Take Your Pick
Chalchuapa, El Salvador
Tallest Pyramid in El Salvador
Tazumal - Tazumal contains the largest pyramid in El Salvador (roughly 75 ft tall) and is the nation's most important, most impressive and best restored Maya ruins. The Mayas occupied this site between 100 and 1200 AD in a city roughly three square miles. This archaeological area is called Chalchuapa (also the name of the town), which includes Tazumal, Casa Blanca, Pampe, Trapiche, and Las Victorias. In addition to the large pyramid, several tombs and smaller pyramids make up Tazumal. A small museum is on location and showcases dozens of magnificent artifacts including, bowls, headdresses, sculptures and a life-size statue of Xipe-Totec originating from Mexico.
La Libertad, El Salvador
Pompeii of the Americas
Joya de Ceren - Often referred to as the "Pompeii of the Americas", because just like the Roman town-city of Pompeii, Joya de Ceren was buried under a blanket of volcanic ash. The eruption that buried this small agricultural village occured around the turn of the 7th century and must have happened rather suddenly. Farm equipment, half-eaten food, eating utensils, and even a duck tied to a string were all left behind and buried by ash. No human remains were ever found though. Walking around the site today visitors will discover many "petrified" structures that clearly depict ancient Maya farm life.
Panchimalco, El Salvador
Salvadoran Artwork
Casa Taller Encuentros - Your visit to Panchimalco should include a stop at the Casa Taller Encuentros indoor/outdoor art studio. This is the workshop of painter Miguel Angel Ramirez, known worldwide for his images of innocent-eyed Salvadoran children. It is also an art school and studio for low-income children and young adults. The studio contains dozens of impressive works of art including sculptures, paintings, photographs and carvings.
San Andres, El Salvador
San Andres Ruins
San Andres Ruins - Located in the in the valley of Zapotitan, the San Andres Ruins are some of the largest and most interesting Maya structures in the country. Early occupation of the site dates back to around 1000 BC when this area was primarily an agricultural town. The town was abandoned around 250 AD due to volcanic activity and reoccupied two hundred years later and went on to become the regional capital. Walking around the ruins you'll find seven significant archeological structures; with the grass covered structure one being the most impressive. Excavation continues to this day and there are areas where you can easily see where newer temples were built on top of older ones.
San Marcos, El Salvador
Monument of the Peace Accords
Monument of Peace - Created by famed Salvadorian sculpture and architect Ruben Martinez, the Monument of Peace (Monumento Cristo del La Paz) depicts Christ holding a dove in one hand and motioning the symbol of peace with the other. Unveiled in 1994, the sculpture represents the reconciliation between the government led military and the FLMN who fought a Civil War from 1980 to 1992. The statue of Christ is made from melted down guns and armaments of both sides of the war. You'll pass the monument as you go to and from the airport and San Salvador.
San Salvador, El Salvador
El Minimum Vital
Alberto Masferrer - Born in the small village of Joy in eastern El Salvador, Alberto Masferrer (1868-1932) went on to become the nation's most loved philosophic poets and writers. His essays include "La Religion Universal" and "El Minimum Vital" in which he created his own doctrine called "Vitalismo", the belief that all men are entitled to a basic standard of living, through equal access to education, work, food, and shelter. These being provide by the community. Masferrer was for the most part self-educated, although he received some formal schooling, and believed in a simple life. In fact his dying words were, "simplicity, simplicity, simplicity".
San Salvador, El Salvador
Largest C.A. Soccer Field
Estadio Cuscatlan - Soccer (football) is the number one sport in El Salvador, Central America and most of the world. And El Salvador's national football team plays at the largest stadium in Central America and the Caribbean, the Estadio Cuscatlan. Completed in 1976, the enormous stadium holds 45,000 people and has a 130 foot HD LED screen to catch all the action. The national team has never won the FIFA World Cup, but it did make it to the finals in 1970 and 1982.
San Salvador, El Salvador
The Edge of Wide Mouth
Volcanoes - The small country of El Salvador has more than its share of volcanoes, 22 to be exact. The tallest and most iconic is Santa Ana in the NE part of the country. Santa Ana reaches 7,812 feet into the pale blue Salvadoran sky and last erupted in 2005. Just to the west of San Salvador is the landscape dominating San Salvador Volcano with its three peaks Jabali, Boqueron (wide mouth) and El Picacho. At the summit is El Boqueron National Park, where visitors can climb to the edge of this 1,475 deep and 3 mile diameter "wide mouth". The caldera once held a large lake, but after the 1917 eruption only a small cinder cone remains.
