My Unforgetable week in El Salvador,
September 25th to October 1st, 2013
June 12th, 2013 by Oscar Castaneda for Balaam EcoAdventures
“Flying from Belize to El Salvador in the evening as the sun flirts with the peaceful skies overlooking this volcano from my window seat was the warmest welcome to a great destination with so much to offer as I was soon to find out.”
My arrival was a little tiresome as I had been up at 5:00am on September 25th, flying into San Salvador at 6:20pm. Not knowing what lay ahead I was excited about my one week FAM Trip to El Salvador by invitation from Centromype, Asotur and Beatriz Contreras of Universal Tours from El Salvador;all to whom am eternally thankful for the invitation and adventures and memorable experiences for a lifetime.
Not only do I have new friends in such a great destination but I fell in love with the people, the food (got a little fluffy not fat, with excellent meals and pupusas), the history, city tour, nature, the beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, buggy adventures, coffee cultivation, processing and tasting.
I now have a new perspective towards coffee and am now culturized about coffee, expresso, capucino, frapuccino and its like savouring and getting an acquired taste for wine tasting.
I had my first expresso experience at Entre Las Nubes restaurant and coffee shop, therefore am technically not an expresso virgin anymore! We even got a personalized tour from the owner of this popular hot spot in Route of the Flowers.
My first night was awesome exploring the night Life at San Teckla not far from San Salvador which has an upbeat night life in a relaxed atmosphere. Our first dinner was at Teckla Pub and Grill and the food is to die for and with fabulous company from my new El Salvador friends.
I cannot forget to mention the live music with modern lyics and relaxed ambience and even requested my favourite song which le Artist so gracefully interpretted for mauh.
Coffee was definitely on my list first thing the next morning as two of my colleagues and I decided to make the most of our short “working vacation” and explored some of the city to get better acquianted and to get our bearings.
Which reminds me that I need a "real vacation" with no phones, laptops, emails and just 200% relaxation and of course no thinking! Oh Yeah. Omg were we in need of very strong coffee and some red bull! What can you say boys will be boys and have clean safe fun.
Learning about organic community based grown coffee was the highlight of the day at Santa Adeliada which has Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee. A light bulb immediately went on in my head as an Entrepreneur and another great idea and how to support this local community driven group.
Coffee grown in the highlands of El Salvador plays a significant role in the daily life in El Salvador and the Palacio Municipal or National Palace and Santa Ana National Theater were constructed from revenue from coffee in its hay day.
Today the Palacio National is a national treasure undergoing renovations. In those days the well to do people were known as cafetaleros with huge ranches and coffee fields. Coffee today is still a major revenue earner for this small country in Latin America with a far greater Population than Belize.
Not far from the Palacio Municipal is the Main Cathedral and Bishop’s Romero Tomb famous in the Salvadorean history.
According to my guide “ Pope John Paul II went to visit El Salvador and he had his caravan, security and designated route and the crowds waiting and without warning he detoured from the course and went to visit Bishop’s Romero Tomb.
The security guarding the tomb heard a loud banging on the door and told him go away thinking it was some kid. Upon identifying himself as the Pope and verifying this, he was granted access to visit the tomb and paid his respects to Bishop Romero.”
This new tomb was donated by the Pope and the body was moved to its new location where he rests in peace and locals pay their respects.
One of the greatess discoveries by scholars and Archaeologists in this era is the Mayan Site of Joya De Ceren declared a patrimony of humanity by UNESCO. The Site was declared patrimony of humanity by UNESCO in 1993. (Closed on Mondays)
Joya de Cerén is a Unique Archaeological site, Jewel of Ceren (Joya de Ceren), near to the detour of San Juan Opico. Its is one of the archaeological sites in El Salvador that is rich with cultural heritage of humanity, which shows the world importance that details the history and the meeting with the roots of the family life of the Salvadorians dating 1400 years ago.
Upon the eruption of a nearby volcano this important Maya Site was covered in ashes and is how preservation and answers to how Mayas lived in their daily lives has come to life.
