At Gringo tours, we offer a full day tour with visits to three of the five main archaeological sites, which sites you choose is up to you but the tour we sell most includes what most consider the most relative and representative Mayan sites in El Salvador.

We start the day off with a visit to Joya de Ceren sometimes referred to as the Pompeii of the Americas as this was a Mayan settlement that was covered by the ash fallout of the nearby volcano Loma Caldera. Here you see what everyday life was like for the Mayans some 1500 years ago.

Our second stop will be the ruins at San Andreas which dates back to around 900 B.C. and was later abandoned for a period around 420 A.D. around the same time that the volcano that later formed lake Ilopango erupted. The most recent pre-Hispanic use was between 900-1200 A.D. where pottery with patterns of the Mixteca-Puebla style were discovered these from what is known as the Guazapa phase and tied to the city Cihuatan, very mucho out of date for Mayan periods in the region. Here small pyramids are seen as well as indigo processing tanks that were preserver by another volcanic eruption in 1658 leaving the complete site very well preserved. This is an active site with continued exploration below and around the existing structures.

 

After a nice lunch (cost not included in price of tour), we will head west to the city of Chalchuapa where the site of Tazumal is located. In Tazumal we will here from one of the site guides the history of this El Salvador’s most representative site.

The day will finish with the drive back to your hotel whether it be in San Salvador, La Libertad, Santa Ana, Suchitoto or Ruta de Flores.

 

Mayan tour, starting in Suchitoto and ending in Concepcion de Ataco 

 

 

An option to include the well know Cihuatan Mayan ball court close to Aguilares; this is El Salvador’s most recent archaeological discovery and was inhabited until around 1200 AD when conflicts of that period lead to the fall of Toltec empire throughout Mexico and Central America.

Another option to include the Casa Blanca site can also be arranged by removing the stop at San Andres or Tazumal, The site at Casa Blanca is not very impressive but it is the only site to offer a free Indigo dying demonstration, with individual or very small groups it is sometime possible for participants to get their hands dirty and dye their own design.

Although El Salvador archaeological sites are considered secondary to the larger sites like Copan and Tikal but they still provide a very particular insight into the past history of El Salvador and its indigenous people The Mayan Pipiles.

The order in which the sites are visited can vary depending on where you may be staying but the tour must start at 8:00-8:30 am as all the sites open at 9:00 am and close at 4:00 pm which makes it virtually impossible to see more than 3 sites in any day.

This tour is not available on Mondays or on and around major holidays when site closures are announced shortly before each holiday.

 

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-9 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

Concepcion de Ataco

 We offer a full day tour of this mountainous coffee producing area, with visits to Nahuizalco, Salcoatitán, Juayua, Apaneca and Concepcion de Ataco. The exact cities and activities will depend on each client’s interests and desires.

 

Options for lunch are also varied and dependent on factors like price and time on weekends, lunch at the food festival in Juayua and now Ataco and even Salcoatitan can be options. If you want some of the best food in El Salvador the famous Jardín de Celeste is in our humble opinion hands down the best.

Options for coffee tours, birding, waterfall hikes in Juayua and Ataco, a visit to the Laguna Verde by Apaneca, buggy tours or a canopy tour/zip line in Apaneca can be added but reduce time to visit the colorful cities.

At Gringo Tours we offer every option but you will have to decide on how much we can do in just one day. Or you might consider spending more days in the area lodging in Santa Ana, Juayua or Ataco make great bases to explore for more than just one day.

Drive times from Suchitoto are around 2 hours each way and from San Salvador about 1.5 hours.

Flower Route, Starting and Ending in San Salvador


 

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 8-10 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: Easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

 On this tour we combine the archeological site in Cihuatan with the fresh mountain air and original handicrafts of the La Palma and upper Chalatenango.

 

The tour leaves Suchitoto at 8:30 am first destination the Mayan ball court at Cihuatan just some 40 minutes from Suchitoto. After visiting the museum and seeing the site we will head for the mountain town of La Palma to visit the Semillas de Dios Cooperative, visiting there the small workshops and their retail store. Afterwards Lunch at the famous Hotel La Palma (price of lunch not included) and then time to see the many small handicraft stores and workshops that line the streets of this colorful mountain town.

