Apaneca is the second highest city in the country, famous for its pleasantly cool climate and its award-winning coffee production. It is the starting point for the Ruta de las Flores, a 36km long path through the picturesque colonial villages of San Salvador. The two localities Nahuizalco and Salcoatitán are the most visited. In the village of Juayúa, a world-famous gastronomic festival takes place every week on the main square, where you have the opportunity to taste special specialties and typical meals from El Salvador. The Cordillera de Apaneca, a group of stratovolcanoes, can also be easily reached from there.
Joya de Cerén
The excavation site near Salvador released a Mayan settlement in 1976, which was buried under ash and dust by the Loma Caldera volcano around AD 600. Since the village was surprisingly well preserved under layers of volcanic ash, the archaeologists found many everyday objects that shed light on the Mayan culture. It is very likely that the residents were able to escape, as belongings and even leftovers were found, but no remains. The Mayan farming settlement, preserved by volcanic ash, is the most important pre-Hispanic site in El Salvador and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Central America. It is located about 35 kilometers (driving distance) northwest of San Salvador and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.
The capital San Salvador, with its current population of 316,000, was founded in 1528 in the highlands of the state. Since the city is located at the foot of the Boquerón volcano, it has been hit several times in the course of history by earthquakes of various magnitudes that destroyed most of the colonial buildings. After all, it can present itself with an old historical center, including the cathedral with its impressive mosaic facade, the National Palace and the National Museum with a comprehensive collection of old Indian art and everyday objects. The church of El Rosario and the relief map in the military museum are also interesting. In a volcanic crater in the east of the city lies the Ilopango Lake, which is the largest natural lake in El Salvador with an area of 72 km².
The second largest city in the country is located in the northwest and has a population of around 250,000. Worth seeing in the city are the cathedral, the town hall and the Santa Ana theater. Not far from the city is the Cerro Verde National Park, where you can go hiking with breathtaking views of the volcanoes Izalco and Santa Ana, as well as Lake Coatepeque.
La Puerto Libertad
Countless beautiful sandy beaches attract numerous visitors to the coast of the Pacific Ocean of the smallest Central American country every year. The town of La Puerto Libertad is particularly attractive. Nature lovers get their money’s worth in this region, because there are countless opportunities to observe various species of birds.
Not far from San Salvador is the Los Chorros National Park. It is one of the most important attractions in the country and is a true jungle paradise. Here you will find an abundance of plants: ferns, moss and fantastic flowers everywhere. Nature lovers will have their fun! Several waterfalls with clear spring water gush over the rocks and surround rocks. You can even bathe in natural hollows and enjoy the unique, almost magical atmosphere of this place.
Las Ruinas de Tazumal
Tazumal is one of the most important archaeological sites in El Salvador. These ruins represent the oldest settlement in the country and are an important witness of pre-Hispanic high culture. You can also learn more about Central America’s fascinating past in San Andres Park, a religious center, and in Joya de Ceren, a very well-preserved archaeological site. The focus is not only on the well-known Maya, but also on the no less interesting cultural groups of the Olmec, Lenca and Pipil.