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El Salvador Tours and Activities

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Highlights of San Salvador City

Highlights of San Salvador City - San Salvador, El Salvador

Duration: 4 to 5 hrs
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

From USD
$63.00

Explore the highlights of the city with a native of San Salvador. Important monuments and historical spots, main avenues, commercial and residential districts watching landmarks and monuments that commemorate relevant historical figures and events.
Many public buildings in El Centro where made during the golden age of coffee exports with a wide mix of architectural styles: Classical, Renaissance, Art Nouveau, Gothic, Neo colonial, Arab, etc ... More info ›

Explore the highlights of the city with a native of San Salvador. Important monuments and historical spots, main avenues, commercial and residential districts watching landmarks and monuments that commemorate relevant historical figures and events.
Many public buildings in El Centro where made during the golden age of coffee exports with a wide mix of architectural styles: Classical, Renaissance, Art Nouveau, Gothic, Neo colonial, Arab, etc. With the recent renovation Downtown is nicer and safer than ever to walk. Different business are boosting out and has become the place to be.
Walk this streets learning details events that occurred on this very place over almost 500 years of history and the people that took part in it. From colony to Independence. From the Federation to the Coffee Republic. From military regimes to democracy. From repressions to big celebrations. 
Tour duration: 4h

San Salvador is the second largest metropolitan area in Central America behind Guatemala city and was (re)founded on the current location in 1545. Since it has been the historical, economical, social and political center of El Salvador. During almost 500 years this city and its people had faced earthquakes, invasions, revolutions, celebrations always rising from the ashes to become an eclectic and vibrant metropolis.


Start your exploration at El Centro, the Old City, walking among the main historical plazas: Libertad, Morazán y Barrios (Main Square), learning about the struggles, events and people this monuments on this places commemorate. There's always something going on in Downtown: public events, streets performers, some noisy street preacher or even political or cultural displays. After the most recent renovation walking in downtown is easier and safer than ever. Even after dark when the new lightning of the historical buildings is turned on. Continue with a visit to the impressive El Rosario church, one of the most enigmatic buildings as well one of the best samples of the Brutalist Architecture in Latin America. José Matías Delgado, our nation's Founding Father is also buried in this church, together with 21 protesters repressed on the streets of San Salvador in 1979.


Another important historical spot in our program is the massive Metropolitan Cathedral, built along more than 40 years. Was in this temple where our beloved Archbishop Oscar Romero addressed many of his speeches denouncing the state's repression and where his body lays. No visit to Cathedral would be complete without visiting Romero's tomb which was a pilgrims destination since his death in 1980. World leaders had come to this place to pay honor to Romero's universal legacy. Enjoy panoramic views of historical buildings such Palacio Nacional and Teatro Nacional (Opera House) and Central Bank's Library built with an exquisite style, with the finest imported materials, during the boom of coffee exports on the early XX Century.


But not all is history and old buildings. In Downtown you will relax watching locals passing by while enjoy a steamy cup of fresh Salvadoran coffee or toast with a domestic craft beer in one of the recently restored buildings (or have an order of pupusas later on). Then continue along main avenues on a panoramic tour watching important monuments such as the Civil War Victims Memorial in Parque Cuscatlán; the 1944 Revolution and El Salvador del Mundo Monuments while we drive through commercial and residential districts as Colonia Flor Blanca, Escalón, San Benito, Zona Rosa and Santa Elena.

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Archbishop Oscar Romero, Voice of the Voiceless

Archbishop Oscar Romero, Voice of the Voiceless - San Salvador, El Salvador

Duration: 5 hours
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

From USD
$55.00

Archbishop Óscar Romero is the most universal Salvadoran. His life legacy transcends generations since his assassination in 1980, according some independent investigations, perpetrated by Far-Right Death Squads ... More info ›

Archbishop Óscar Romero is the most universal Salvadoran. His life legacy transcends generations since his assassination in 1980, according some independent investigations, perpetrated by Far-Right Death Squads. During his ministry he used his position to speak against poverty, injustice, repression and human rights violations. That's why he was always known as The Voice of the Voiceless.
San Salvador is full of spots related with the life and work of our beloved Monseñor. Almost 40 years after his martyrdom Romero is being named a Saint for the catholic church.
This program is intended to pay homage to his legacy of love and justice visiting important historical spots and learning about the human side of Romero and his final resting place.

