4 Reasons Why This Underrated Country Shocked Me The Most On My Trip To Latin America 

4 Reasons Why This Underrated Country Shocked Me The Most On My Trip To Latin America 

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El Salvador was one of many greatest surprises after I spent round 4 months touring round Latin  America this spring.

The nation is so typically skipped due to unhealthy media protection and misconceptions, however I by no means felt unsafe and was actually blown away by this stunning, misunderstood nation. 

oatepeque lake in el salvador r

It’s been mentioned that the nation of El Salvador would be the subsequent large vacationer hotspot for Latin America, and with increased flights from the U.S., it’s clear that is beginning to occur. In my time there, I didn’t encounter too many different vacationers, particularly People.

That’s to not say individuals don’t come, as 2022 introduced 2.5 million guests to the nation, a quantity which signifies that their tourism business is sort of working at 100% once more after the pandemic. 

Those that find out about El Salvador are doubtless hikers or surfers because the coast is gaining increasingly consideration for its laid-back surf vibe and epic swells, and the volcanos and peaks supply nice mountaineering. I used to be there for neither, deciding as an alternative to relax and discover the capital metropolis of San Salvador and close by points of interest. 

@jjacktravels 5 BEST Locations To Go to In El Salvador! ???????? #elsalvador #travel #tiktok #nature #worldwide #explore ♬ Feel This Moment – Pitbull,Christina Aguilera

The individuals of El Salvador will doubtless profit from a rise in tourism {dollars}, however I’m so glad I bought the possibility to go to El Salvador before the masses descend upon it and the tourism inflow modifications its authenticity endlessly. 

4 Causes Why El Salvador Shocked Me The Most On My Journey To Latin America:

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Tourist boat cruises the waters of the beautiful volcanic caldera Lake Coatepeque in El Salvador. Central America

Security Vs. Statistics 

As a rustic with a historical past of gang violence and identified for having one of many highest crime and murder charges on the planet, I used to be greater than a bit skeptical about visiting El Salvador.

Nonetheless, all of the vacationers that I met thought my Central America journey spoke extremely of it (as they did about Honduras additionally), particularly once they heard that folks have been planning on skipping El Salvador. “Don’t Skip El Salvador” turned a standard phrase we heard in our travels, so we listened and went to search out out for ourselves. 

El Salvador has gone by a current (considerably controversial) crackdown on gang violence, and whereas it’s made worldwide information for its mega prisons and considerably questionable moral practices, there isn’t a denying that it has made the nation safer. We spoke to many locals who had nothing however reward for the brand new lifestyle. 

Izalco Volcano from Cerro Verde National Park, El Salvador.

In spite of everything, this county was actually managed by violent gangs for years, a truth which is obvious if you discover all of the middle-aged males going about their every day lives with lacking limbs, a sobering sight in a rustic that’s attempting to rebuild itself after years of hardship. 

Whereas there may be stage 3: Rethink Journey U.S. journey advisory for El Salvador, it appears a lot of the crime you would possibly encounter can be gang-related, and due to this fact not an outward menace to vacationers. Even strolling round downtown San Salvador appeared safer than many cities in America, and though I wouldn’t exit at night time or alone, I by no means felt unsafe within the daytime. 

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Heat and Welcoming 

Whereas I used to be apprehensive about visiting El Salvador, one factor I used to be not nervous about was the individuals. In our touring all through Latin America, we had heard many tales in regards to the individuals of El Salvador being the nicest of all of the nations, and I’m inclined to agree.

I’d say we met extra locals right here than we did in neighboring nations, however in fact, that doesn’t imply Guatemalans and Nicaraguans should not additionally beautiful as effectively. 

One occasion that stands proud in my thoughts is once we bought right into a minor automotive accident in an space outdoors of San Salvador, in a neighborhood by which I wouldn’t usually counsel spending an excessive amount of time in. The harm was minimal, however the younger man who hit our van clearly had no cash to pay on the spot (as we discovered is widespread observe there).

With a purpose to get transferring, we lastly provided to pay the corporate for his damages, and the feelings and tearful responses that adopted have been heartwarming and honest, to not point out all of the locals got here to test on us and supply meals and water. 

I truthfully felt so effectively taken care of in El Salvador that I’d not hesitate to return in a heartbeat and discover extra, particularly the Pacific coast, which we didn’t have time for on this journey.

Salvadorian dancers perform during the Flower & Palm Festival in Panchimalco, El Salvador

Pure Magnificence

When a rustic carries the nickname of the Land of Volcanos, you understand you’re in for some severe landscapes, and El Salvador doesn’t disappoint on this space. Most come to hike the well-known Santa Ana volcano, and whereas I didn’t try this, I met many who had nothing however good issues to say about it. 

As the one Central American nation that doesn’t border the Caribbean Sea, the county makes up this with its famed browsing spots on the Pacific aspect. I used to be particularly impressed by the clear waters of Lake Coatepeque, having by no means been in a crater lake inside a volcano earlier than. 

@chereneo #elsalvador???????? #itinerary #travelitinerary ♬ As It Was – Harry Styles

Apart from the volcanos, craters, and lakes, the small cities dotting the countryside are a most important draw right here. I used to be fortunate sufficient to journey alongside the favored Ruta De Flores and noticed highlights comparable to Nahuizalco, Juayua, Apaneca, and Ataco, all charming and bustling with life. 

One other spotlight that you could’t miss is Succhitoto, the county’s previous capital metropolis and some of the well-persevered cities in all of Central America. I didn’t keep just a few days right here however wished I had, wandering the cobblestone stress and gazing into the man-made lagoon of Lago Suchitlán simply outdoors of city.

Colonial Town Of Suchitoto In El Salvador, Central America

USA Pleasant 

As considered one of El Salvador’s most important financial and political companions, America is held in excessive regard right here. That is evident in the way in which by which they deal with American vacationers and the quantity of El Salvadorians who’ve both returned residence from residing within the U.S. or have household in america. 

The alliance with America is very noticeable for those who have a look at migration components; when the nation was ravaged by an virtually 12-year-long civil conflict, virtually 50 % of El Salvadorians traveled to america to hunt refuge. 

The official forex in El Salvador is the US Greenback, though remember most are unlikely to just accept $50 or $100 payments, so small notes are a should when touring right here. One factor that personally shocked me was the quantity of Sacagawea Golden {Dollars} I noticed getting used daily. My native good friend defined to me that since People didn’t need them and refused to make use of them, they have been all despatched to El Salvador. 

Whereas my four-month journey working as a digital nomad round Latin America was filled with surprises, El Salvador is one nation that deserves particular point out.

If you’re pondering of a Latin America journey or simply on the lookout for an underrated excellent spot for a vacation, I’ve to repeat the well-known mantra, please please do your self a favor and “Don’t Skip El Salvador” 

A sidewalk street vendor waits for a customer to sell one of his colorful hammocks to passersby on a busy street San Salvador.

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