El Salvador stubbornly remains off most travelers' radar, overshadowed by its more famous neighbors Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. But this excellent destination has numerous subtle charms plus a warm, friendly people who often take first-time visitors unexpectedly. And since its away from the beaten track, it remains relatively untainted by tourism. El Salvador would be the smallest country in Central America only 124 miles long from end to end-and its diminutive size, coupled with some with the best
paved roadways in Central America, imply trips to including the most far-flung reaches never take many hours to attain. Here are five great reason to check out this under-the-radar country.
Interesting Archaeological Sites
El Salvador doesn't always have spectacular Mayan ruins like Tikal in Guatemala or Copan in Honduras, but there are a few interesting archaeological sites that happen to be certainly worth an outing. At Tazumal and San Andres, possibilities are a lovely afternoon wandering one of the remnants of Mesoamerican settlements. But the real treasure is Joya de Cerén, a few miles from San Andres. Called the “Pompeii from the Americas” this UNESCO World Heritage Site supplies a fascinating glimpse into Mayan life-style, such as the foods they ate, the crops they grew, along with their social structure. About 1,500 years ago, the Laguna Caldera volcano erupted and buried the village with a thick layer of volcanic ash. Like Pompeii, the new ash perfectly preserved the village, because of the clay urns with food still inside. But unlike Pompeii, the locals all had the perfect time to escape (no bodies have already been excavated). So while archeologically stunning, the website isn't quite as dramatic because moniker suggests. There are no descriptive signs or placards, so visitors should use a guide.
One of El Salvador's best-kept secrets is its miles of lovely beaches, with the very best surfing on this planet. The epicenter of surfing here will be the port capital of scotland- La Libertad and also the surf spot Punta Roca, an excellent right break with long, powerful barrels. If you're not into your water, stroll around the boardwalk and look at the restaurants, the amphitheater, plus the little shops across the wharf.
Just in the road, the funky little beach city of El Tunco is really a favorite among backpackers and surfers-bring your own personal hammock and you could rent a hook for just a dollar an evening. The town is just a couple of square blocks however it's packed with small hotels (of each and every price range), bars, restaurants, and surf shops that offer everything needed escape on the waves, including instructors. Just off El Tunco's black sand beach is Sunzal, an extended right point break that’s great for long boarders and surfers of most levels.
Fresh Seafood and Pupusas
Thanks for the country's long coastline, fresh seafood is front and center on menus around the world. All in the ocean's bounty is fair game this is all delicious and also fresh: fish, crabs, lobster, clams, oysters, shrimp, snails, octopus, squid, as well as a type of black clam called conchas by locals. La Libertad includes a wonderful seafood market that extends entirely out on top of the pier. Friendly fishermen sell the catch-of-the-day next to their boats, a great idea is there early. It doesn't read more typically Salvadoran than the usual plate of fresh, hot pupusas-fried mesa full of beans, cheese, and/or chicharron (pork skin), topped that has a healthy dollop of curtido (pickled cabbage) and spicy tomato sauce. It's suitable for any meal, but it’s best for an early supper.
Hiking for Everyone
A string of volcanoes (22 in every, a variety of them still active) run right the way through the middle on the country, in addition to their upper slopes are similar to a siren song for serious hikers. But since the peaks are fairly low-El Pital, the nation's highest peak, rises only to 8,950 feet-it's simple for novices to savor any number of easy climbs and breathtaking views. El Boquerón, just away from capital city, has easy, well-tended trails that get you right up to your crater's lip. National parks like El Imposible, Montecristo, and Cerro Verde offer serious hiking by having a variety of terrains.
Arts and Crafts
The shops and markets in El Salvador are actually overflowing with locally produced arts and crafts. Local artists from Guatajiagua still create plates, jugs, and bowls with similar techniques because their ancestors-they tint their pottery which has a black dye created from common seeds. Just east of San Salvador, San Sebastián is renowned for its hammocks as well as other woven goods. La Palma, from the north, was obviously a refuge for artists throughout the civil war and is also now most popular for the colorful designs of Fernando Llort.
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