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El Salvador Wild East: Three Days of Adventure and Discovery

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Welcome to the captivating landscapes of El Salvador, a country brimming with natural wonders and rich cultural heritage.

As you embark on your journey through this pocket-sized paradise, prepare to be enchanted by its wild beauty and warm hospitality.

This is my first trip to El Salvador, located in Central America. I will be exploring the Wild East and some of the country’s islands along the coast.

Day 1: Exploring Las Flores Beach and Beyond

We set out on our adventure to the wild east of El Salvador. Our first stop? The legendary Las Flores Beach, also known as “Surf City”, is one of the premier surfing destinations in the Americas.

Nestled amidst rugged cliffs and crashing waves, this idyllic stretch of coastline beckons with its pristine sands and azure waters.

Upon arrival, we spent the day at the charming cliffside hotel overlooking the ocean.

With outdoor swimming pools and access to the striking volcanic black sand beaches, there’s ample opportunity to unwind and soak up the sun.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or simply seeking solace by the sea, Las Flores Beach offers the perfect retreat.

Travelling to the Gulf of Fonseca

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After a leisurely afternoon spent basking in the coastal splendour, we bid farewell to Las Flores and continued our journey to the Gulf of Fonseca, our home for the night.

Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the region, Comfort Inn La Union offers a sanctuary of comfort and relaxation, ensuring a restful night’s sleep before our next adventure.

We spend the evening walking around Fonseca, a quiet little village full of life and ambience.

We went to a locally run family restaurant called Villa Central and learned how to make the delicious classic national dish, pupusa chicarrón.

They say the average local El Salvadorian eats around 26 of them a week. And that’s on average!

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We learned that the locals grind their corn into flour to create the base of the pupusa using ancient traditional Mayan grinding techniques.

It’s a block of stone with a stone roller that turns the corn into fine powder when rolled flat.

The most popular filling, pupusa chicarrón, is made from a combination of beans, salty curd cheese, and pork cuttings.

The corn flour is then moulded around the filling before being flattened and tossed onto the grill with a dab of oil.

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A suggestion of three in one sitting is a good idea, and they usually come along with some pickled cabbage and hot sauce for dipping.

They’re a national obsession, and they’re delicious! You can’t visit El Salvador without trying a papusa! Enjoy them hot and enjoy them plenty.

Day 2: Navigating around the islands of Jiquilisco Bay

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As the sun casts its gentle glow over the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Fonseca, we prepare to embark on a maritime adventure like no other.

Today, we set sail across the shimmering expanse where the Pacific coastline stretches for 260 kilometres, shared by the enchanting lands of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Many locals will use the passage to hire a boat to easily cross and transfer over Nicaragua.

I was unaware that El Salvador had a small selection of islands around the coast, and they’re wonderful to explore, especially because of the incredible bird life and small beaches.

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Our journey begins at the picturesque port of La Unión, where we board our vessel and set course towards the horizon.

El Capitan Mario is our skipper for the evening, and from his charming glow, you can tell he’s a bit of a local celebrity on these waters. It’s good to be in such great hands for the evening.

As we glide gracefully through the calm waters, we’re treated to breathtaking vistas of local fishing villages and seemingly floating islands, their reflections dancing on the surface like shards of light.

Against a cluster of majestic volcanoes, we make a delightful pitstop at Zacatillo Island, a hidden treasure renowned for its abundance of fresh seafood delights.

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Here, we indulge in a sumptuous locally caught fish lunch, savouring the flavours of the ocean while soaking in the panoramic views of our surroundings.

Zacatillo Island is a great place to chill in a hammock, relax on the beach, or go for a dip. There are loads of bars serving local ice-cold beers.

With our appetites sated and our spirits rejuvenated, we set sail once more, retracing our path back to La Unión port.

From here, we continue our voyage to Jiquilisco Bay, where the charming comforts of Puerto Barillas Lodge await our arrival.

Day 3: Exploring the Natural Splendour of Jiquilisco Bay

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As the dawn breaks over Jiquilisco Bay, we embark on a journey into the heart of this pristine biosphere reserve.

Home to a vast network of canals and mangrove-lined inlets, Jiquilisco Bay is a haven for nature lovers and conservation enthusiasts alike.

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We go for a hike around the jungle forests, eager to explore the rich biodiversity that thrives within these untouched waters.

With over 200 species of birds calling this sanctuary home, there’s no shortage of wildlife to marvel at as we glide through the serene landscape.

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Julio Acosta, from El Salvador Birds, is our local guide on this trip who took great care of us by showing us the true beauty of what El Salvador has to offer.

His main passion is showing visitors the wonderful and diverse bird life that can be found throughout El Salvador.

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We were lucky to be offered an early morning bird walk through the mangrove-lined banks to spot some rare birds.

This was truly an incredible experience, and it was truly special to walk with Julio, who offers so much expertise and knowledge on bird life in El Salvador.

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Next, during the day, after a wonderful breakfast at Puerto Barillas Lodge, we boarded a boat to explore Jiquilisco Bay.

In our efforts to support turtle conservation, we joined a local conservation group called ProCosta. They host tourist trips, and a majority of the profit goes directly towards conservation efforts.

Our boat was equipped to monitor the hawksbill marine turtle population.

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Accompanied by a knowledgeable biologist from the ProCosta team, we learn about their tireless efforts to protect these endangered creatures and gain a deeper understanding of the delicate balance of life within the bay.

The ProCosta team located two hawksbill marine turtles in the bay and returned them to the coast for tracking.

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After tagging, collecting the measurements, and weighing, they realise the hawksbill marine turtles are back in the water.

Tracking the hawksbill marine turtle is funded by the tourism boat tour project and helps to keep the population thriving.

It’s great to see a passionate team like ProCosta in action and follow their tracking operation.

They do a lot of groundwork and tracking conservation projects, such as educating locals and buying turtle eggs to bring to the turtle hatcheries.

As we navigate back through the labyrinthine waterways, we’re treated to glimpses of rural life in El Salvador, passing through small, rustic communities that dot the coastline.

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It’s a rare opportunity to connect with the local culture and gain insight into the traditions that have shaped this vibrant region.

After a morning of exploration and discovery, we return to our base with memories of the natural wonders we’ve encountered.

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With memories of Jiquilisco Bay etched into our minds, we bid farewell to this enchanting sanctuary and begin our journey back to San Salvador.

Farewell to El Salvador: Wrapping Up an Unforgettable Three-Day Exploration

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As our three-day journey through El Salvador comes to an end, we’re left with cherished memories of stunning landscapes and rich cultural encounters.

From surfing at Las Flores Beach to sailing through Jiquilisco Bay’s pristine waters, each day has been a testament to the country’s natural beauty and warm hospitality.

Our time exploring the wild east, dormant volcanoes, and rural communities has left a lasting impression, reminding us of the importance of conservation and connection to the land.

As we return to San Salvador, we carry with us a sense of gratitude for the experiences shared and the adventures still to come.

Attending the CATM Central America Travel Market in San Salvador, El Salvador 2024

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This trip around the Wild East of El Salvador was a pre-hosted trip while attending CATM -Central America Travel Market El Salvador 2024.

The event showcases the many nations that make up Central America: Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.

The idea is to promote tourism across the Central American region. This year, El Salvador is the host nation of CATM and the pre-trips for the event.

Thank you for reading my blog post about the El Salvador and the Wild East

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Thank you for reading my blog post about the Wild East of El Salvador and my adventures to the area.

If you have any futher questions about my trip or El Salvador, feel free to send me an email, I’m more than happy to help.

Have an amazing adventure trip to El Salvador!

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