Are you on the lookout for the best things to do in El Salvador?
You’re not alone. It’s a rich, exciting and vibrant place.
Despite the negative El Salvador travel warnings and news reports, what can you expect out of a trip to El Salvador; what’s worth your precious time and money?
Best things to do in El Salvador
You can trust me to show you some stellar cultural examples as well as the best things to do in El Salvador I’ve found to date.
Before we do, let’s look at some the reason why if backpacking Central America you may want to swing by the smallest country in the continent.
Why Visit El Salvador?
- The question is El Salvador safe is a tricky one, but remember, it’s a location that encapsulates a rich blend of history across Central America and beyond.
- Also, it’s a location that is consistently growing and showing off its hidden but tremendous culture.
- From it’s beautiful beaches to mountainous landscapes, El Salvador poses both a cultural experience and a fun adventure.
With that in mind, then, you should hopefully see why a trip here would be more than worth your time and my wish is for you to have the opportunity to visit some of the lesser known cities in El Salvador.
Having travelled Central America, I feel just as passionate about some of the Honduras tourist attractions which I wrote about here just a few weeks ago.
While looking at these things to do in El Salvador…
Rather than worry about the crime, ask where is El Salvador located or even, how you’ll get there. Let’s just dive in and look at some of the must-visit experiences that await you here.
Below you’ll find my top 10 things to do in El Salvador.
1# Joya de Ceren
This special part of the country portrays the best of El Salvador tourism. Joya de Ceren should be high up on the list of things to do and see in this special location.
It’s a small farming community that’s likely existed since the 1200BC era and is a unique part of human history.
Discovered by a bulldozer that was levelling out the ground, this happy discovery has become a major tourist attraction in El Salvador for many people coming to the location.
Evacuated due to the eruption of Ilopango Volcano, it’s a unique part of local culture and history.
Please just be respectful when you come to visit the various structures here; this is a very important part of local culture, and locals are not too fond of people being excessive with their discovery.
As ever, listen to any instructions provided when you’re spending time in Joya de Ceren.
2# Tazumal Ruins
Another one of the popular things to do in El Salvador is to come and visit is the Tazumal Ruins. Otherwise known as Chalchuapa.
As the best ruins in El Salvador for many visitors, these ancient ruins stand as a peak of ancient Maya civilization.
Located around 37 miles from the capital, San Salvador, the Tazumal Ruins stand out a mile away with their vintage Mayan layout and structure.
With all manner of pyramids and workshops standing strong as well as a fully working drainage system, it’s a developmental marvel that is more than worth your time coming to see amongst other El Salvador landmarks.
This was once a proud and thriving trading venue within the region, and it’s well worth coming to see just for that alone.
Simply imagine what once took place here, and it’s easy to get caught up in the grandeur of the experience overall.
3# San Andres
If you decide to continue alone, you’ll find the impressive San Andres waiting for you: by far one of the best things to do in El Salvador.
It’s a former trading city, so take a look around and you can easily spot where, once upon a time, people would have stood and traded together.
It’s well-preserved, so don’t do anything that could stand to hamper or limit that lasting preservation; if you can stay at peace, you’ll love seeing this.
4# Playa El Tunco
The beaches should be on your list of what to do in El Salvador.
The Playa El Tunco is a stunning beach, and one of the main El Salvador tourist attractions. I recommend that you come to see it.
It’s something like you would find in a location like Cancun to most; fervent, friendly and charming.
It’s a nice place to mix fellow travellers and also mingle with the locals, so be sure to have some fun and mix with the people here.
El Tunco is one of the more fun places to visit in El Salvador and well worth your time, especially if you are looking to relax for the evening.
5# San Salvador
If wondering what is the capital of El Salvador here it is. The capital is a wonderful place, but I recommend that you try and stay alert at all times.
Like many capital cities around the world, it’s home to many an opportunist. So a travel warning for El Salvador is taking care of your personal belongings.
Avoid anyone openly trying to sell you stuff and keep your wits about you. Generally, though, the places to avoid in San Salvador stand out a mile away!
All in all, there are some fun things to do in San Salvador, if in doubt when you arrive, just ask around and speak with locals to see what they recommend.
6# Santa Ana
This is a fine place well worth coming to visit; I’d simply recommend that you go and see the amazing coffee industry here.
Like many of the interesting things to do in El Salvador, I think you’ll love Santa Ana.
There are various local activities that reside here, however, the coffee industry is by far and away the largest and most impressive place to visit.
When looking for things to do in Santa Ana – coffee is a major part of the city and plays a key role in the national economy.
7# La Ruta de Las Flores
Along La Ruta de las Flores you can discover some of the best places to visit in El Salvador. The route starting in Sonsonate and ends in Ahuachapán.
There’re many tourists attractions in El Salvador you can find here. For this reason, if you’re thinking about is it safe to travel to El Salvador, you can rest assured in this place.
If you’re planning to travel to El Salvador you must enjoy La Ruta de las Flores. Activities like buying some handicrafts, taste local food and go to waterfalls are things you can do.
So, there’re perfect places for a space of hiking and some life-changing decisions, I recommend that you come along here and see what it has in store for you: you won’t regret it.
Be sure to take the country-scenic Flower Path; a natural landmark that breaks away from the man-made city buildings. As ever, be on the lookout for less welcoming locals.
8# Cerro Verde National Park
So, I could not mention all these things to do in El Salvador without introducing you to the impressive Cerro Verde National Park.
Part of the beauty of this National Park is that you can just look around and enjoy yourself. One of the natural tourist places in El Salvador you must go.
Cerro Verde offers you beautiful places in El Salvador like Volcanos. A travel advisory is to go with a guide to guarantee your safety.
I’d recommend that you come well-equipped for a wide-reaching walk that will take it out of you: this is no stroll in the park, so ensure you’re well-prepared.
9# Playa El Cuco
Playa El Cuco is definitely worth your time, not least for the fact that it’s such a rich and enjoyable place overall.
The people are friendly, and you’ll likely find that the beaches here offer one of the best places in the country to simply relax and recuperate: the ideal choice for tourists looking for some quiet.
But if you’re looking for fun things to do in El Salvador, this beach is perfect too. You can do things like surf, volleyball and jogging.
One of the best things about Suchitoto is that it’s one of the cities in El Salvador that allows you to just be yourself.
Few other parts of the country can feel so open, as there’s a gluttony of arts and cultural locations worth checking out, the Catholic Parish Church probably chief among them.
If you’re travelling to El Salvador, be sure to check it out when you are in Suchitoto town: it’s remarkable.
Best things to do in El Salvador
Now that you know what to look out for with regards to the best things to do in El Salvador, where will you begin your trip?
There are lots to think about and to learn when in this amazing Central American nation, so don’t hold back and limit yourself to what you can see and achieve.
Take a vacation in El Salvador. It’s the kind of special experience that, in time, should really transform your enjoyment in this country.
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