Not a country immediately associated with tourism, but certainly a great destination for experienced Latin America travellers and a haven for surfers! El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America and has a Pacific coastline which provides excellent surfing opportunities. Long sandy beaches stretch in the south along the Costa del Sol to the Gulf of Fonseca with some lovely bays and small islands to explore. Part of the Pacific ‘ring of fire’ El Salvador is still volcanically active.
Bordered by Guatemala to the north and Honduras to the east this is a great place to spend a while travelling around Central America. El Salvador is a friendly and fun country to visit with beautiful landscapes full of rich forests, mountains and volcanoes and a vibrant capital. San Salvador retains charm from it’s Spanish era (being one of the first European cities of the New World), but the modern structures, crumbling ruins and pollution can spoil it.
Outside the city you can head to the northern hills around El Poy and Perquin which are great places to go trekking. In the Cerro Verde National Park you have dramatic landscapes with waterfalls and springs and the challenge of hiking across a smoking cone at the Izalco volcano which gives staggering views over Lago de Coatepeque (visit the lake to take a dip in a hot spring).
For wildlife holidays, take a trip to the strangely named park of El Imposible! Here you will find plenty of wildlife. Amongst the mammals found here, the Ocelot (a small cat) is one of the most important and striking creatures. El Salvador has around 500 species of birds, 1000 species of butterflies, 400 species of orchid, 800 trees and 800 species of marine fish. There are eight sea turtle species in the world and six of them next on the Central American coasts, four making the beaches of El Salvador their home – the Leatherback, Hawksbill, Green Sea Turtle and Olive Ridley.
There are ancient ruins to be visited, including the Mayan site of Joya de Ceren which is preserved under volcanic ash. To the west you can wander through coffee plantations, enjoy the beautiful valley of the Ruta de las Flores or just enjoy the stunning Pacific sunsets.
Visas are not currently required by British travellers, the currently is the US dollar and Spanish is the native language. Being near th equator the climate is pretty constant with average temperatures year round a comfortable 28C. The rainy seaosn is May to October and the coastal areas can be hot and humid especially around March to May. At altitude it’s obviously a lot colder.
Contact me for a tailor made itinerary or to join a group tour to El Salvador or other parts of Latin America.