Tour duration: 6 - 7h

1977, Oscar Arnulfo Romero is named San Salvador Archbishop, the highest rank and head of the Salvadoran Catholic Church. This position gave him the voice to denounce abuses from different sides, calling the world's attention for his courage and struggle in favor of the poor and the repressed. This made him the target of attacks from conservative sectors until his death in 1980 in La Divina Providencia Hospital chapel, shot by a sniper.
Just days after his murder, on the steps of Metropolitan Cathedral tens of attendants to Romero's funeral died when the crowd began to be attack by armed squads. Since then the body of Romero lays within the main catholic church of El Salvador. His tomb had became a pilgrims destination where also Leaders of the Free World and Heavy Metal icons had stopped to pay respect to Saint Romero's legacy.
La Divina Providencia is a little hospital private-run by nuns. It was here where Romero decided to live in a humble flat, close to those he loved: the poor... the needed... the suffering. Was also in the chapel where he was shot right after the Sacrament. You will visit his chambers and see how this great man lived, his personal belongings and relics as the clothes he was wearing the moment of his martyrdom.
Continue to Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, a private project that cares the largest collection of priceless pictures and recordings of the history of El Salvador, including a personal collection of slides and photos Romero took during his last years.

The moving Monumento a la Memoria y la Verdad pays homage to thousands of victims of human rights violations during Civil War. Little later arrive to Básilica del Ságrado Corazón where Romero addressed his unforgettable speech “...Stop repression!”. Not far from here we is the heart of Downtown: Plaza Barrios (Main Square), where his funerals ended in the dead of attendants. Just across the street raises Metropolitan Cathedral, silent witness of many historical events. In its crypt, the resting place of a Saint: Romero's tomb.
From Cathedral we walk towards Plaza Libertad -the oldest public square in town- and visit the enigmatic El Rosario church, with its singular artwork and also historical spot and National Monument.
From downtown we head to UCA, a private university, to visit Centro Cultural Mons. Romero, dedicated to the memory of the Archbishop but also many other members of christian churches victims of human rights violations, including 6 jesuit priests killed here in 1989 by the Salvadoran Army.

End the day having a light meal: plato típico con frijolitos, the favorite dish of Romero in the house of a close friend of his: Mrs. Chacón, and hear personal stories of Romero's life.

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GOURMET COFFEE EXPERIENCE IN RUTA DE LAS FLORES

GOURMET COFFEE EXPERIENCE IN RUTA DE LAS FLORES - San Salvador, El Salvador

Duration: 9 hours
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

From USD
$150.00

Coffee is the main crop of El Salvador and grows on vast fields at the shadow of active volcanoes, on a perfect mix of climate, elevation and volcanic soil. Apaneca mountain range is formed by near 12 volcanoes, some still active ... More info ›

Coffee is the main crop of El Salvador and grows on vast fields at the shadow of active volcanoes, on a perfect mix of climate, elevation and volcanic soil. Apaneca mountain range is formed by near 12 volcanoes, some still active. Also known as Ruta de las Flores, is a popular destination not only for coffee lovers but for the rich culture, history, traditions, gastronomy, magnificent landscapes, fun things to do and warm smiley locals. On the hills between Ataco and Apaneca where our partners grow micro-lots of Strictly High Grown coffee and where you'll meet our barista. Dive into a sensorial experience: of aroma and taste, taste your coffee on different brewing methods. Enjoy savory treats made with fresh ingredients in perfect pairing. It's not just a coffee tour. It's an experience. 

Depart from your hotel in the morning heading to the Western region, crossing busy urban areas and fertile valleys, always with some volcano at sight. Ruta de las Flores is 36 Km road that winds through the mountains between Sonsonate and Ahuachapán provinces. Set in the highlands of the Apaneca mountain range the area is a favorite among foreign and local tourists alike.