The Mayas needed three basic things for survival as does any other civilisation: food, water and shelter, and where it was readily available is where they would settle to live.
A visit to this impressive site reveals the simple uncomplicated lifestyle of the Mayas and how much the elevation has risen from its original construction.
Visiting the town of Concepciòn de Ataco a quaint, colonial village in the Route of the Flowers was a special treat with the friendliest people and its natural beauty, its brightly painted homes, cobblestone streets, colourful murals and unique arts and Crafts. We visited a craft loom and to observe the looms elaboration process. These are made of pretty colours and designs of this town.
Our next site visit was in the town of Juayùa “River of Purple Orchids”– Route of the Flowers, and a unique tour of the Church of the Black Christ while we enjoyed excellent landscapes of the most important coffee zones of El Salvador.
The highlight of our visit for this day was going to a unique Mayan village in Santo Domingo de Guzman where the Nahuat Pipil Maya live and not much is known about them to the exterior world as that is how they have wanted it and are now opening to the local El Salvador public and Cultural Eco-Tourism with minimal impact. As a sign of respect I didn’t take any pictures as its not considered appropriate. I however have a picture of Escuco waterfall in Santo Domingo de Guzman where the Nahuat Pipil Maya go to swim. With a little imagination you can get awesome and creative memories like the one I have above.
From scenic Route of the Flowers,gorgeous waterfalls, volcanoes, city tours, museums, coffee plantations, jungle buggy adventures, canopy tours overlooking coffee fields, and the Pacific Ocean at Playa El Sunzal (Zunzal Beach) with perfect waves for surfing, El Salvador is a great destination just a short flight from the US with Taca Airlines.
If you are not on the adventurous side you can enjoy mother nature’s tanning salon on any beach and have a variety of seafood. El Salvador has a coastline of over 300km long with beautiful beaches of golden black sands, waters with pleasant temperatures all year round. Known for its world class waves, rocky reefs, snorkeling, beautiful bays making El Salvador an ideal destination for water sports.
Of course a trip to El Salvador would not be complete without tasting the famous pupusas made with love a dedication by these gorgeous young ladies who you see smiling and enjoying what they do.
I had so many varieties of pupusas with the rich tomato sauce and the small diced vegetables marinated in a special recipe which I dare not reveal. The raw products begins with corn which was the staple food for the Ancient Mayas for over 3000 years.
Corn had to have human intervention for its existence and the Mayas, my ancestors domesticated corn and we can now enjoy all these rich culturally diverse meals made with corn from pupusas, nachos, gringo tamale and all these rich tasty meals.
Food is the gateway to a man’s heart or so I have heard and diamonds are the way to a woman's heart and some with Visa or MasterCard. As with all good and great things in life everything comes to an end as my FAM Trip was coming to an end as well.
This picture is not Beatriz but a new “aquiantance” I made on the airport on my departure day. Now I have a new friends in El Salvador and hopefully I see the potential of a wife for me there, too. I fell in love with a new country that has so much to offer and as you can see possibility of a wife perhaps? Who Knows right?
I found it hard to leave El Salvador and I didn’t want to leave but reality kicked in having totally enjoyed my visit, tours, the people, food and the great time I had and of course I cannot forget to remember the great hospitality from Centromype and Asotur.
The highlight of my trip was the personalised and family touch which Beatriz Flamenco de Contreras of Universal Tours and her husband provided for me. We even visited Beatriz mom, niece and her own home where we shared happy moments and some work over great Salvadorean food!!!
If you want to learn more about El Salvador you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our website www.balaamecoadventures.com as we have a New All Inclusive Mundo Maya & Luxury Beach Package 19Nights/20Days which begins in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize leaving the best for last at San Pedro Ambergris Caye and partnering the best of these countries. Additionlly we also have the launch of our newest All Inclusive Mundo Maya & Luxury Beach Package of 19Nights/20 Days.
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Tags: El Salvador, Entrepreneur, Belize, Mayas, Cultural Eco-Tourism, Ancient Mayas, New All Inclusive Mundo Maya & Luxury Beach Package, Balaam Eco Adventures