Many people think that in this smallest country of Central America, there might not exist a great list of attractions. However, the tourist attractions in El Salvador are really worth exploring, although they might not be that great as compared to other famous destinations. The amazing volcanic landscape and sincerity of its citizens are bound to make you happy and satisfied. But, the question in mind was about security as the region is also famous for crime. To this, I was convinced because of the protection assured by the trained tourist police group called Politur. Well, these guys do protect the meaning of the nation’s name that is the Savior.
I started my trip from the capital, SAN SALVADOR that itself is nestled at the altitude of 680 m. It ranks second in the list of the largest cities in Central America. It was discovered in the 16th century by Pedro De Alvarado. Today, for you, there is a mix of contemporary edifices and colonial designs, wide plazas, amusement parks, monuments, and shopping malls. For exploring the most vital public buildings, head to the downtown where the Catedral Metropolitana, the National Treasury, the Teatro Nacional (theater), and the Palacio Nacional are just located at a short distance from each other.
Santa Ana Volcano
If you are interested in religious buildings, there are several marveling colonial churches here. Among all, the St Ignatius Loyola that was the place of worship of the ‘Virgin of Guadalupe’ is worth exploring for its Spanish facade, the Suchitoto, and the Juayua. Do not miss the thrill at the amusement park that is nestled on the mountain of San Jacinto, which is accessible via a cable car offering a panoramic city view. For some more breathtaking views of the city, head to the Balboa Park located at a distance of 11 km from the San Salvador and the nearby 1200 m rock formation called the Puerta del Diablo (devil’s doorway) offering a bird’s-eye vista of the capital. The former two places are a must to visit if you are a fan of nature and environment.
From the capital, consider road excursions to Panchimalco located at a distance of 15 km from the capital. Surrounding this site, the Pancho Indians who are the real heirs of the initial Pipil clans reside where you can explore their retained ancient traditions as well as the dresses. One more interesting journey can be made to the San Sebastián hamlet accessible by car within an hour. Located close to Lake Ilopango that is the largest lake in the nation enclosed by the mountains as well as volcanoes, the hamlet is famous for its wonderful woven materials. Further, you can also expect outdoor and water sports activities here too. Exploring this area is one the top tourist attractions in El Salvador. In addition, consider the Ilobasco hamlet located in the capital’s northeast offering the natural charm and craftwork. I recommend taking all these voyages because they are very alluring from all corners.
My next target was to visit a myriad of archaeological sites that are among the interesting tourist attractions in El Salvador. El Salvador is rich in many early archaeological sites right since the Mayan times out of which some even belong to the 3rd century BC. This makes it even more exciting to explore these sites. Among all, the World Heritage Site called the Joya de Cerén is worth exploring that was a Mayan hamlet hidden beneath the volcanic ash before 1400 years. Accessible from the capital, the San Andrés area was once the site of several Mayan settlements. Today, here, the main highlight is the acropolis as the architectural treasure.
Do you know where the earliest people of the country lived? From 300 BC to 1200 AD, these inhabitants were found in the Chalchuapa area of the Tazumal province located at a distance of 78 km from the capital. It is believed that during this time, some five vital ceremonial centers came into existence namely, Pampe, Casablanca, Las Victorias, El Trapiche, and the wonderful relics of Tazumal. Check out for the edifices that are as high as over 30 m and the ball court in which the people of the Maya civilization performed a strange ritual. Still the archaeological journey is not over. There are many more charming sites – the Tehuacán site next to San Vicente, the Santa Letìcía figurines close to the San Miguel town, and the hamlet of Quelepa in the same town.