What’s New

New Direct Flights Launch This Spring

Mexican-based airline Volaris has announced the launch of three new direct flights from the U.S. to San Salvador. Bi-weekly flights will launch in March from Los Angeles (LAX), in April from New York City (JFK), and in May from Houston (IAD), making El Salvador more accessible than ever with direct flights between 14 North American gateways and San Salvador’s Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport.


Suchitoto Named El Salvador’s First “Enchanted Town”

Suchitoto is the first city in El Salvador to be named a Pueblo Encantador, or “Enchanted Town,” by El Salvador’s Ministry of Tourism. The Pueblo Encantador designation is part of a project designed to showcase cities across the country as sustainable models for tourism. Candidates were evaluated on their aesthetic beauty, cultural traditions, infrastructure, and tourism offerings.

The impact of the Spanish colonial period is evident in Suchitoto’s romantic cobbled streets and beautiful balconies. As one of several picturesque towns along the Artisan Route with its own signature craft, Suchitoto exposes visitors to the ancient Maya tradition of indigo dying and offers workshops where visitors can learn how to dye scarves utilizing traditional methods.


Top Prize at International Tourism Fair

Continuing its presence at leading international trade shows, El Salvador Tourism attended the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) January 17-21 in Madrid and took top prize for best stand with its architectural representation of the colonial town of Suchitoto. FITUR Director Ana Larrañaga said the judges felt the tourism board’s representation of Suchitoto was “discreet, elegant, subtle and poetic.” The tourism board also showcased El Salvador’s signature cuisine at the fair by providing tastings of Salvadorean coffee and pupusas.

HOTEL SPOTLIGHT

Sal & Luz Boutique Hotel

Located in the heart of El Salvador’s capital, Sal & Luz is a short drive from the San Salvador Volcano. The seven-room boutique hotel has an open-space, modern design and features Le Petite Spa and AMAR Restaurant, showcasing traditional Salvadorean cuisine created from locally-sourced ingredients. Guests love the traditional breakfast of eggs scrambled with vegetables (huevos picados), cheese, fried plantains, mashed beans, and tortillas.

GETTING AROUND

Salvadorean Tours

Salvadorean Tours introduces visitors to El Salvador’s scenic beauty in a welcoming and professional atmosphere. Expert guides personalize each trip, seamlessly incorporating the country’s highlights while making smooth transitions from city to volcano to quaint mountain town to the coast. Visitors can choose from day tours and multi-day tours within the country or take on a longer trip combining El Salvador with Guatemala.

Q & A

Beatriz de Contreras

President, Salvadorean Chamber of Tourism - CASATUR

What is one off-the-beaten path activity visitors must try?

Visitors should acquire a taste of the Maya World in El Salvador. The Maya civilization’s enigmas and mysteries awakened a curiosity in a growing number of scientists, archaeologists, and visitors who travel to El Salvador to discover and learn the true history of one of the most brilliant cultures.

Visitors can go to Joya de Cerén, a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site and only known location where ordinary Maya houses have been preserved under the ashes of the nearby Laguna Caldera volcano. It is a sample of domestic architecture that can be clearly seen where archaeologists have had the chance to investigate the daily life of a MesoAmerican town.

San Andrés is a pre-Columbian site in the valley of Zapotitán where you can still visit the former acropolis with a grand plaza and pyramids. Archaeologists say this site is a “must” as it was once the capital of a Maya Kingdom that functioned as the area’s economic, political, and religious center with supremacy over other settlements in the valley.

In Tazumal you will find the Victory Stone, a monolith of Olmec influence, as well as Maya structures, tombs, and an area for what is believed to be a pre-Columbian ballgame. The site has a museum and a workshop for indigo dying as well.

What are the top three reasons travelers should visit El Salvador?

  • El Salvador is great like our people! Salvadoreans are known for their great hospitality. They are friendly, industrious, and creative people who are always willing to help anyone. They are among the nicest people in the world. That is what has earned El Salvador the nickname of “the country with a smile.” When Salvadoreans address visitors they will customarily do it in a formal way, using señor (sir), señora (mam) and/or usted.
  • It’s the country of short distances: Being a small territory, you can move to and from different tourism centers in a short time, such as beaches, volcanoes, lakes, colonial towns, cities, and archaeological sites.
  • Excellent weather: El Salvador has only two seasons, unlike other countries that have four. The wet season runs from May to October, and the dry season runs from November to April.

Where would you send a client to experience the rich culture of El Salvador?

Suchitoto is one of the country´s most charming and best-preserved colonial towns. It is very picturesque with cobblestone streets and grand houses with antique balconies, high roofs, and gardens. One of town’s most popular sites is Alejandro Cotto Memory Museum (Museo de los Recuerdos) where visitors can discover beautiful grounds, colonial architecture, great views of Suchitlán Lake, and classic fountains – not to mention the art collection of a man to whom we owe the preservation of Suchitoto´s history and culture. For those seeking a dose of outdoors, Suchitlán Lake gives the opportunity for a boat ride, but if you desire to hike, you can visit the 39-foot high Los Tercios Waterfall just a mile down the road. Towns nearby also offer history, natural beauty, and friendly locals who will chat and share their lives with you (so be sure to book a local, Spanish-speaking guide!).

What four words best describe El Salvador?

Situated at the heart of Central America, El Salvador is a destination with enormous advantages because in a small territory you find nature, history, culture and lovely people with special charisma, always willing to offer a smile. With 198 miles of Pacific coastline, El Salvador offers great surfing, as well as excellent landscapes accompanied by the best sunrises and sunsets.

el salvador in the News

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