its food fairs. Locals across the provinces visit this city for its dishes and dances in the plaza. One can choose from a wide variety from the elote loco (tasty corn lathered with cheese and mustard) to the adventurous barbecued iguana and other delicacies.
History is fun to learn when it comes to Morazan and Perquin. Its museums feature the war stories of the country such as the El Campamento Guerrillero Simulado. It features a reconstructed guerrilla camp complete with swing bridges in a partially cleared woodland. Near from here are other sites such as the downed helicopter from where Lieutenant Colonel Domingo Monterrosa died. Others interested in more anecdotes about the war can visit the Museo de la Revolucion Salvadoreña, where one can find out the causes and development of the armed struggle. It can be stirring to see various photographs here, as well as read about the stories of those who died in the field.
How to get around
Those going around the country will find plenty of options. Multicoloured buses made from mostly old school buses from the United States make their way to various towns and cities. Those looking for fast transport in the major cities, however, can ride taxis instead. Their rates are negotiable, making it necessary to agree on a certain rate before boarding. Water transportation is also available in certain parts of El Salvador such as the Bahia de Jiquilisco, which requires a boat. Golfo de Fonseca and Lago Suchitlan are also frequently ventured to with boats, which make the areas more accessible.
Travellers can also see about renting a car or bicycle depending on their needs. Cars for hire are more sensible for those planning leisurely explorations to the cities and countrysides, while those on bike can traverse the rough roads leading to the mountains.
How to get there
Tourists out to experience the charm of this Central American country can visit through El Salvador International Airport. Located in San Salvador, this port of entry is served with various airlines including Aeromexico Connect, American Airlines, Avianca Costa Rica, Avianca El Salvador, Avianca Peru, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and Veca Airlines.