In true Ariel fashion this post is waaaaaaaaay overdue. However, since I am going to Colombia in approximately ten days to visit our girl Mia I thought this would be the perfect time to recap on my some of my most recent trips. I visited El Salvador in November 2015 with my best friend Tatiana and her family. I had just quit my wedding planning job, I couldn’t find another job, and Chicago makes me queasy sometimes. It all seemed like the perfect reason to pack my bags for the week.
I spent a lot of the day at the airport filling out paperwork. United lost my luggage along with half of our flight. It was hella bogus. Tatiana’s dad and uncle stayed with me the entire time even though the process was long and tiring. I should also add that the airport was two hours away from where we were staying.
Once I was done with that mess we headed to the town of Quezaltepeque–where Tatiana’s family lives. The town was celebrating Dia de los Muertos and oh my God I wish I could describe this more-it was enchanting. There was music, vendors selling food, flowers and candy on the street, and people in every direction. The cemetery was so beautiful and colorful. It was definitely a celebration. I couldn’t grab more pictures since the sun was setting.
We woke up bright and early to take bucket showers (my first!) and headed to San Andres Ruins. This is one of the largest pre-Hispanic archaeological sites in the country, and it is named after the hacienda where the ruins were discovered. Excavation work began during the 1940s and is on-going.
Ceramics excavated from the site suggest that the city was an important trade center, with links to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. The whole site was buried by volcanic matter during the 1658 eruption of the Playon caldera.
After sweating out our blow-outs, hunger was kicking in. We had lunch and watched futbol at a small restaurant along Coatepeque Lake. Coatepeque is a volcanic lake situated about an hour from San Salvador. It is a beautiful, clean, and sparkling blue crater-shaped lake. We didn’t swim, but it was really just peaceful to look at.
This is where the vacation turns into my very own Zola soap opera. I’m not going to divulge too many details, but know there were stolen items, crazy El Savador cartel, guns, and an evacuation of our beach house in San Luis La Herradura. Before shit got real, here are some pics of our day:
We drove to surfer’s paradise known as El Tunco. This was probably one of my favorite days of the trip as we were just maxin’ and relaxin’ in this cute surfer’s town. This tiny town consists of just 2 streets and has got just about everything a surfer would want: surf shops, board rental, cheap places to eat, and cheap places to stay. The vibe is relaxed, friendly, and easy-going.
Days 5 & 6:
Obviously, Tatiana has family in El Salvador so we spent much of this day hanging with them and eating papusas. We might have visited a coffee bean plantation–I honestly can’t remember the order or what we did those days, but here are just some other fun pics from the trip 🙂
Flights to El Salvador are relatively cheap and since the country is small, six days is more than enough time to see a majority, if not all of the country. In the future I would add a day or two and drive to Guatemala. El Salvador takes the US dollar so you don’t have to worry about exchanging your money. Beer is about $1 and a full meal with fish, meat, rice, and salad will cost about $7. We stayed at the home of Tatiana’s family so I can’t comment much on accommodation. El Salvador is in a post Civil War state and you can tell as much of the country lives in poverty and there is a military/police presence EVERYWHERE.
Next Week I’ll take you to Toronto.