Sunday is market day in Nahuizalco, when farmers (mostly women) come from countryside to sell their fresh crops and products at the Tianguis, as their ancestors did for hundreds of years ago. Nahuizalco has one of the largest indigenous communities of El Salvador and at the market is common to see old ladies wearing colorful traditional costumes. Up the road we reach Salcoatitán, home of the god Quetzalcóatl, the Feathered Serpent which can be seen at the foot of the mighty ceiba. Off the main road we reach Juayúa -Place of Purple Orchids- Here we visit Santa Lucía's church (known as Black Christ's), the largest in Ruta de las Flores and the colorful Main Square. If you're traveling with kids, Juayúa is home of a cool Reptile House, with many different species of snakes, lizards, chameleons, iguanas and even tarantulas. Pretty cool. Along the road we stop on a mirador overlooking the coffee fields with the line of volcanoes on the distance. Welcome to the heart of coffee country. Minutes later we cross the village at the highest elevation of El Salvador, Apaneca. Not far we reach Bosque Tayúa, in the middle of some of the most fertile coffee farms and springs. Here you'll meet the star of the day, your barista who will take you on a journey for your senses around this wonderful cherry/bean. The next few hours you will be knowing details of the process: growing and roasting as well de origins and history of coffee. Know different brewing methods paired and served with savory treats cooked locally and fresh. At the end you will close your experience with a sweet dessert served with coffee, of course!
Driving down the road we reach one of the top tourist destinations of El Salvador: Ataco. A lovely mountain village with traditional cobblestone streets and colonial style architecture. Walk the charming streets watching the colorful murals and bright colored facades. You can get souvenirs and handcrafts here. There's plenty to choose from. End your day with a panoramic view of Ataco from Mirador Cielito Lindo.

Tour duration: 9h

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Hike active Izalco volcano, one of the youngest in the world

Hike active Izalco volcano, one of the youngest in the world - San Salvador, El Salvador

Duration: 8 hours
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

From USD
$69.00

The story says ancient sailors used the explosions of Izalco volcano as a guide while sailing along Salvadoran coastline during the day, and the glow of the lava at night. That's why it was named as The Lighthouse of the Pacific.
Izalco was formed on the side of the neighbor and taller Santa Ana volcano spewing flows of lava during almost 200 years of continuous eruption until it stopped in 1959 ... More info ›

The story says ancient sailors used the explosions of Izalco volcano as a guide while sailing along Salvadoran coastline during the day, and the glow of the lava at night. That's why it was named as The Lighthouse of the Pacific.
Izalco was formed on the side of the neighbor and taller Santa Ana volcano spewing flows of lava during almost 200 years of continuous eruption until it stopped in 1959. Since then it has been dormant but with signs of activity on the crater, with jet streams of water steam from underneath.
Izalco is one of the youngest volcanoes in the world and a pretty good challenge for hikers. Is not the distance walked but the slope and terrain. You walk in the dense cloud forest and then switch abruptly to bare sharped volcanic rock with no vegetation around. And steep. But the view from the top is the best reward.

The hike to Izalco volcano starts on Cerro Verde's visitors center. Here you'll find services such toilets, cafeteria and handcrafts.
After few directions from park's authorities we start our hike which may be divided in 4 stages:

  • Stage 1: walk Cerro Verde down. Pleasant hike in the cloud forest along steps carved on the ground. Some occasional wild life may be spotted. The only concern may be the shock on the knees (please note it).
  • Stage 2: you get out abruptly from the forest just to face an enormous pile of rocks waiting to be walked to the top. The terrain is rough, with loose sharp rocks and massive basalt boulders. As you walk the trail becomes steeper and some steam coming beneath the rocks tells you're almost on the top! Once there, recover you're breath and circle the crater. On clear day you can watch the Pacific Ocean, Coatepeque lake and valleys, villages, mountain ranges and volcanic belts in El Salvador and Guatemala.
  • Stage 3: Walk Izalco down. Watch your step but don't forget to watch the different solidified lava flows that form the skirts of Izalco. Also watch up for any rolling stone.
  • Stage 4: Walk Cerro Verde up... al the way up because the near 1,500 steps you walked down earlier seem steeper. And they're steep but once you reach Cerro Verde's visitor center you can proudly say VINI, VIDI, VINCI.

