Volcano Complex Cerro Verde National Park, Chalchuapa
Are you visiting El Salvador for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Sivar.

When I have a visitor from out of town, the first place they want to see is Playa El Tunco and Sunzal, but I also take them to Paseo El Carmen to go out at night and Suchitoto – for a more local, authentic experience.

When I want to escape the crowds and tourists, my favorite place to visit is the beach areas in the east of the country – Las Flores y Los Mangos.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Hotel Los Almendros de San Lorenzo in Suchitoto for kissing with a view.

The best place to walk the dogs are the cobblestone streets of Suchitoto or the beautiful muraled areas of Ataco or La Palma.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit Museo de Los Niños Tin Marín.

plantains, el salvador

Plantains photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

El Salvadoran Food

If you are looking for typical Salvadoran cuisine, I recommend- trying pupusas all over the country, especially in the local fairs and markets.

coffee plant, concepcion de ataco, el salvador

El Carmen Estate Coffee Beans photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

If you love coffee, you are in for a treat! The best coffee is found all over El Salvador as it is their top export. It tastes even better when experienced at Beneficio del Carmen’s coffee estate.

Looking for cheap food in El Salvador, the most delicious and least expensive food may be found at the local markets and fairs all around the country.

Basilea, next door to the Hilton Hotel, in Zona Rosa in San Salvador, is the spot for late night dining and a fun local party ambiance Thursdays through Saturdays.

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Esperanto restaurant in San Benito San Salvador.

Lake Coatepeque, cerro verde, santa ana, el salvador

Lake Coatepeque photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

Seeing a lot of volcanos? El Salvador is best known for their national parks, beautiful, pristine beaches and quaint colorful towns.

When you come to El Salvador, get your picture taken on the top of a volcano at Cerro Verde with views of Lake Coatepeque and Volcano Izalco.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of the volcanos, overlooking the lights of the city at night in El Talapo Azul in Planes de Renderos and la Plaza de Volcan. Punta Roca La Libertad offers great views for one of the annual surf competitions or the day of Farolitos in Ataco y Ahuachapan.

el rosario church, san salvador, el salvador

El Rosario Church photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

In El Salvador, outdoor lovers will want to hike, bike, horseback ride and walk all over the country…

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the Parque Bicententario in San Salvador or hike around the San Salvador Volcano in Parque Boqueron.

After a day of water adventures of surfing and kayaking, Las Flores resort is the best place to go for a spa treatment.

If you are a museum lover, the best museum is MARTE in San Salvador. Of course, you’ll want to visit Joya De Cerén Archaeological site – a UNESCO World Heritage site. What makes this site unique? It’s because there is no other site in mesoamerica where you can see how regular people used to live.

Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at Paseo El Carmen (just on the outskirts of San Salvador in Santa Tecla) or La Libertad for nightlife at the beach for live music.

In El Salvador there are only 2 seasons- summer -dry season (November to April) and winter- rainy/ green season (May- Oct). In the summer the cultural experience of the processions of Semana Santa can be experienced in the towns of Izalco and Sonsonate.

el malecon, la libertad, el salvador

El Malecon La Libertad photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

Inside Tip:
I’ll bet you didn’t know that El Salvador has the best waves in the winter time? Surf competitions, typically held in La Libertad beach area at Punta Roca, are one of a number of world-class surf breaks. For additional insider tips follow @Nancydbrown on Twitter and @esimpressive.

If You Go
I flew from San Francisco, California non-stop to San Salvador on Avianca Airlines. To learn more about El Salvador visit the official website http://www.elsalvador.travel I was a guest of the tourism counsel while researching additional travel stories. Article, photos and videos are my own, as are my opinions.