La Palma-Cihuatan, from Suchitoto

 

 

This tour is best done when based in Suchitoto or San Salvador and has a duration of approximately 10 hours

 

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees • Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-9 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: Easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

Salvadoran Handicrafts

A full day tour with visits to San Sebastian to see the working looms, Ilobasco to see the Clay handicrafts and a visit to a project that works with women and youth. We make time for lunch in Ilobasco, or Tejutepeque for a nice lunch and short swim then returning to Suchitoto passing through Cinquera to see the park and church. 

This full day tour departs Suchitoto or San Salvador at 8:00 am and returns around 6:30 pm. The tour can be done in two directions and depending on your interests we will decide together whether we start in Cinquera or in San Sebastian. 

Handicraft tour with stop in Cinquera

This tour can start and end in Suchitoto and can be done in either direction 

  Handicraft tour with stop in Cinquera
This tour can also start and end in San Salvador 

Another popular option is to visit Suchitoto, Ilobasco and San Sebastian. Again depending on your interests, we can adjust the amount of time spent in each city.

The tour includes stops at a minimum of two workshops/stores in San Sebastian; there we will see how fabrics are woven on the old working looms. All the shops sell the colorful hammocks, bedspreads, and table linen that are a trademark for El Salvador. After our visit to San Sebastian we head off to Ilobasco for a visit to some of the many handicraft stores in the center of the city, we will also visit the CONAMYPE center or Project Moje (weekdays and Saturdays until noon) where art and handicrafts are being used to change the lives of teens at risk and women by providing training and economic developmental skills.

After a chance to purchase handicrafts at Project Moje and other shops we will stop to have lunch before departing Ilobasco on a back road heading for the small town of Tejutepeque we head back to Suchitoto enjoying the sunset and lake views we will have time for a short stop in Cinquera to see the bomb shells in front of the new church and stretch our legs.

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-10 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

The Cerro Verde Volcano is located about 1 hour west of San Salvador and is part of the Volcano Complex National Park which includes areas of the Izalco and Santa Ana Volcanos as well as the mentioned Cerro Verde which is situated between the other two very distinct volcanos.

At Gringo tours we include the a visit to Cerro Verde as a component of several other full day tours and can be included in a version of the Mayan Sites tour, Ruta de Flores tour or in route to the Ruta de Flores from or back to Suchitoto, San Salvador and other destinations in El Salvador. A visit to the park can be arranged from pretty much anywhere in the western/central part of the country.

The visit to Cerro Verde includes either a 45 minute walk-easy to moderate hike around the extinct crater accompanied by local guides at the park. If time is limited, a shorter walk to the newly restored hotel and lookouts by the parking permit easy views of the two neighboring volcanos, this when the sky is clear. For those who enjoy wild life, it is common to see animals like armadillos, snakes, birds of many types and the occasional cotuza (in Spanish) or agouti a rodent similar in appearance to a guinea pig but having longer legs. I tell people it looks like it does a skittle-hop and looks like a hare or rabbit.

When combined with Joya de Ceren lunch at a small restaurant on the Lake Coatepeque caldera ridge road can be arranged before or after visiting the park

For those looking to climb a volcano, El Salvador offers several options and Gringo Tours can arrange two fairly easily.

Both options we offer start at or close to Cerro Verde, are escorted by 1-2 Tourist Police and 1-5 local park guides depending on the size of the group. Tours are offered daily (weather permitting) starting at 11:00 am from Cerro Verde.

We are always asked which is the better hike and simply said they are so different that it is hard to compare.

Effort wise most consider the Izalco volcano hike more difficult as it is a steeper climb, has more steps to get down to the base and back up to Cerro Verde, provides very little shade and is mostly loose lava rock making it somewhat slippery.

The Santa Ana hike offers some shade and vegetation, less steps and offers many times, the very rewarding view of the emerald/turquoise colored crater lake.

That said both tours take a full 4 hours and require you to be in good physical condition.

Cerro Verde, Santa Ana or Izalco hike staring and endind in San Salvador

 

 

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-9 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy to moderate


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

The capital San Salvador has loads to offer, if you only have short time then you will have to help us decide what you really want to see in the city. Remember we have been doing this for over 10 years so we do have an idea of what the majority of our clients have chosen. So based on our past experience we offer two basic tours but from these elements can be combined and this again will depend on each client’s specific interests.

