Known anciently as Cuzcatlán or The Place of Precious Things, El Salvador enjoys a favored location on Central America's Pacific Coast, tucked between Guatemala and Honduras. Its brown sugar beaches stretch almost uninterrupted for 190 miles, welcoming surfers, sun seekers and sport fishers. In the mountainous interior luxuriant cloud forests, fertile coffee plantations, and charming colonial towns surround an arc of more than 100 volcanoes.
El Salvador's cultural lineage is among the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. The Maya settled here more than 4,000 years ago, adorning their cities with temples, ballcourts and palaces. Other ancient cultures included the Olmec, the Uto-Aztecan Pipil, and the Lenca. In 1524, Spanish conquistadors arrived from what is now Guatemala, establishing colonies for the production of indigo, cotton and balsam.
After gaining Independence from Spain in 1821, El Salvador joined the Mexican Empire and the Central American Federation in rapid succession. Total independence arrived in 1841, followed by a coffee boom that consolidated El Salvador's wealth and set the stage for more than a century of class struggle and eventual civil war. The widely-admired 1992 peace treaty heralded a new era in the country's history. Today, El Salvador is emerging as a regional economic power with growing agriculture, manufacturing and tourism industries. The US Dollar officially replaced the Salvadoran Colón in 2001, and the country now has more than a dozen free-trade zones.
The best time to visit El Salvador is during the November to April summer, when sunny skies prevail. The rainy season begins in May, peaks in October, and ends abruptly in November. Temperatures are fairly constant year-round, with highs near 85°F and overnight lows near 65°F. Expect cooler temperatures in the highlands and highs near 90°F on the plains and in the capital.
San Salvador's Comalapa International Airport is a major regional hub. Non-stop flights from the USA include those from Miami (two hours and 40 minutes), Houston (three hours), Los Angeles (five hours) and New York (five and a half hours). Regional flights connect San Salvador with Guatemala City (50 minutes), Managua (50 minutes), San Jose (75 minutes) and Panama City (two hours).
Mosaico Travel Services arranges customized trips to locations across El Salvador. We can also assist you with extensions to Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, and Panama. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
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