What are some recommended activities to do in El Salvador?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

What to do in El Salvador?

El Salvador is a small but beautiful country located in Central America. Despite its size, it offers a wide range of activities that will keep any traveler busy and entertained. From exploring the country’s rich history and culture to enjoying its beautiful beaches and natural reserves, there is no shortage of things to do in El Salvador.

Whether you are visiting El Salvador for the first time, or you are a seasoned traveler, there is always something new to discover. From hiking in the country’s natural reserves to taking a coffee tour and surfing on its coast, El Salvador offers a unique and unforgettable experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Explore the country’s history

El Salvador has a rich history that dates back to pre-Columbian times. The country is home to many archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the lives of the indigenous people who once lived here. Among the most popular sites are the Joya de Cerén, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the remains of a pre-Columbian farming village, and the Tazumal, an ancient Mayan city that dates back to the 6th century.

In addition to its archaeological sites, El Salvador also has a rich colonial history that is reflected in its architecture and museums. The San Salvador Cathedral, for example, is a beautiful example of colonial architecture, while the National Museum of Anthropology Dr. David J. Guzmán offers a comprehensive look at El Salvador’s history and culture.

Relax on the country’s beaches

El Salvador is known for its beautiful beaches, which attract surfers and sun-seekers from around the world. The country’s Pacific coast is home to some of the best surf breaks in Central America, including El Tunco, La Libertad, and Punta Roca.

But even if you are not a surfer, El Salvador’s beaches offer plenty of opportunities for relaxation and fun. You can swim, sunbathe, or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery. Some of the most popular beaches include El Zonte, El Sunzal, and Playa El Cuco.

Hike in El Salvador’s natural reserves

El Salvador is home to several natural reserves that offer a unique opportunity to explore the country’s natural beauty and biodiversity. The Montecristo Cloud Forest Reserve, for example, is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including monkeys, toucans, and orchids.

Other popular reserves include the Los Volcanes National Park, which offers hiking trails and stunning views of the country’s volcanoes, and the Barra de Santiago Nature Reserve, which is home to sea turtles and mangrove forests.

Visit the country’s museums and galleries

El Salvador has a vibrant arts and culture scene, which is reflected in its many museums and galleries. The Museum of Art of El Salvador, for example, showcases the works of some of the country’s most talented artists, while the Tin Marin Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and activities for kids.

Other popular museums include the Museum of the Word and the Image, which focuses on the country’s social and political history, and the Museum of Popular Art and Culture, which showcases traditional crafts and folk art.

Learn about the country’s culture

El Salvador has a rich and diverse culture that is influenced by its indigenous roots, its colonial history, and its modern-day customs and traditions. One of the best ways to learn about the country’s culture is to attend a cultural event or festival.

Some of the most popular festivals and celebrations include the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in November and features colorful parades and altars, and the August Festival, which celebrates the country’s independence with music, dance, and fireworks.

Go surfing in El Salvador’s coast

Surfing is one of the most popular activities in El Salvador, and for good reason. The country’s Pacific coast is home to some of the best surf breaks in Central America, with waves that are suitable for both beginners and advanced surfers.

Some of the most popular surf spots include El Tunco, La Libertad, and Punta Roca. If you are new to surfing, there are plenty of surf schools and instructors that can help you get started.

Take a coffee tour

El Salvador is known for its high-quality coffee, which is grown in the country’s mountainous regions. Taking a coffee tour is a great way to learn about the coffee-making process and to taste some of the best coffee in the world.

Some of the most popular coffee tours include the Santa Leticia Estate Coffee Tour, which offers a comprehensive look at the coffee-making process, and the El Carmen Estate Coffee Tour, which includes a visit to a coffee roastery.

Visit El Salvador’s archaeological sites

El Salvador is home to many important archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the country’s pre-Columbian past. Among the most popular sites are the Joya de Cerén, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the remains of a pre-Columbian farming village, and the Tazumal, an ancient Mayan city that dates back to the 6th century.

Other important archaeological sites include the San Andrés Archaeological Site, which features ruins from the Mayan and Pipil cultures, and the Casa Blanca Archaeological Site, which is believed to have been the residence of a Pipil ruler.

Enjoy El Salvador’s gastronomy

El Salvador has a rich and diverse cuisine that is influenced by its indigenous, Spanish, and African roots. Some of the most popular dishes include pupusas, which are thick, handmade tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans, or meat, and yuca con chicharrón, which is fried yucca served with crispy pork.

Other popular dishes include ceviche, which is made with fresh seafood, and sopa de res, which is a hearty beef soup. To experience the best of El Salvador’s gastronomy, be sure to visit local markets and street food stalls.

Attend a festival or celebration

El Salvador is a country that loves to celebrate, and there are plenty of festivals and celebrations throughout the year. The August Festival, for example, celebrates the country’s independence with music, dance, and fireworks, while the Day of the Dead is a colorful celebration that features parades and altars.

Other popular festivals include the International Surfing Festival, which takes place in La Libertad, and the International Festival of Puppets and Marionettes, which showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Experience the nightlife in San Salvador

San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, is known for its vibrant nightlife scene. From trendy bars and nightclubs to live music venues and cultural events, there is always something to do in San Salvador after dark.

Some of the most popular nightlife spots include the Zona Rosa, which is known for its trendy bars and clubs, and the Centro Histórico, which is home to many historic buildings and cultural events. To experience the best of San Salvador’s nightlife, be sure to ask locals for recommendations.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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