5 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in El Salvador

Jul 22, 2021

An area of volcanic activity since the Miocene period (about two million years ago), the island of El Salvador has something of a spectacular nature about it, with nearly 3,000 species of flowers, some of them endemic to this area.

Visitors can be drawn by the natural splendor of the volcanoes, which range from the lofty Nevado de Teneguía (with its 3,268-meter summit) to the ever-active Ruiz, around which several villages have sprung up. Despite the pervasive air of life as a real destination in this Central American nation, the majority of El Salvador's inhabitants are farmers, cattle herders, and fishermen.

Much of the national territory is covered with protected wilderness and national parks. Some of these, such as Bosque Eterno de Los Niños National Park, are extremely well tended and accessed by trail. The countryside of the southern coast is known for its coffee and strawberries, and the country's endless rivers provide water for the horticulture of many kinds of plants and flowers, including chilies, cucumbers, grapes, pears, and watermelons. El Salvador has become a popular weekend and honeymoon destination in recent years. Here is our list of the best places to visit in El Salvador.

Santa Ana

Photo of Santa Ana, El Salvador
Santa Ana, El Salvador: en.wikipedia.org

The capital of El Salvador (which means "In God We Trust" in Spanish) sits on a plain in the heart of the country. The surrounding area is mountainous with little flat land, making the nation highly suitable for cattle ranching. The term "barrio" is a colloquialism for a rural neighborhood and Santa Ana, the main barrio (or neighborhood) is often associated with a nearby work yard for the El Salvadorian Tinpot mines. Where to visit: Modern Santa Ana is centered around a tourist section centered on Calle Libertad between Avenida 25 de Marzo and Avenida Wilson. The touristy area has a mall (which is about to be rebuilt), street vendors, a couple of hotels and tourist traps. With a world map of the El Salvadorian Railroad as a ceiling, the TI, banks and most tourist-oriented shops and restaurants are located on Avenida Wilson. Another notable place is the St. Francis of Assisi Church, where the National Evangelical Institute holds its most famous annual mass that attracts up to 300,000 people in honor of the country's patron saint. Things to do: Stay at the BEST or Hilton Hotel downtown as they have good locations in the middle of town. Another option is a cabina in the northern mountains where the visitor can enjoy the benefits of a home away from home. There are also three museums: the National Museum of Anthropology, Museo Metropolitano de Ciencias and the Santiago Allegre Museum. Best time to visit: May through October is the best time to visit and avoid the heat.

La Libertad

Photo of La Libertad, La Libertad
La Libertad, La Libertad: en.wikipedia.org

This tiny volcanic island is the highest point in El Salvador, reaching 1,500 meters above sea level. It is also the highest mountain in the world and one of its many legends is of being where the Blessed Virgin Mary first rose from the dead. The volcano provides a stunning view from above and the neighboring beaches provide all-inclusive tropical paradises for tourists. The tourist circuit includes beach and village hotels, ecotourism, banana, pineapple and coffee plantation tour in the region.

Plaza del Sol

Photo of San Salvador
San Salvador: en.wikipedia.org

El Salvador is nestled along the Pacific coast in Central America, a country famous for its attractive people, laid-back atmosphere and great tourist attraction, Volcanoes National Park. While the biggest and most famous attraction is the active Volcanoes National Park, Plaza del Sol also offers a variety of activities for adventure-seeking travellers. The main reason to visit the town is to see the church, which is decorated with paintings and statues in a charming way. It was finished in 1771 and is considered to be the most beautiful example of Neoclassical art in the region. It is also a beautiful example of Choromil­grafic art and the style of art found in many Guatemalan cities. The work of the Choromilgrafo style dates back to the mid-18th century and is characterized by the technique of creating religious subjects in brightly colored and uniquely shaped style. Also a must see is Plaza del Sol and its surroundings. The plaza was constructed in 1770 and is known as the largest Plaza in Central America. In this Plaza, there are the following features: street vendors, basketball courts, taverns, benches, and typical highland style houses built from stones, adobe and stucco.

La Unión

Photo of La Unión, El Salvador
La Unión, El Salvador: en.wikipedia.org

A high plateau 1,566 meters (5,209 feet) above sea level in El Salvador, La Unión is perfect for trekking, biking and hiking. Trails range from relatively short walks on the top of Cerro El Imposible to the 18-kilometer Panoramic Trail with a view over the El Salvador Valley, both of which can be easily reached from the trailheads. A number of mountain and volcano parks, such as Pojo Santo, the Montaña Pacífico and Alta Vista volcano, are open to the public and offer visitors the chance to explore the natural wonders of the area. There is a seasonal ski resort at Cachagua and two winter sports centers offering snowboarding and skating, as well as downhill and cross country skiing.

Plaza de la Libertad

Photo of Santa Tecla, El Salvador
Santa Tecla, El Salvador: en.wikipedia.org

Plaza de la Libertad, the square at the heart of the capital city of El Salvador, is perhaps the most impressive public space in Central America. Ranging from 320 by 300 meters, the square is enclosed by six blocks of buildings constructed with modest style and grace in colonial architectural style. In the center of the square, the grandiose marble La Basílica de San José, now a museum, was inaugurated in 1896. A series of symmetrical buildings, it is surrounded by large garden-like areas, each of which is a rectangle adorned by ornamental walls and fountains, lined with statues of different Biblical and historical figures. One is still occupied by the embassies of the United States and Spain.