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The 8 Best Things to Do in the South of El Salvador

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When most people visit El Salvador, they head straight to the capital, or to the beaches closest to it. But what many people don't know is, that when it comes to things to do in El Salvador, the south has so many great spots too! That's why we headed down to spend a couple of days in San Miguel to see what it was all about.


San Miguel is the second biggest city of El Salvador, and is about 3 hours away from San Salvador. With several hidden gems, this city and the surrounding area definitely deserve a visit. Here are the 8 best things to do in the south of El Salvador.


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Things to Do in El Salvador's South #1: The Central Market of San Miguel

Being that San Miguel is the biggest city in the area, it is the best place to keep as a home base while staying in the south. The city itself doesn't have so many sites, but it does have the biggest market in El Salvador. Exploring the vibrant markets is also one of the top things to do in El Salvador. 


The market is so big that I actually got lost- like really lost. I parked in a lot next to the market and started to walk around, until realizing that it was several square blocks. So make sure that if you park in a lot you physically save your exact location in your phone!

San Miguel Market, things to do in El Salvador

San Miguel has one of the biggest markets in the country.

But let's get back to the market. It is crowded and extremely chaotic, but a really fun experience to say the least! Let yourself get lost and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of these hundreds of outdoor vendors.


Want to book a place in San Miguel? Just check the map below for the different accommodation options:

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Things to Do in El Salvador's South #2: Moncagua

This place reminds us of the cenotes in Mexico! Moncagua features crystal clear waters and a cave inside. The property is well manicured, and has plenty of amenities such as lounge chairs, bathrooms, and food & drink options.


Have you ever gotten a foot pedicure? Well Moncagua has tons of these tiny fish in the pool that nibble at your feet (and it's free!).

Moncagua, things to do in EL Salvador

Moncagua is similar to the Cenotes in Mexico.

This little gem is located just 10 minutes outside of San Miguel, which makes it the perfect place to cool off from the chaos of the city. Entrance is just $1, and it is open from 8 am to 4 pm.


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Things to Do in El Salvador's South #3:  Conchagua Volcano

One of the best things to do in El Salvador is to explore one of its many volcanos, and Conchagua is definitely one you will want to check out. This volcano is 2 hours from San Miguel, located right near the most southern point of the country.


The fascinating part of Conchagua volcano is that you can go to the top and see three countries at once! The vista of the scattered islands in the turquoise waters is truly a stunning sight.

Conchagua Volcano, things to do in El Salvador

Getting here isn't as easy as you may think. A 4x4 is 100% necessary to drive up here. If you don't have one you will have to organize a tour in advance from the town of Conchagua, Amapalita, or La Union. We definitely suggest this as one of the most unique things to do in El Salvador.


Want to skip the hassle and book an organized tour? Here are a few fun excursions that you can sign up for.

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Things to Do in El Salvador's South #4: Playitas

Located just beneath Conchagua volcano you will find one of the most popular beaches in the area. Playitas offers 360 degrees of beautiful views. With the volcano behind it, and several islands across the horizon, you'll be sure to enjoy this small beach.


There are also a few restaurants set up here with local food, making it a great place to spend lunch. While in the area be sure to visit to small nieghboring town of Chiquirin, where you can also enjoy gorgeous views of Conchagua Volcano.

Playitas beach El Salvador
Playitas, things to do in El Salvador

Playitas is a beach in the South with amazing views around it.

Things to Do in El Salvador's South #5: Playa Las Flores

One of our favorite things to do in El Salvador is to explore its unique beaches. The locals speak of this spot as the most beautiful beach in El Salvador. Not to be confused with the other Playa Las Flores located in Central El Salvador, this one is located next to the larger beach town of El Cuco.


Playa las Flores is a black sand beach, and it is tucked away between cliffs. Although we were not lucky with the weather, we could imagine just how beautiful it would have been to be here on a sunny day.

Playa Las Flores, south of EL Salvador

Playa las Flores is one of the best beaches in El Salvador.


Things to Do in El Salvador's South #6: Playa La Ventana

This is a true hidden gem of the area. However, we have only seen pictures, and didn't have the opportunity to experience (just yet!). Playa la Ventana is just down the road from Playa las Flores. Make sure to visit here at low tide, because then you can access the cave!


Walk over to the arch and it will appear to be a giant window into the sea. If that isn't a reason enough to go, we don't know what is.


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Things to Do in El Salvador's South #7: La Laguna de Alegria

Just one hour north of San Miguel is a beautiful volcanic crater lake. La Laguna de Alegria is located in the small town of Alegria and has bright greenish blue waters. Surrounded by greenery, this is a great place to enjoy the beautiful nature of El Salvador.

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Things to Do in El Salvador's South #8: Mirador de las Cien Gradas

While you're in the area of Alegria, head over to the small town nearby! Here you will find a long rainbow colored staircase. Climb to the top for some spectacular 360 degree views of Alegria! This is truly a hidden gem, and has some of the best panoramic views in the country.


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Travel Planning Tools

Here are some useful tools that you can use for planning your upcoming trip!

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Local Rent a Car: for the best local car agencies

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Airalo is a company that offers E-SIM cards for almost every country in the world, to keep you connected during your travels.

Get Your Guide is a site that gathers tours from local tour operators for unique experiences around the world.

Radical Storage is a company that connects you to the closest luggage storage spots so that you can explore on your layovers, or for hotels that won't hold your belongings.


The south of the country is yet to be discovered by mass tourism, but definitely has plenty of the awesome things to do in El Salvador. We suggest coming here for 3-6 days to fully enjoy the area, and see what the area of San Miguel has to offer.


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