San Salvador, El Salvador
A Stunning Cathedral
Iglesia El Rosario - The outside of Iglesia El Rosario has the look and feel of a WWII concrete bunker that's fallen into disrepair. Don't be deceived by the outside though. Inside this great wonder the afternoon sunlight pours through stained glass windows igniting everything in a pastel rainbow of colors. It is a glorious sight. Designed by Salvadoran born architect Ruben Martinez and completed in 1971, the interior is unobstructed by columns allowing visitors and parishioners a clear view from every angle. In addition to the stained glass in the arch of the church, the back wall features "The Eye of God" looking in. Sculptures of iron and concrete throughout the cathedral depict the trial, crucifying and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Military History Museum
Military History Museum - Housed in the former Salvadoran Army's headquarters (El Zapote), the Military History Museum (Museo Militar) chronicles the turbulent history of El Salvador's Military. The medieval structure was built in 1895 and each room is filled with rifles, land mines, missile launchers, anti-tank weapons, uniforms and even artwork. The exhibits focus primarily on the nation's Civil War (1980-1992) with artifacts from before, during and after. A copy of the war's Peace Accords are on display. At the entrance and the interior courtyard are an assortment of military tanks, trucks, jets and helicopters. There's even the "Pope Mobile" which Pope John Paul II used when he visited on two separate occasions.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Liberty Park or Parque Libertad
Liberty Park - In and around Liberty Park (Parque Libertad) is the best place to get in touch with the "true" San Salvador. The park features a large monument to liberty, plenty of benches to relax on, and a bunch of well manicured plants and trees. Walk in any direction and you will find interesting sights and people. Be sure to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior, Iglesia El Rosario, open air markets and take a ride on the "chicken bus". The park and streets are bustling with vendors and it's a great place to pick up anything you need.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Pupusa Time
Pupusas - Breakfast, lunch and/or dinner is a great time to have a few pupusas. A pupusa is a thick hand-made corn tortilla filled with your choice of cheese, pork, beans, or zucchini. My favorite is a combination of cheese and pork. The pupusa is then topped with fermented cabbage (sauerkraut essentially) a little salsa, and eaten with your hands. To me it tastes like a home-cooked German meal of dumplings and sauerkraut, but this meal is 100% Salvadoran. El Salvador even celebrates the little tortilla with its own holiday, The National Day of the Pupusa held every second Sunday in November.
San Salvador, El Salvador
World Class Shopping
Shopping - San Salvador has more shopping malls than any other city in Central America. These aren't everyday run-of-the-mill strip malls; these are ultra-modern, high-end shopping complexes with stores like Louis Vuitton, Armani, and Cartier. The top San Salvador shopping malls include the Multiplaza Mall, Galerias, Metrocentro, El Paseo and La Gran Via. La Gran Via is the newest shopping center featuring 60 stores, a multi-plex theater and dozens of restaurants. The area is also a night time gathering place for visitors and locals to enjoy live music and great food.
San Salvador, El Salvador
La Divina Providencia
Monsenor Romero - Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez (1917-1980), commonly known as Monsenor Romero, was a popular and somewhat outspoken Priest of the Roman Catholic Church. On March 24, 1980 he was assassinated while celebrating holy Mass at "La Divina Providencia". Members of a Salvadoran death squad pulled up in a car and fired directly into the chapel, killing Monsenor Romero as he ws elevating the chalice at the end of the Eucharistic rite. Just a day before Romero had called on soldiers as Christians to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out the government's repression and violations of basic human rights. The chapel is a popular location to reflect on the sacrifice of this great man.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Devil's Door with Socko
Devil's Door - The Devil's Door (Puerto Diablo) is a natural break on the rim of a volcano that offers a majestic view of the town of Panchimalco several thousand feet below. A strong storm in the late 1700s caused a landslide that collapsed the mountain and left this rugged landmark behind. For the energetic, there are numerous step-filled walking trails that are guaranteed to leave you winded and impressed by the views. The Devil's Door is also a favorite spot for young lovers who want escape the heat of San Salvador (the elevation keeps it cooler), have a picnic, and do young lover things. The door is located about 9 miles south of San Salvador just beyond Balboa Park.
Santa Ana, El Salvador
Santa Ana Attractions
City Square - Even being El Salvador's second largest city with a population of nearly 300,000, Santa Ana retains a quaint feel and a small town charm. The city square is where you'll find some of the city's most stunning structures; the opulent twin-towered Cathedral de Santa Ana whose construction began in the 1500s; the renaissance inspired Teatro de Santa Ana which attracts over one million visitors a year; and the Colonial styling of the City Hall with its picturesque inner courtyard. All of these surround Parque Libertad, a gathering place for locals, tourists and sock monkeys.