RED El Salvador
The red of our culture, traditions, coffee heritage and Maya History: This itinerary includes colonial towns, Indigo Experience, looms, miniature and colorful crafts, and Maya archaeological sites:
DAY 1: SUCHITOTO
Cobblestones streets, large balconies, tile roofs, doorways, porches and windows that will take you to colonial past. You will arrive to Suchitoto, one of El Salvador´s colonial towns. In Nahuatl language, its name means the place of the Flower Bird, and it is considered a national historic jewel. The founding of San Salvador’s ”Ciudad Vieja”- Old City-back in 1525-1528 happened in the surroundings of Suchitoto. Night in a charming boutique hotel in Suchitoto.
DAY 2: INDIGO EXPERIENCE – SUCHITOTO
Today you will learn about Indigo Blue, a natural colorant extracted from the xiquilite plant. It was used by the Mayas to paint their clothes, crafts and for their rituals. El Salvador´s Indigo is of the highest quality in the world and exported to several countries. You will visit a nearby Hacienda and participate in its production process. You will also enjoy the experience of designing your own scarf with the help of local artisans. Free afternoon to walk the charming streets of Suchitoto. Night in Suchitoto.
DAY 3: CINQUERA – ILOBASCO – SAN SEBASTIAN – SUCHITOTO
Today you will learn about political history, traditional sweets, miniature crafts and colorful hammocks. You will start by visiting Cinquera where you will meet an ex guerilla who will talk about the civil war of the 1980´s, and how it has shaped current El Salvador. Continue to Ilobasco, one of the oldest craft ceramic towns in Central America going back to the 1700´s. It is particular famous for miniature representations of everyday Salvadorian life. A 13 year old girl started this type of craft when she was not able to continue in school. Its colorful miniature pieces made it to a National Geographic issue back in 1944. Continue to San Sebastian, cradle of the traditional textile looms. You will be able to see them operating and will be able to enjoy a hands on experience. Beautiful hammocks are created with these looms. Back to Suchitoto. Night in Suchitoto.
DAY 4: LA PALMA – SUCHITOTO
Today you will visit a colorful town in Northern El Salvador where the houses and electric posts are beautifully painted with a very special art style that is original from this town. La Palma is the most important town for crafts elaboration in the country, this being the most important economic activity for the area. It started in the 1970´s when Fernando Llort established himself in La Palma and developed a unique crafts style based on the “copinol” seed where artisans use vivid colors to paint abstract drawings about everyday life. You will participate in an activity with local artisans painting your own colorful craft. La Palma is also known as the “cradle of peace”. The first peace negotiations between the guerrilla and the government started in this town on October 15, 1984. Back to Suchitoto. Night in Suchitoto.
DAY 5: JOYA DE CEREN – TAZUMAL – FLOWER ROUTE
After checking out, you will head west towards the Flower Route. On the way, you will visit El Salvador´s main archaeological sites. Joya de Cerén is unique in all Mesoamerica since it shows how indigenous people lived before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. The eruption of Volcano Caldera in 600AD interrupted the daily life of this community which was preserved by more than 10 layers of ash until its discovery in 1976. It is a very important site since it now represents the remains of the best preserved Pre Hispanic Village of Mesoamerica. Then you will continue to Tazumal, who had influence from Copán and was an important Maya settlement between 100 and 1,200 AD. Continue to Flower Route where you will spend the night in Ataco Town.
DAY 6: FLOWER ROUTE – COFFEE EXPERIENCE – ATACO
The red colors of the coffee beans decorate the beautiful mountains and towns of the Flower Route in Western El Salvador. The four charming towns (Nahuizalco, Juayua, Apaneca, Ataco) offer unique culture in its traditions and crafts. In the morning, you will participate in coffee picking along with locals and then learn about its production process at the mill. You will also visit the charming towns and explore its cafes, boutiques and restaurants. Night in Ataco Town.
DAY 7: JAYAQUE – COMASAGUA – SAN SALVADOR
On the way back to Central El Salvador, you will drive through El Balsamo mountain range, offering beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean to the South and the volcanic range to the North. The name comes from “El Balsamo” tree, which provides the ingredient for medicine and cleaning products. You will visit charming towns like Jayaque and Comasagua and enjoy their local culture and crafts. Continue to San Salvador where you will visit its historic downtown, including its National Cathedral where the Saint Arturo Romero is buried and the beautiful Rosario Church. Night in San Salvador.