This trip combines small, friendly mid-range hotels, offering private bathroom and reasonable facilities , with comfortable but not luxurious restored colonial houses. Some are family-run and all offer a friendly and homely welcome.
Travel mostly by road; 1 boat trip.
Breakfast daily, lunch on days 6,10; dinner day 5.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• El Boquerón volcano.
• El Tazumal archaeological site.
• Route of the Flowers excursion.
• Coffee plantation tour.
• Cerro Verde National Park visit.
• Chocolate plantation tour.
• Pupusa workshop – making El Salvador’s national dish.
• Half day boat trip on the Gulf of Fonseca with lunch.
• Perkin: Peace Museum.
• Perkin: local hike.
• Perkin: El Monzote visit.
• Joya de Cerén archaeological site.
• Cinquera National Park walk.
• San Salvador city tour.
• La Libertad fish market and lunch.
Summary of nights
11 days, 10 nights: San Salvador 1; Ataco 2; Jiquilisco Bay 1; La Union 1 ; Perkin 2; Suchitoto 2; La Libertad 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and water transport.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities.
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions.
The unit of currency in El Salvador is the US dollar.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in San Salvador, Ataco, La Union, Suchitoto and La Libertad: taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip and in many shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), and possibly some travellers’ cheques as an emergency back-up, though these are increasingly falling out of use. (American Express cheques are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused.
Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
There are no really long days of travel on this trip. The longest day’s journey may take about 5hrs, but you will make a number of stops on the way. Roads are generally in good condition but some are unpaved and bumpy and less used routes may have potholes. Signage on major roads is good, less so on minor roads. Many people speak a little English but a smattering of Spanish will stand you in good stead.
If you have a disability that we need to be aware of, please contact us.
El Salvador has a tropical climate where the sun is strong but temperatures rarely excessive, with an all year average of 28°C and little variation throughout the year. Those travelling to the coast and lowlands Mar- May should encounter higher temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity. The ‘official’ rainy season is May-Oct, and in Sep-Oct there maybe longer periods of rain.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable shoes are important and sandals are sometimes appropriate. A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are necessary. You should take a light fleece for cool nights and a breathable/waterproof outer layer and/or umbrella, as well as swimwear, a travel towel, insect repellant and a torch. If you plan to go to good restaurants or out for evening entertainment, you might bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).
Please get in touch with the Journey Latin America office before departure if you have any doubts.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements such as malaria prophylactics. For admission to the Galápagos a yellow fever certificate is required for anyone over 1 year old coming from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Clients with a different nationality should enquire or check with the Ecuadorian Consulate.
Esta - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.