1) Historic downtown-Artisan Market-El Boquerón Volcano Park. This full day tour in San Salvador starts at your hotel at 8:30 am where we will pick you up. The we head to the city center with a with included visits to the National Palace (available everyday but Monday), the main Cathedral and Rosario Church, if interested in seeing how Salvadorans shop a quick walk through a block or two of the Central Market can be included. Once back in the vehicle we will head across town for a visit the International Handicraft Market, this is a wonderful stop for those not visiting the towns where the different Salvadoran handicrafts are produced and virtually any local souvenir or handicraft can be purchased. The tour continues with the drive up the San Salvador volcano stopping for lunch before continuing on to the El Boquerón Park for a short hike up to the rim of this impressive crater. The tour will end at your hotel from 5:00-7:00 pm depending on where you are based. 

2) Monsignor Romero Museum-Divina Providencia-Cuscatlán Park-Historic Downtown. Starting with pick up at your hotel at 8:30 am we would drive to the Jesuit University with a programed tour of the Monsignor Romero Museum/Center guided by a university students (when possible), we would hear history about the Salvadoran civil war, its causes and about the many the religious and lay people martyred, the well-known ones include the Arch Bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, six Jesuits priests and the four American Maryknoll nuns and are emphasized. After a break for lunch (price not included) we stop for a visit to the Divine Providence Hospital, Church and Romero’s residence. Hearing from one of the Carmelita’s nuns about Romero’s life and death as this was the place where he was shot and killed on March 24th 1980 date which many historians consider the start of the 12 year civil war in El Salvador. After a short drive to the Cuscatlán Park, you will visit the war memorial which is a very graphic indication of the loss of life the conflict caused to the Salvadoran population. The tour finished up with a short visit to Monsignor Romero’s tomb located in the basement of the main cathedral.

3) As mentioned in the introduction elements from each of these tours can be combined as well as other highlights in and around the city. Some of these include the Puerto del Diablo, Anthropological Museum (MUNA), Modern Art Museum (MARTES), the Palabra y Imagen Museum (MUPI), Mititary War Museum, Botanic Gardens, Bicentennial Park, Eco Park El Espino, Malls, etc

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-9 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

 Gringo Tours always looks for ways to support the local communities and initiatives reason why we are one of only a few companies that offer Mangrove Boat tours at the Barra de Santiago which is much further away and remote than the other well-known mangroves of Jiquilisco bay. That said we can offer a truly unique experience either as a half day add on to another tour like when in route to the Impossible Park or as a separate full day experience from areas like, San Salvador, Santa Ana, Ruta de Flores and Suchitoto. Relatively close to the Ruta de Flores but about 3.5 hours from Suchitoto and 2.5 from San Salvador makes for a long drive, why we recommend as an in route tour to another destination western El Salvador. 

Working with AMBAS the local association that looks after the protected area and in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources where permits must be requested with at least 15 day advance notice to enter the protected reserve area of mangroves makes are tours different than those just hiring a boat to access the initial waterways within the area. On a good day caimans and crocodiles can be seen up close, this not to mention the numerous types of local crabs and birds. We add on a stop on a small island where the endangered Blue Crabs are manages as a small economic initiative of the habitants on the island. We also can arrange tortilla classes and a wonderful fresh sea food lunch, trips to the Bocana where the estuary meets the ocean and of course time for a walk on the beach or swim in the ocean and or estuary.

If you enjoy nature and wildlife this is the tour for you. For our half day add on to another tour or transfer we only include the 2 hour boat trip deep into the mangroves and time for your lunch (price not included in tour)

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 7-10 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

By far our most popular tour and one of our longer outing averaging from 10-12 hours, this tour we developed due to interest from clients with very little time to explore El Salvador. As far as we know no other company offers this very complete and diverse tour outing.

We start the day with a visit to Joya de Ceren, our favorite Mayan site and El Salvador only UNESCO World Heritage Site, from there we head west crossing over on the Coatepeque caldera ridge road with a stop for lunch at the Los Pinos Cooperative’s Vista al Lago restaurant for a nice lunch (price not included in tour) and spectacular views of the Coatepeque Lake with the Volcano Park Complex behind. We continue after lunch with a drive up to the Cerro Verde National Park for a 45 minute walk around the extinct crater and with views of the Santa Ana and Izalco volcanos as well as the lake from above. We will head down the hill and into the Zapotilan valley then south to Sonsonate before climbing up the Apaneca mountain range, El Salvador’s most prominent coffee producing area. Once in the Ruta de Flores area we will make short stops in at least 2 of the cities, which ones we will decide together depending on your interests.

