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The colors and vibrant landscapes of San Salvador are only overshadowed by the kindness of its people. This small capital city is the political, cultural, and educational center for El Salvador that was, until recently, only known to surfers and backpackers. This up-and-coming destination is overflowing with options for travelers. Take a volcano hike, visit the ancient Mayan ruins, or walk alongside crumbling colonial architecture to name a few. San Salvador is a true gem, waiting to be discovered.
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Known as the “Land of Volcanoes”, San Salvador has twenty-three active volcanoes surrounding the country. One of the most famous volcano hikes is to the large volcano that dominates the western view of San Salvador, the San Salvador Volcano. Here, you can hike to one of the three peaks. See the crater of El Boqueron, which once held a small lake, but after an eruption 100 years ago, was replaced by a small cone that you can see form any point in the city.
Exciting City Tours
There are numerous city tours that visitors can take through San Salvador. Stop to shop in the city’s artisan handicraft market, visit the historic city center, venture to the exciting landmarks, like the Metropolitan Cathedral and the best known, El Divino Salvador del Mundo (“Divine Savior of the World”) statue. These tours will also typically take tourists to see the famous San Salvador volcano, which last erupted a century ago.
Pacific Coast & Surfing
El Salvador has long been known as one of the most consistent surfing locations in the world. Tourists make the short trip to try their skills on some of the best waves on the west coast of the Americas. What makes El Salvador surfing so unique is the length of most of the waves. These world-famous waves break for 100-200 meters without closing, affording surfing tourists a long ride, almost every day of the year, consistently, in warm waters with no crowds. These waves have been a draw for some of the world’s top surfers as well as aspiring students.
El Salvador lies at the heart of the ancient Mayan empire in Central America. There are several day trips that will take you the short distance to visit some of the most famous ruins in El Salvador. Visit the best preserved Mayan pyramids located at Tazumal or see the “Pompeii of the Americas” at Joya de Cerén, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just outside of the the capital city of San Salvador.
San Salvador Art Galleries & Museums
Enjoy a day trip back in time, from the artwork of the ancient Mayans to current day contemporary art from local and national artists, San Salvador offers everything you could wish for in cultural tourism. Visit the Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE) or the Museo Nacional de Antropología for a view of the cultural artwork as well as handicraft production, commerce and exchange. San Salvador is not only home to historial art, you’ll also find contemporary art from industrious and artistic San Salvadorians on display at the MARTE.
San Salvador Coffee Shops
Nothing is better while on holidays than sitting back and enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the heart of the city. El Salvador is famous for its coffee export, it’s sprawling coffee plantations and its rich, fertile soil perfect for growing the most rich coffee beans in the world. If you’re traveling, you have to step into one of the numerous gourmet coffee shops in San Salvador for a taste of the black gold, and maybe purchase a few bags to take home as souvenirs.
The Cloud Forest
A small day-trip from San Salvador will take you to into the towering mountains, where you’ll discovery, at the summit of Monte Cristo Mountain, a unique and fascinating cloud forest located the international preserve of Montecristo National Park - El Trifinio. Home to varied and exotic flora and fauna, this cloud forest was one of the first protected areas in El Salvador, and the Summit Hike is a year-round draw for outdoorsy tourists and locals alike.
Experience San Salvador