El Salvador’s landscape is breathtaking, with volcanoes and mountains offering “green” adventurers just what they are looking for. Many environmentally-oriented community organizations promote ecotourism, and a number of beautiful and secluded beaches and forests are scattered throughout the country.
A well-maintained and almost deserted national park lies to the west, at Bosque El Imposible. There is also the cloud forest of Montecristo and a picturesque fishing village with incredible local hospitality and remote coconut islands at La Isla de Méndez. Isla de Olomega in the department of San Miguel is an excellent ecotourism destination, as is the beautiful Isla El Cajete in Sonsonate, Isla San Sebastian, Conchagua, Conchaguita, Isla Conejo, Isla Teopan and Isla Meanguera.
Also worth visiting are the colonial towns of Apaneca, Juayua, Panchimalco and Suchitoto, as well as the Mayan sites of San Andrés, Joya de Cerén (the Pompeii of Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Tazumal, whose main pyramid rises some 75 feet in the air. The on-site museum displays artefacts from the Pipil culture (the builders of Tazumal) and paintings depicting life in pre-Hispanic El Salvador. Souvenir lovers will find some of the best artisans in San Juan el Espino and La Palma (the arts and crafts capital of El Salvador).
The capital San Salvador is a cosmopolitan city with good restaurants serving the country’s fresh seafood, as well as plenty of shopping, entertainment and nightlife.
San Miguel, to the east, offers tourists a more authentic way to see El Salvador, getting off the beaten track and discovering the countryside, the coast and the lakes.