One of the most beautiful itineraries you can make in El Salvador is La Ruta de las Flores – the flower route. This route runs from Sonsonate to Ahuachapán and is known for its many coffee fields, waterfalls and small villages with flowers, murals, markets and nice shops. I loved this area so much that I ended up spending a full week here. In this article I will tell you everything you want to know about La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador, with tips for things to do, tours, transportation, hotels and restaurants, so that you can get the most out of your stay.
- Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador
- Mini travel guide Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador
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Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador
Different villages, such as Nahuizalco, Salcoatitán, Juayuá, Apaneca, Ataco and Ahuachapán are part of La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador. The area is known for its coffee plantations and flowers. Especially around May, this flower route turns fully white because of its many blooming coffee flowers. If you have the time, it is nice to visit La Ruta de las Flores with your own car, because there is a lot to do and this way you can stop where you want. But of course it is also possible to book a tour or a hotel in one of the villages of La Ruta de las Flores and explore the area from here. Have fun with my tips for La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador.
Nahuizalco is one of the villages that is part of the flower route in El Salvador. This lovely village is known for its wicker handicrafts, daily fruit and vegetable market and little white church. Nahuizalco is also one of the few places in El Salvador where you can still see people of indigenous origin – the pipil – walking around in traditional costume.
It is recommended to walk into a local workshop and see how people work with reed. It is also interesting to enter the church. If you’re lucky, the bell ringer will open a door and walk you to the roof of the church for a view of the village. On the market you will be amazed by all the products and get an impression of everyday life. Moreover, people actually like it when you take pictures.
The ceiba tree of Salcoatitán
During your visit along the Ruta de las Flores, make a stop at the ceiba in Salcoatitán. This impressive tree is more than 350 years old and located on a small square at the entrance of the village. The ceiba tree played an important role in Mayan times. The Maya saw this tree as an important connection between the underworld, the present and the upper world.
Juayua is a small and quiet village, located in the mountains along the Ruta de las Flores El Salvador. It means in the native Nahuatl language: Place of the purple orchid. The Santa Lucia church dominates the plaza and there is a nice atmosphere. Especially on weekends, when it is crowded with local visitors.
At the weekly food market, taking place on Saturdays, you can taste local dishes. Several stalls are set up and serve traditional dishes such as soups, yuca with pork, seafood, pineapples with rum and tamales. For the real local experience, you want to hop on one of the colored buses, with flashing lights and latin music coming out of the speakers, and drive around the village.
The waterfalls route
Do you want to see 10 different waterfalls in 2 hours? Along La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador you can make a spectacular hike along waterfalls: La Ruta de las Siete Cascadas. With a local guide you walk through a tropical area with flowers and trees, through the river past seven waterfalls. The highlight is the ascent of a 55-meter high waterfall. Yes really, you climb over the rocks of the waterfall, with your bare hands and your shoes on. Quite nerve-racking but once you are at the top, you actually want to go back and do it again. After the hike of the seven waterfalls, you’ll continue the trail past coffee plantations to the three waterfalls of Chorros de la Calera. Here you can take a dip and cool off a bit from the sweaty hike.
As you can read, this tour is definitely not for everyone. Do not even think about starting this tour, if you are afraid of heights or have any physical limitations. But if you’re fit and up for a bit of adventure, this is one of the things not to be missed. Go out with a professional guide, listen carefully to the directions and keep in mind that you will get quite wet and dirty. A professional and nice guide is Eduardo Perez Mendoza. You can contact him via instagram or whatsapp: +503 7081 3554.
This walk is best combined with an overnight stay at Casa 1800 in Los Naranjos. Or book a hotel in Juayua. Both villages are about half an hour’s drive from the starting point of the walk. Curious about more hotels in El Salvador? In the next article you will find an overview of my favorite boutique hotels in El Salvador.
Laguna Verde is one of the best places to visit when you are around La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador. This lake is surrounded by mountains and lots of greenery and is located near the village of Apaneca. It is a nice place to walk, picnic or go on a boat trip. The area is also known as an important wetland because of the many bird species and waterfowl that nest there.
Laguna Verde can be reached by car or bicycle. But the best type of transportation is the buggy that takes you from Apaneca to the lake within 20 minutes. Along the way you pass villages and coffee plantations. Even if you are not that adventurous, the buggy tour around La Ruta de las Flores is highly recommended! Of course there is a guide who joins you during the tour.
Do you also want to make a buggy tour around La Ruta de las Flores? Here you will find prices and availability.
After your visit to Laguna Verde, make sure to take a look at Apaneca. This village is located at an altitude of almost 1500 meters, which gives it a pleasant climate. Even though this village does not have many attractions, it gives a nice picture of local life. Walk past the church, the wall paintings and the large mosaic that you will find halfway up the main street.
Adventure park – Café Albania
Looking for some adventure and adrenaline? Make sure you head to Café Albania. This small theme park has a somewhat old-fashioned character, but that’s what makes it fun. You can zipline, make freefalls, swing spectacularly, walk through a labyrinth and cycle through the air over coffee plantations. The views are pretty amazing from above.
Concepción de Ataco
For years this has been a popular place for El Salvadorans and their families. And that is for a good reason. Ataco is the nicest villages of La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador. There are cobbled streets, a plaza with a church, cute restaurants, shops and lots of colorful street art.
