Nahuizalco El Salvador, a colorful colonial town in Sonsonate

Nahuizalco El Salvador
Town of Mahuizalco. Image by MITUR

Nahuizalco in El Salvador is a remarkable small colonial town full of indigenous traditions and customs, it has an unbelievable history that is imprinted all over the city. The community of Pre-Hispanic origins welcomes visitors with open arms and smiles.

Nahuizalco is a town of pre-hispanic origins ideal for visiting and exploring, the city is charming and full of traditions focused on colonial times.

This region, during colonial times, was part of the Izalco territory. It was populated by the Pipil people; some of their customs and traditions are still visible in today’s Nahuizalco.

Before I continue, I want to share some information about this colorful town that you might want to know before visiting.

  • The name of the town in Nahuatl means “Four Izalcos.”
  • Nahuizalco was founded by four families from the nearby town of Izalco.
  • Nahuizalco is one of the six towns in La Ruta de Las Flores, one of the most popular touristic routes in the country.
  • The town is well known for its crafts, especially the ones made up of Wicker and Tule.
  • Some people in town are able to speak Nahuat.
  • In Nahuizalco you will see locals wearing traditional Pipil attire.

From all the towns in El Salvador with ties to colonial times, or even before; Nahuizalco stands out among the rest, mostly because of its Indigenous traditions and customs that are visible today.

You can experience Nahuizalco with all its history and traditions in a day or two; here are some of the things you can do and enjoy at this colorful city.

Wicker and Tule handicrafts in Nahuizalco El Salvador.

Nahuizalco is recognized and famous for its handicrafts made out of wicker and tule. These items include things such as baskets, floor mats, hats, furniture, and many others. You can buy the articles for your personal use or as souvenirs for family or friends.

These crafts are available for you to buy at any of the small shops all over town. The stores are full of local souvenirs with vibrant colors and art crafts made out of wicker and tule.

So, if you ever make it to Nahuizalco, make sure you support the local economy by purchasing some of these items.

Another way to enjoy this town is to see and experience how the Wicker and tule crafts are made. In the city, you will find workshops that will let you gain this experience.

You can take a class where they will demonstrate and teach you how the whole process works, from beginning to end; who knows, they might even let you make your own crafts.

Creating these astonishing crafts by hand takes a lot of creativity, and that is one of the great things about Nahuizalco. Nahuizalco’s craft products are sold in different markets in El Salvador and abroad.

Experience the Night Market

Here is an interesting question for you, do you want to experience shopping at night, under candlelight, and in a town with a vast Pre-Hispanic colonial history? well, if the answer is yes, here is your chance to get it done.

The Nahuizalco night market is a fun experience; at night and until around 10pm, the streets in the market around the central plaza are lit only by candles. During this time you can buy the products made of wicker and tule and also other fantastic local crafts.

Experience the night market, even if you don’t buy anything, you can just view and experience the culture.

Nahuizalco El Salvador
Nahuizalco El Salvador

Visit the Colonial Church

Since colonial times, El Salvador’s history and the catholic religion go hand in hand. Most small Salvadoran towns with history going back to colonial times have beautiful churches; Nahuizalco is one of these towns.

The San Juan Bautista Parish in Nahuizalco is a magnificent colonial-style church located in the center of town. Visitors come to this church because of their spirituality and fate or to appreciate its history and beauty. If you make it to Nahuizalco, make sure to include this seventeenth-century colonial church in your must-see list.

Here is more information about this church, it was severely damaged during the earthquakes in 2001; however, since then, it has been restored and officially open to the public.

Additionally, the town celebrates its festivities every year towards the end of June. The celebrations are in honor of Saint John the Baptist; so, if you visit during this time, you will see a more colorful colonial town.

Explore the town

One of the best ways to enjoy and experience Nahuizalco is to walk around and explore the town, it’s not that big.

This town, just like all small towns in El Salvador, have the same design; in the middle of town, you will find the central park, the principal church, and the city hall.

Undoubtedly, you need to visit the main attractions such as the colonial church and the plaza; however, the best way to see and experience the local culture is simply to walk around and mingle with the locals.

These are some simple ideas that you can do to experience the town, go shopping for souvenirs at one of the many local stores, try the local cuisine, or visit a workshop and witness how the local crafts are made.

Weekends are the best time to visit and explore Nahuizalco; yes, there will be more people in town. However, there will also be more local activities for you to see and enjoy.

Gastronomy in Nahuizalco.

Nahuizalco is not known for its gastronomy, nevertheless, all over town, you will be able to find restaurants that serve typical Salvadoran dishes.

And if you visit during the weekends, there will be more local food options for you to try.

Where to stay at Nahuizalco El Salvador?

Since Nahuizalco is a small town where you can basically experience everything in a day, most people come to Nahuizalco on day trips.

In other words, accommodations in Nahuizalco do exist but are limited. As a matter of fact, Nahui Hostal near the city center was the only hotel I was able to find online.

Most people visiting the town do it on day trips from nearby cities like Juayua, Santa Ana, La Libertad, or even San Salvador.

If you are looking to spend the night at Nahuizalco, I am sure you will be able to find some kind of accommodation.

Nahuizalco Location

Nahuizalco is in the department of Sonsonate about 75 kilometers from San Salvador; it’s located off the flowers route “La Ruta de Las Flores” or CA-8.

The best way to get to Nahuizalco will vary depending on your starting location and if you are driving, taking the bus, or with a tour group. All I can say is that this colonial town is centrally located, and it will not be hard for you to get there.

One of the best ways to enjoy this colonial town is to do it on tour; the cost is reasonable, and the guides are knowledgeable. The touring company will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day.

Nahuizalco El Salvador.

To sum up, the Pre-Hispanic colonial town of Nahuizalco is one of the best to visit in El Salvador; it is full of traditions and history dating back to pre-colonial times. Visit Nahuizalco, you will love it!

If you travel to El Salvador and have the time and want to visit another small town with a great history going back to colonial times; take a look at Suchitoto, I am sure you will find it astonishing as well.