From Lush Gardens To Black Sand Beaches: 10 Reasons To Visit El Salvador
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

From Lush Gardens To Black Sand Beaches: 10 Reasons To Visit El Salvador

El Salvador
Jasmine Osby
Jasmine Osby Apr 27, 2022

El Salvador is a beautiful country, definitely worth adding to your travel bucket list for a bunch of reasons. The Central American country borders the water, giving the perfect combination of beach vibes and tropical vastness. Like most southern regions, the country is also full of majestic Mayans teleporting visitors back into a colonial land before their time.

From lush gardens and active volcanos to towering waterfalls and luscious valleys, there are a plethora of reasons to visit El Salvador. Here’s a list of a few things to look out for when you’re visiting the destination.

1. Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park


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Like Pompei, Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park is the preserved remains of a pre-Hispanic farming community that was buried under the eruption of the Laguna Caldera in 600 AD. The remains give insight into Central American life and civilization long before the conquistadors arrived. 

If you love history and experiencing true culture, Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park is definitely a reason to visit El Salvador. The park is protected under national and international laws and treaties to ensure the long-term preservation, conservation, and protection of the park.

2. Jardin Botanico La Laguna


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Described by visitors as a welcoming and calm oasis, Jardin Botanico is a small garden at the base of a volcano in El Salvador. Although it isn’t as large as some botanical gardens, Jardin Botanico maintains a considerable level of prestige among botanists and plant connoisseurs. 

The garden is filled with over 3,500 varieties of flowers from around the world as well as El Salvador’s national tree, the maquilishuat, and izote its national flower. There is also a plethora of wildlife in the garden like gigantic iguanas, exotic birds, and terrapins. If you enjoy lush green spaces, the Jardin Botanico La Laguna is an excellent reason to visit El Salvador.

3. Santa Ana Volcano

El Salvador is quickly becoming a favorite destination for backpackers and hikers. One of the reasons many visit El Salvador is to climb to the top of the Santa Ana Volcano. The country’s tallest and most active volcano, the ascent to the top is an incredible journey that takes you past many nature scenes and a breathtaking view. 

The journey to the top takes about 4 hours and provides a view of the lake and many cities. There are buses in Santa Ana that take you to the volcano and coordinate with tour guides to take you to the top.

All tours are escorted by an armed police officer to protect against potential bandits who’ve been known to rob hikers walking alone in the past.

4. El Zonte Black Sand Beach


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A more calm atmosphere than the popular El Tunco Beach, El Zonte is a beautiful black sand beach perfect for surfing, swimming, and photo opts. The beach is near a small town and has a very relaxing vibe for laying out and chilling under the sun. 

El Zonte has plenty of waves, so if you’re a surfer, this is another great reason to visit El Salvador.

5. Waterfalls of El Salvador

El Salvador is full of amazing nature scenes that are untouched by commercialization and development. One of the most beautiful things in the country is its incredible display of waterfalls. They can be found all over El Salvador and are a perfect reason to visit the Central American country. 

One of the most popular waterfalls in El Salvador is the Salto de Malacatiupan. Not is this waterfall towering and majestic, but it also is a natural hot spring. The water flows down the cliff and into separate pools between rocks to create hot spring jacuzzis for visitors to enjoy. Other notable waterfalls in El Salvador are the Cascadas de Tamanique, Siete cascadas, and La Ruta de Las Flores.

6. Visit the Devil’s Door

If you take a 45-minute drive from San Salvador, you’ll find Puerta del Diablo or the Devil’s Door. A massive valley in the Cerro Chulo mountain, the Devil’s Door has a legendary and historic past.

According to legend, a man named Planes Renderos had a daughter so beautiful that she attracted the eye of the Prince of Darkness. The girl’s father forbid the courtship and hunted down the Prince of Darkness through the woods. It is said while running away, the Prince knocked a hole in the side of the mountain, creating la Puerta. 

Although that’s just a story, what is known about Puerta del Diablo is that it was used as a sacrifice site for the original settler and 75 thousand people were killed by the government in the valley during the El Salvadorian Civil War. Now the lush, green valley attracts hundreds of visitors each year looking to climb its tall walls. 

7. Art Museum of El Salvador

For the art lovers heading to Central America this summer, the Art Museum of El Salvador is exactly where you need to be. The museum features rotating exhibitions that track the development of many local artists. It is free and open to the public on Sundays.

8. Check Out A Coffee Plantation

El Salvador is one of the biggest producers of coffee in the world, and the plantations that grow it each year are all along the coffee route. The coffee season starts in October and runs until March, so you can take a tour of a coffee plantation if you visit the country during this time. 

Coffee production is a major part of El Salvador’s history and culture. The Salvadoran National Palace was paid for with funds from imposed taxes on local coffee farmers, and is often called the Coffee Palace. Aside from experiencing true coffee production from the ground, you’ll also be able to sample this delicious coffee fresh from the source on your tour.

9. Mayan Ruins

Mayan ruins can be found all over Central and South America, and El Salvador is no different. The country was home to the southernmost settlements of the Mayan civilization and is sometimes forgotten in comparison to ruins in Mexico and Guatemala.

A few Mayan ruins worth checking out on your visit to El Salvador include Joya de Cerén, Tazumal and San Andres.

10. Lake Coateque Caldera

Created by the neighboring Santa Ana Volcano, Lake Coateque Caldera is located south of Santa Ana and has an altitude of 745 miles above sea level. The lake is 50,000 years old and attracts on average 5,000 visitors per month. 

More than 20,000 people live around the lake and the clear blue water cascading between the green hills is truly a sight to behold.

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