Walk through the streets, enjoy the atmosphere and take a seat on the lovely plaza. Especially on weekends it is bustling here with live music and market stalls. Also visit the small art gallery Hermanus Fabrus. Here you will find works by brothers and artists Fabio y Bruno Jiménez, who have painted many murals in El Salvador. You want to have lunch at Jardin de Celeste, located in a tropical garden where you can enjoy delicious dishes.
Ataco is located 45 minutes from the border of Guatemala – Las Chinamas – a great way to continue your journey towards Guatemala. Curious about Guatemala? In the next article you will the best things to do in Guatemala.
Learn more about coffee
Did you know that El Salvador exports fantastic coffee? There are many coffee plantations along La Ruta de las Flores. And where you have many tours around coffee plantations in a country like Colombia, in El Salvador you can visit small factories as well, showing you a different part of the process. It is really recommended to visit one of them and learn more about the industry. I myself visited El Carmen, where more than 5 million kilos of beans are processed every year. The quantities are smaller than in the surrounding countries but due to the high quality, El Salvador can compete well with its neighboring countries.
During a visit you will see how the beans are washed, sorted, dried by hand and then selected. I found it interesting to hear that the very last step is done by women, because they are known for being better, to distinguish colors and therefore able to remove the last bad beans.
Between November and March, the 100-year-old factory El Carmen is dedicated to the process of washing, drying and selection. During the rest of the year everything is packed and prepared for export. As in many other countries, most of the coffee goes abroad. Only 10%, remains for the local market. Of course you can taste the coffee yourself after the tour. El Carmen is a nice place, which is still visited by few tourists. Something that makes your visit extra special.
Mini travel guide Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador
Hotels along La Ruta de las Flores
Casa 1800 Los Naranjos
Looking for a nice place to stay surrounded by greenery and countless birds? Casa 1800 Los Naranjos is located on a mountain near the village Los Naranjos. What started as a restaurant, grew into a true hotspot, where many visitors come to take a picture on the platform with the famous chair, overlooking the Izalco volcano.
Nowadays there are also rooms to book. And not just any rooms: Three beautifully decorated cottages, including a large terrace with unforgettable views. With a clear sky you look straight at the Izalco and Santa Ana volcano and even the Pacific coast .
Check out the latest prices and availability for Casa 1800 Los Naranjos here.
Casa Degraciela Ataco
Casa Degraciela is one of the nicest hotels in Ataco, located along the flower route in El Salvador. The former hacienda has been transformed into a stylish boutique hotel and is located right next to the plaza of Ataco. From your room you are within 1 minute on the main square with the nice stalls and shops.
Casa Degraciela consists of several rooms, located around a courtyard with a fountain. The rooms on the first floor are the most beautiful, with a master bedroom, including king-size bed and bathroom with jacuzzi. A second room opens onto a spacious balcony overlooking the patio. In the evening everything is beautifully lit.
The breakfast is extra nice. Everywhere in the garden there are pergolas and tables where you can take a seat and enjoy delicious breakfasts.
Looking for more hotels along the flower route in Ataco in El Salvador? Here you will find an overview.
How to visit La Ruta de las Flores
You can easily visit La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador with your own car because it gives you the freedom to stop where you want. But of course you can also book a tour to the flower route or book a hotel in Ataco, Los Naranjos or Juayua and explore La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador from here. Sonsonate is a 2.5 hour drive from San Salvador and Ahuachapán 2 hours and 45 minutes. The different villages are located between these two towns.
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Tours along La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador
This is an overview of tours that go to La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador.
- Ruta de las Flores Full Day tour
- Ruta de las Flores Full Day + hotsprings tour
- Buggy tour Apaneca + Laguna Verde
- More tours in El Salvador
El Salvador is a hidden gem with beautiful beaches, shimmering lakes, volcanoes you can climb, national parks and pretty colonial villages. In the next article you will find the best things to do in El Salvador, including tips for hotels and culinary and cultural experiences.
How many days along Ruta de las Flores
This completely depends on your own interests. You can easily make a day tour from San Salvador. But I would recommend to take more time and book a hotel in one or two different villages. That way you can really experience the villages and see much more of the beautiful surroundings. As you probably have read, there is a lot to do and experience.
More hotels in El Salvador
In every country I look out for the most beautiful and unique place to stay. Interior design, a nice atmosphere, a lovely setting and good service are important topics for me, when choosing a hotel. In addition, I like to support the locals and love a sustainable approach around a hotel. Are you curious about my favorite hotels in El Salvador? In the next article you will find an overview of the best boutique hotels in El Salvador.
More about El Salvador
Did you enjoy reading this article with tips and things to do for La Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador? El Salvador is a small country in Central America with so much to offer. Let me take you on a journey along the most beautiful destinations and things to do in El Salvador. In the next article you will find my travel guides with lots of inspiration and tips.
- Best things to do in El Salvador
- El Salvador itinerary
- Suchitoto El Salvador – a travel guide with tips and things to do
- Things to do in San Salvador – a comprehensive travel guide
- Santa Ana city guide
- Conchagua volcano – everything you want to know
- Boutique hotels in El Salvador
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