In honor of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, which coincides with Independence Day of Central American Nations on September 15th, I decided to write a post of a charming, historical and quaint colonial town in my country of origin, El Salvador.
As you know, it has been and still is often overlooked, feared and very often avoided by tourists because of what is shown on television on a daily basis which is not always very positive but also because of its turbulent past (civil war).
After 5 or 6 trips, solo and with my family, I can personally attest that it really does not deserve all that bad press. The smallest country of the Americas definitely deserves more credit, attention and is well worth a visit. It has a lot to offer to both locals & visitors from all over the world. Salvadorans are kind, helpful even if you don’t speak Spanish well and they welcome you with a warm smile!
As I have previously shown you, El Salvador is a land blessed with mountains and national parks, splendid beaches, mysterious and ancient Mayan Ruins, active and impressive volcanoes, pristine lakes, art centers, pilgrimage sites, fantastic food and drinks, lively music (Cumbia) and so much more!
The town I would like to take you on a tour is called Suchitoto and it is located approximately 50 km north-east of the capital city, San Salvador. If you look at the photo above, you will see the arrow pointing towards it.
As soon as you arrive, you can’t help but feel as if you have gone back in time, as far back as the 16th century thanks to the cobble-stone streets, red-tiled roofs and most importantly,
Iglesia Santa Lucia
This building has withstood the test of time, the civil war and a few earthquakes! It is still standing tall and is the focal point as well as a reference landmark of the town. The church faces Parque Central where the fountain will simply stop in your tracks and will make you stare back!
Life runs at a different pace in Suchitoto. Merchants slowly open their art galleries, tiendas (small stores), and family-run restaurants without a rush. Even the tourist center where I dropped in to get a map opens after 8 a.m.
The staff on site is friendly, willing to answer any question you may have, they can prepare a route plan, suggest activities or places to visit. They are also curious to know where you’re from J
After having a great cup of coffee (mountain-grown & freshly roasted of course) and a slice of sweet bread straight out of the oven at a coffee shop, it was time to explore the area with la familia!
Allow me to take you on a visual tour of Suchitoto.
Entrance to the port / Turicentro Puerto San Juan
Traditional restaurant at the port
Wall décor inside the restaurant
Painting of the cobble-stoned streets around town
Decorative clay pots on the wall
Relics of the past
Bench with a beautiful view
Port of / Puerto San Juan
Gateway to Lake / Lago Suchitlán
We decided to go on a tour of the lake, so we had to wait for our transportation to arrive. Boat tours are offered to tourists from all over the world.
The boat you see on the photo was carrying passengers from France and they were happy to hear me speak French oui 🙂
After they had left, my family and went on board and we marveled at everything before our eyes. I just took a few photos before putting my camera down to truly enjoy the moment and the ride. I’m actually glad I did!
Close up view of mountains in Cabañas
It was an amazing day, in great company in a spectacular location. I am happy I got to visit this town and finally understood why a lot of people say that El Salvador is truly impressive and it sure is!
If you are ever in Central America and if you are unsure whether or not you should go or skip it, I definitely recommend including it into any itinerary! As usual, take the normal precautions and go with reliable transportation, relax and just go with the flow.
After all some of the best adventures are those that come spontaneously like I did! The great memories will stay with you…forever 😉
Until next time,
Felices viajes, happy travels!