Our Travel Notes: Exploring El Salvador with our Talented Makers

Our Travel Notes: Exploring El Salvador with our Talented Makers

During our time in El Salvador, we learned about our artisan partners’ unique craft. As they introduced us to the intricate art of handwoven textiles, we observed their time-honored techniques and discovered what drove their work. We left El Salvador with a deep appreciation for their beautiful products, and an even deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage behind them.

In the land of volcanoes and pristine beaches, we found a vibrant culture that filled both our hearts and our bellies. From singing karaoke at our artisan partners’ house to eating pupusas on a bustling  corner, we crafted the ultimate travel guide to El Salvador that will leave you loving it as much as we did. 

Embrace Local Culture and Traditions

  • Celebrate with Karaoke: One of our favorite ways we experienced El Salvador's warm hospitality was being invited to our handcraft partners’ home for karaoke night. We sang our hearts out–even when we did not know the words. 

Belting songs at the top of our lungs.

  • Learn Traditional Dances: Salvadoran culture is deeply rooted in music and dance. Whether it's salsa, cumbia, or the lively folk dance "El Torito," our favorite nights involved  us being guided to the rhythm of their favorite music.

  • Discover Artistic Murals: Walk through the vibrant streets of San Salvador and other cities to admire the beautiful and thought-provoking murals adorning buildings. These murals often reflect the country's history, culture, and current social themes.

Explore Natural Wonders

  • Marvel at Majestic Volcanoes: El Salvador is known as the "Land of Volcanoes," and for a good reason. Visit Santa Ana Volcano, the country's highest volcano, and hike up to its crater for a breathtaking view. Another must-see is the picturesque Lake Coatepeque, nestled within the caldera of an extinct volcano, offering a serene and scenic escape.

  • Relax on Stunning Beaches: El Salvador boasts some of Central America's most beautiful beaches. From the black sand shores of Playa El Tunco, popular among surfers, to the tranquil Playa El Zonte with its stunning sunsets. 

Enjoying the beach with our artisan partners.

  • Explore El Imposible National Park: This national park is a biodiverse paradise where you can hike through lush forests, spot exotic wildlife, and visit stunning waterfalls. 

Delight in Salvadoran Cuisine

  • Savor Pupusas: No trip to El Salvador is complete without trying pupusas, the country's beloved traditional dish. These delicious stuffed tortillas come in various flavors, such as cheese, beans, and loroco (a local flower). Pair them with curtido (pickled cabbage) and tomato sauce for an authentic taste. (If you haven’t tried the rice flour, you’re missing out.)

The best pupusas we have ever tasted: a daily experience. 
  • Indulge in Fresh Seafood: With its extensive coastline, El Salvador has a wide range of seafood dishes. Feast on ceviche, grilled fish, or seafood soup, all prepared with the freshest catch from the ocean. Don’t miss out on trying it on pizza! 

  • Discover the Sweet Quesadilla: If you ask for a quesadilla at a restaurant, it won’t be what you’re used to getting, it will be a soft, flaky, and subtly sweet pastry made from corn flour, butter, and cheese.

  • Treat Yourself to Enyucados: Made from grated yucca mixed with coconut and sugar, rolled into small balls, and served in a sweet syrup, we haven’t stopped dreaming about the Enyucados we bought from a street vendor in _____. 

Discover Historic Treasures

  • Explore Colonial Towns: Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Suchitoto, a charming colonial town with colorful houses and artistic flair. Explore its galleries, handicraft markets, and art studios.

Playing tourist in San Salvador.

  • Visit Mayan Ruins: El Salvador has a rich pre-Columbian history, and you can explore its ancient past at the Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site, often referred to as the "Pompeii of the Americas." This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the Mayan civilization.

  • Step Back in Time at Tazumal: Discover the Tazumal ruins in Chalchuapa, where you can witness impressive Mayan pyramids and well-preserved structures dating back to 500 AD. 

Traveling to El Salvador extended far beyond our usual tourist destinations. It was an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a culture that embraces visitors like family. We hope this travel guide inspires you to venture beyond the usual tourist destinations and immerse yourself in the warmth of El Salvador's culture. 

Sandra, our artisan partner in El Salvador.