As mention above this is a 10-12 hour tour when coming from San Salvador, Suchitoto or other places in the center part of El Salvador, it can easily be adapted as an in route tour from anywhere to any of the cities on the Ruta de Flores or even Santa Ana.

Route starting in and returning to San Salvador

Route starting in and returning to Suchitoto

Route starting in Suchitoto and ending in Ataco

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 9-12 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

Another combo of destinations commonly requested by our clients and similar to Combo 1 being a longer outing averaging from 10-12 hours and developed due to interest from clients with very little time to explore El Salvador.

As in Combo 1, we start the day with a visit to Joya de Ceren, our favorite Mayan site and El Salvador only UNESCO World Heritage Site, from there we drive west on the Pan American Hwy heading towards Guatemala but turning south to the city of Chalchuapa where we will stop to visit the Tazumal Mayan site, considered to be the most representative of El Salvador Mayan ruins.

After Tazumal we head up into the Ruta de Flores, stopping for lunch and to explore the many shops and murals in the colorful city of Concepcion de Ataco referred to lovingly as simply Ataco by most Salvadorans.

From Ataco stops in Apaneca Juayua, Salcoatitan or Nahuizalco (we will decide together depending on your interests, day of the week and remaining time which two of these cities we visit) will fill out the day before the drive back to your hotel in San Salvador, Suchitoto, La Libertad beaches or other destinations in the western/central part of El Salvador.

As mention above this is a 10-12 hour tour when coming from San Salvador, Suchitoto or other places in the center part of El Salvador, it can easily be adapted as an in route tour from anywhere to any of the cities on the Ruta de Flores or even Santa Ana.

Route staring and ending in San Salvador

Route starting and ending in Suchitoto

Route starting in Suchitoto ending in Ataco

 

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 9-12 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: easy


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

Full day outings are where we excel offering what no other company in El Salvador does, complete flexibility.

We work on flat rates for most of our tours charging the same whether it be an 8 hour day with little mileage or whether we spend 12 hours and drive hundreds of miles.

For many we have found that full days make their trips to El Salvador the most productive and cost effective.

That said we know when to make a day more relaxing when traveling with children or just wanting to enjoy a 5 star meal (which can take up some valuable time on any tour).

So take a look at what we have to offer and if you don’t see what you are looking for just ask, in most cases we can make your ideas into the perfect day!

La Palma-El Pital

For those wanting to explore the highest parts of El Salvador a different option includes heading up to the highlands of Chalatenango. Just getting to the area is an adventure with the 11 kms drive up the concrete road from San Ignacio to Rio Chiquito.

Once in the highlands we offer two different options which can include

1) El Pital another 4kms in a 4x4 vehicle on a gravel road and then a hike to the Peña Rajada, a large split boulder sunk in the side of the mountain and the up to the boarder marker between El Salvador and Honduras. This also marks the highest point in El Salvador at some 2730 meters above sea level. On cooler/cold days a Salvadorean hot chocolate make for a warming experience.

2) Another common option is to visit the nurseries in La Pilas where things like strawberries, cabbage and calla lilies are produced with abundant spring water and the cooler climates the area provides

Both options provide a day of fresh air, cooler temperature and if lucky (a clear day), a spectacular view of El Salvador and parts of Honduras and Guatemala.

For either option we would lunch in Miramundo which has wonderful views of the vast majority of El Salvador.

Once back down the hill we would finish up the day with a visit to the Semillas de Dios Cooperative to see their workshops and retail store and have some time to visit the park and other handicraft shops in La Palma before driving back to San Salvador or Suchitoto.

Tour El Pital starting and ending in Suchitoto

 

 

Included in this tour:

• Transportation in vehicle with A/C

• Bottled water(1-2 bottles/person)

• All Entrance fees

• Local guide fees

• Bilingual guide


Tour Duration of Tour including transportation: 8-10 hours


Difficulty level of Tour: Moderate


Not Include

• Snacks and Meals

• Lodging

• Optional Tips to local guides

• Cost of optional activities including: Mountain bike, Jet ski, Buggy, Zip line/Canopy, Kayak, Rafting or other activities not mentioned in tour description


 

At Gringo tours, we offer a full day tour with visits to three of the...
We offer a full day tour of this mountainous coffee producing area, with...
The capital San Salvador has loads to offer, if you only have short time...
One of our more popular tours for those staying in Suchitoto!...
For those wanting to explore the highest parts of El Salvador a different...
Full day tour in and around Suchitoto If you would like to spend a full...