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Lake Coatepeque is located in the crater of a volcano, and has beautiful turquoise waters.

The 5 Best Places to Visit in El Salvador

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El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, and often gets overlooked. But despite its size, there is actually a ton of great things to do in El Salvador! Full of striking volcanos, gorgeous waterfalls, and black sand beaches, there is so much to explore. Here are the 5 best places to visit in El Salvador.


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Best Places to Visit in El Salvador #1: San Salvador

San Salvador is the capital of the country. So it's no wonder that this city is on the list of places to visit in El Salvador. Although it isn't our favorite place, we definitely think it still deserves a visit.


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San Salvador is the main hub of El Salvador, and where you will find that all international flights come from. It is in the center of the country, so it also makes for a great home base if you just have a few days on your trip.

San Salvador, places to visit in El Salvador

Some of the main highlights are the historical center and roaming around the giant markets that take over the city. If you plan on keeping this as your home base, we have some great day trips from San Salvador to share with you. Just check the article below for more info!

Chances are that if you're going to El Salvador, you will be in the capital at some point. Unlike many other capitals, San Salvador isn't one with a whole lot going on. However, if you decide to base yourself there, we have some fun things that are just less than

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Want to explore the best that the area has to offer? Do you have a short layover in San Salvador? Here are a couple of different tours that you can take.

Looking for a place to stay in San Salvador? Refer to the map below:

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Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates t0 fly to San Salvador. We've found flights as low as $36 from the US!

Search for a flight to San Salvador:

Best Places to Visit in El Salvador #2: El Tunco

El Tunco is one of the most popular places to visit in El Salvador, and even more-so with young tourists and backpackers.


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This small beach town has plenty of great restaurants, shops, and hotels for those that want to stay a few days. Not to mention there are some other great beach towns nearby for day trips.


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El Tunco is just 45 minutes from the capital, and can be reached by public transportation as well. Known for its great waves, it is actually home to Surf City, an annual surfing competition that brings surfers from all over the world.

El Tunco, best places to visit in El Salvador
El Tunco, places to visit in El Salvador
sunset at El Tunco, day trips from San Salvador

El Tunco is a backpacker's paradise.

But even if you don't like to surf, El Tunco is a great beach to go to. Characterized by striking rock formations on shiny black sand, it is really one of the best beaches in El Salvador.


Want to check out some of the best waterfalls in El Salvador? Well, Las Cascadas de Tamanique are just 20 minutes away as well!

Want to know about the hidden gem of Cascadas de Tamanique? When traveling through Central America, there is an endless amount of natural beauty, and this is a spot you don't want to miss.Between the giant volcanoes, turquoise seas, and lush jungle, it's no wonder this area of the world

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Want to take a tour to El Tunco or Tamanique Falls? Here are a few different ones that you can choose from:

Take a look at the map below for accommodation options in El Tunco:

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Best Places to Visit in El Salvador #3: La Ruta de Las Flores

La Ruta de Las Flores is one of the best places to visit in El Salvador for those that want to soak up the culture of El Salvador. 

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This is a stretch of land in the western highlands of the country. It is known for its delicious food and even more delicious coffee.


Each small town is unique in its own way, offering a variety of features such as viewpoints, labyrinths, and colorful street art.

iglesia Juayua, ruta de las flores
Concepcion de Ataco, best places to visit in El Salvador

La Ruta de Las Flores is the perfect weekend trip. Enjoy the famous food festival in Juayua, hike Siete Cascadas, or take a ride up to Los Ausoles. There are so many ways to enjoy the nature and towns alike of La Ruta de Las Flores.


Want to learn more? Well, we have a full guide for everything to do, where to stay, and what to expect while visiting this awesome region.

El Salvador isn't particularly known for its booming tourism. However, the country has so much to offer, and should not be missed when traveling through Central America. One of the most popular (and one of our favorite) areas to explore in the country is La Ruta de Las Flores.You may

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Limited on time and want to take a day trip to Ruta de Las Flores? Here are a few excursions that you can choose from:


Best Places to Visit in El Salvador #4: Santa Ana

This is the best place to stay in El Salvador for volcano lovers! Santa Ana is surrounded by several volcanos, many of which you can climb to the top. The city is cute, and the nature surrounding it is really breathtaking.

Santa Ana, places to visit in El Salvador

Just outside of Santa Ana also lies Lake Coatepeque. This unique place is a turquoise lake that is situated in the crater of a volcano. There are even plenty of restaurants, shops, and hotels right along the lake for you to spend a full day or even a weekend.

Santa Ana, day trips from San Salvador
Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador, Central America
Santa Ana El Salvador Volcano view
Lake Coatepeque in Santa Ana, El Salvador

Santa Ana is surrounded by amazing nature like volcanos and a crater lake.

Santa Ana is located just an hour and a half north of San Salvador, and an hour east of La Ruta de Las Flores. With its prime location for lots of places to visit in El Salvador, we really think it's a great place to spend a few days. Or you can make it your home base during your trip.


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We loved this city! That's why we've created a guide for all of the best things to do in Santa Ana, El Salvador.

Santa Ana, El Salvador is home to some of Central America's greatest landscapes and hidden gems. It is the second most populated city in El Salvador, and one of our favorite areas to visit in the country. There are so many great things to do in Santa Ana, El Salvador,

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Want to take a tour while you're in Santa Ana? Here are some fun activities that you can book beforehand.

Looking for a place in Santa Ana? Check below for the different options:

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Best Places to Visit in El Salvador #5: San Miguel

This is one of the places to visit in El Salvador that usually gets skipped! But we're here to tell you that San Miguel is definitely worth a few days of your time. 


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San Miguel is situated in the south of the country, a few hours away from San Salvador. The city itself doesn't have so much to offer per say. However, it is a great spot to keep yourself for some awesome day trips.


Take a ride over to Alegria for a stunning lake and a colorful viewpoint. Head south for the views from Conchagua volcano, or west for some of the best beaches in El Salvador.

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

Want to see all of the best things to do in San Miguel? Well we have a guide for the best spots to check out in the South of El Salvador, which you can check out by clicking the link below.

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

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Want to book a place to stay in San Miguel? The map below has all of the different options:

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El Salvador is definitely one of the most underrated countries that we have been to. This small corner of Central America is full of hidden gems, and can be explored best in one to two weeks.


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Now that you've seen some of the best places to visit in El Salvador, you can check out our other guides. Here we share plenty of other spots to check out throughout the country.


Ready to plan your trip? Well, with Scratch Your Mapa Travel Planning we can help you explore more, and even save money in the process! Want to learn more? Schedule your free consultation today.


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