Note this hike is tougher than most of hiking destinations in El Salvador. Not for technical nor the elevation but for the slope which is very steep on both sides, Izalco and Cerro Verde. Hydration, adequate footwear and clothing, sun/rain protection and trekking poles are always recommended.
Not suitable for people with breath diseases, asthma, heart, blood pressure or mobility problems.
Following Park's Rules, all hikes must be joined by local guides and officers of Tourist Police branch trained and ready to respond on any case of accidents, evacuations, rescues and First Aid

Distance walked: 8 Km
Actual walking time: 3h 45m
Top elevation: 2,019 mt
Lowest elevation: 1,627 mt
Total ascent: 691 mt
Total descent: 676 mt

At the end of the walk you'll have the reward and satisfactions of hiking 2 volcanoes in one day. Way to go!

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San Salvador and Panchimalco City Tour

San Salvador and Panchimalco City Tour - San Salvador, El Salvador

Duration: 6 hours
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

From USD
$68.75

Dare to feel in touch with the cultural roots of El Salvador, starting in San Salvador. The city with greater political, economic, social and demographic importance, where you can understand the way of life of most Salvadorans ... More info ›

Dare to feel in touch with the cultural roots of El Salvador, starting in San Salvador. The city with greater political, economic, social and demographic importance, where you can understand the way of life of most Salvadorans. Then go to one of the oldest pre-Columbian cities of the country, Panchimalco. Colorful, art, history, natural beauty and friendly people, which also houses on its streets a peculiar church.

You will begin this tour in the heart of the country's capital. You’ll learn about the history of El Salvador through the most emblematic monuments of San Salvador, including El Salvador del Mundo, the monument to the revolution and Cuscatlan Park. You will learn about the trade in the city, and will finally reach the historic center to admire the famous Metropolitan Cathedral, where the remains of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero are located.

Walk through the neighborhood's square, appreciate the architectural beauty of the National Palace and the National Theatre, and finally visit the freedom square, where in 1545 the expansion of the capital began. Lastly, you will visit El Rosario Church, a real architectural jewel.

You will continue the journey south, passing through Th Devil's Door (beautiful rock formation), reaching Panchimalco. This is a colonial town where art and culture meet. There you learn about Miguel Angel Ramirez, a citizen who has transformed the youth through painting and sculpture, you will have access to the House of Culture where you will meet one of the last artisans specializing in waist looms . The tour will end in the Holy Cross Church of Rome, a historical jewel that has survived time since its founding in 1730.

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Private Transfer from or to Monsenor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport

Private Transfer from or to Monsenor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport - San Salvador, El Salvador

Duration: 60 minutes
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador

From USD
$16.99

Start your visit in El Salvador in an easy, easy-to-make way with our private transportation service. Enjoy the tranquility of your transfer to your chosen destination ... More info ›

Start your visit in El Salvador in an easy, easy-to-make way with our private transportation service. Enjoy the tranquility of your transfer to your chosen destination. One of them will be waiting for you to leave the international airport of El Salvador and will take you directly to your lodging hotel or your private residence.

Start your visit in El Salvador in an easy, easy-to-make way with our private transportation service. Enjoy the tranquility of your transfer to your chosen destination. One of them will be waiting for you to leave the international airport of El Salvador and will take you directly to your lodging hotel or your private residence.

Relax and enjoy the trip as you go to your chosen destination, in a sedan vehicle.
Private door-to-door transfer service from El Salvador International Airport (SAL)
Enjoy a private and accessible transport and avoid the stress of taxis or buses. Our representative will be waiting for you with a sign with your name for easy identification.

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