El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, and at the same time the most densely populated. Its nature is breathtaking; volcanoes, mountains, a large number of beautiful and hidden beaches and forests scattered throughout the country.
And although El Salvador has less protected areas than its neighbors, you can have beautiful nature practically to yourself - including untouched forests, active volcanoes and glistening lakes. The only place where you can meet a crowd is in Punta Roca, the most famous surfing spot in El Salvador.
Travelers tend to skip El Salvador because it is in the shadow of Guatemala and Costa Rica, and they are upset by the story of the civil war and gangster violence. But the war ended almost 20 years ago, and the crime, although serious, takes place almost exclusively between rival gangs; tourists are practically never involved.
Explore the capital of El Salvador and its sights. Stroll along the wide avenues, city parks, zoo and numerous museums. Be sure to visit its recognizable symbols - the National Palace, the water clock and the monument Divino Salvador del Mundo.
Head to the Joya de Ceren archeological site in the southwest of the country. It is under the protection of UNESCO, and hides the settlement of the Maya, which disappeared in the 6th century under large amounts of ash from the volcano Loma Caldera.
Hiking enthusiasts are directed to the Santa Ana department, which hides numerous mountain wonders. Here is the Cerro Verde National Park at about 2000 meters above sea level, which brings together the eponymous extinct volcano, and amazing flora and fauna.
A mecca for water surfing enthusiasts is located in the southwestern region of La Libertad, along the Pacific coast. If you prefer lounging on the perfect beach - visit La Paz in the central part of the Pacific coast. The Itapagipe Peninsula offers a peaceful holiday that includes fishing and gathering shells on the beach.
El Salvador has a tropical climate with only two seasons: the dry season (November to April) and the rainy season (May to October). The best time of year to visit El Salvador is at the beginning or end of the dry season, when it doesn't rain every day and the roads are in good condition. Then you would also avoid the holidays – Christmas and New Year - which means there are no crowds and prices are lower.
The people of El Salvador are known for their great hospitality. This is what earned El Salvador the nickname “the country with a smile“.