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Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

United States
Level Contributor
188 posts
Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

My wife and I did a 8-day trip to El Salvador in late June. We rented a car from Budget at the airport at 1:00PM and drove to Suchitoto and spent the first night there. Suchitoto was a disappointment for us. There were some activities at the central park (Saturday), but the foods were not good. The streets were difficult to drive because of parked cars. It is even difficult to walk because of the dogs. We tried to walk to the Suchitlan Lake on Sunday morning, but turned back because of the dogs on the road.

We then drove to Juayua along the Ruta de Las Fores (stopped in Nahuizalco to visit their central park and farmer's market, difficult to find parking) for their food festival which was good. After the lunch and some walking in the town, we felt too early and could not check into our hotel, so we drove to the Santa Teresa Hot Springs in Ahuachapan. Although there were many people in the weekend, it was a good experience. There are a lot of restaurants and cafes along the Ruta de Las Flores that have good gardens. We stopped at several places and enjoyed our time there.

On our third day, we drove Apaneca and Ataco, visited the central parks, and the Don Juan waterfalls (Cascadas de Don Juan). We were the only people at the waterfall. The waterfall is OK, not impressive, but we also spent time to enjoy the restaurant garden where we parked our car. We then drove to the Hot Spring Waterfall (Salto de Malacatiupan) from Atiquizaya. This is the "best" road getting there, which is still terrible with lots of potholes. The Hot Spring Waterfall is unique and only two other people there. We swam in the upper river and liked it very much. The parking lot door was closed (after 5 PM?) when we came out and the owner opened it for us. We drove to Santa Ann for the night.

The 4th day was to hike the Santa Ann Volcano. We experience sunshine, rain, clouds, and fog. At the top, we were unable to see the green water in the crater because of the foggy weather. The round trip took us 4.5 hours. It was an OK experience, not spectacular. After that, we drove to a hostal on the Lake Coatepeque with clear water and enjoyed swimming there and stayed until 12:00PM the next day.

Our 5th day was spent on a resort in Atami for their seaside pools. The pool looks dirty in the afternoon and we did not swim there. However, in the morning of the next day, the high tide waves push the sea water into the pool, it was spectacular. We stayed in the pool until 12:00PM.

The next two nights were spent in El Tunco, with a trip to San Salvador. El Tunco is so-so and we walked on the beaches with stones. The streets in the Historical Center of San Salvador were crowded and difficult to drive. We spent two hours there and then drove to Boqueron National Park. It was an easy hike to see the dead crater. After that, we drove to a spring water park (Lost Chorros Recreational Park). We liked it, but they close the pool at 3:30PM and the park at 4:00PM, We wished to stay longer there.

We drove to the airport and returned our rental car in the morning of the 8th day. The 7-day rental costed $417 with a $450 deductible. We thought it was too expensive. The highlights of the trip were the Hot Spring Waterfall and the seaside pools because they are unique. (Many hotels and restaurants have seaside pools). The towns along the Ruta de Las Flores were similar with small central parks, which worth a 30 minute stop. Lots of places along the Rute de Flores are more interesting (waterfalls, restaurants, cafes, etc.) We felt that El Salvador is safe and the people there are friendly.

5 replies to this topic
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,903 posts
114 reviews
117 helpful votes
1. Re: Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

It sounds like, overall, you had a negative, and occasionally miserable, experience punctuated by occasional moments of fun. I have been considering traveling to El Salvador since, from I've been reading, El Salvador is as safe now as it has been in several decades. Your post confirmed that. But my overall impression from your trip report is, maybe, El Salvador is not quite ready for international tourism.

United States
Level Contributor
188 posts
2. Re: Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

El Salvador is not ready for formal tourism yet. If you want to have a vacation, Mexico may be a better choice. However, exactly because of lack of tourism, you may enjoy something unique in El Salvador without many tourists. If you like to stay at hostals, you may have some experience that you could not get at hotels. We are in our late 50s, so we were the only "elders" among the young people there.

However, the main reason that I went to El Salvador was to check it from my list.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

Did you leave your passport at the hotel or carry it with you ?

1 post
4. Re: Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

to be honest, the best days to travel to El Salvador to have the best experience are from November to April or even May. They have more things to do and because it's summer over there around that time you experience better weather.

Fremont, California
Level Contributor
157,820 posts
8,714 reviews
4,256 helpful votes
5. Re: Mini Trip Report in June 2023 in El Savlvador

awesome trip. Thanks for your trip report.

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