"Ahuachapán – Gateway to El Salvador" Departamento de Ahuachapán by thelukey

Departamento de Ahuachapán Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 242 photos

The westernmost department of Ahuachapán is home to a rather large number of established and potential tourist attractions. Flower Route towns Apaneca and Concepción de Ataco enjoy what may very well be the coolest climate in all of El Salvador. The former also boasts some excellent restaurants, while the latter is home to one of the best arts/crafts shops in the whole country. Atiquizaya is home to an interesting collection of sculptures made mostly from scrap metal. The village of Tacuba is said to be an attractive mountain getaway. Many visitors leave the Parque Nacional El Imposible convinced that it is the best forest preserve in the country. Attractions on the coast include the beaches and mangrove swamps at Barra de Santiago and some ruins at Cara Sucia. The departmental capital isn’t home to any tourist attractions per se, but it is a relatively pleasant and relaxing city. The Laguna El Espino and many geysers are located nearby. This picture was taken at the Casa de la Cultura in Ahuachapán, an institution that is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in town.

Two nice lazy parks define the limits of downtown Ahuachapán; both the main plaza, located in front of the city’s cathedral, and its northern counterpart, situated alongside the municipal market, are good places to sit on a bench with the beverage of your choice and watch the rhythms of Salvadoran life play out in front of your eyes.

I might not recommend jumping in, but the Laguna El Espino west of Ahuachapán makes a nice backdrop for a decent lunch, available at a number of shorefront establishments. Take a 263 bus or an 11-AH microbus from Ahuachapán to get there.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:mountains, beaches, crafts, safe towns
  • Cons:too bad most of the rest of El Salvador isn't more like Ahuachapán
  • In a nutshell:El Salvador at its best
  • Last visit to Departamento de Ahuachapán: May 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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