La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador is a touristic route that includes six picturesque towns, Nahuizalco, Salcoatitan, Juayua, Apaneca, Concepción de Ataco, and Achuachapan.
La Ruta de Las Flores is by far one of the most popular destinations in the country. This beautiful area is located in the western mountainous region of El Salvador.
These towns are located in the departments of Sonsonate and Ahuachapan. They are near each other but have a uniqueness to themselves, visible in their customs, traditions, and history.
In each town on this tourist route, you will find excellent cuisine, a great climate, and beautiful landscapes. Also, you will find local shops filled with souvenirs, remarkable cultural traditions, beautiful murals, and much more.
When is the best time to visit La Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador?
The best months to visit La Ruta de Las Flores is from the middle of November all the way to the Middle of February. These are the months when the flowers are blooming in the area. But, keep in mind that due to climate change, the blooming can vary slightly.
You can visit the towns on any day of the week; however, it’s best to do it during the weekend. During the weekends, each municipality in the route tries its best to attract tourists; therefore, they held more cultural events and food events.
Top Things to do in La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador.
If you are planning a trip to any of these beautiful towns or the area in general? Then check out my list on the top things to do in the La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador. The list is in no particular order.
1- Visit the Juayua Food festival.
If you want to try some tasty traditional Salvadoran food, visit Juayua during the weekend food festival. People from all over the country, locals, and foreigners visit this colorful town just to try some of the best typical foods in El Salvador.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the town has its renowned gastronomy event. The two principal streets near the church and the park close and get lined up with makeshift kitchens under canopies preparing the local dishes.
The Juayua gastronomy festival is open to the general public. It costs nothing to walk around and see all of the fantastic food such as soups, grilled meats, seafood, desserts, and of course, Salvadoran Pupusas.
2- Take a tour of a coffee plantation.
If you are a coffee lover, you will be able to sample different types of fantastic local beans. On the other hand, if you don’t like coffee, you will still be able to enjoy the views, nature, and the climate.
3- Do the 7 Waterfalls hiking trip.
If you feel the need to burn some of the calories after eating all that delicious food; or, you just love being in the outdoors, the 7 waterfall hike might be for you.
This is a challenging six-hour trek that offers some spectacular scenery. For instance, you will be able to get great views of the Cerro Verde National park and its iconic volcanoes, Izalco, Ilamatepec, and Cerro Verde.
You will go through heavily forested areas, coffee farms, and creeks where you can take a dip and enjoy the water. This hike or trek will take you to some of the best waterfalls in the country.
4- Visit the Los Chorros de la Calera waterfall.
If you are like me or any other visitor, who didn’t want to take the challenge of doing the 7 waterfall hike. Then, visiting the Los Chorros de La Calera waterfall is an option.
The Los Chorros de la Calera is a lovely cascading waterfall located just outside the town of Juayua. The hike to the waterfall will take you through coffee plantations and densely forested fields.
The highlight is the beautiful waterfall where you can go swimming. Nevertheless, you will be able to enjoy the scenery, and the local flora and fauna.
5- Go canopying and Zip-lining in Apaneca.
For those looking for extreme sports activities, then canopying and Zip-lining in Apaneca is the way to go. This fantastic activity will take you over the densely populated forest, coffee fields, and the green valleys.
Undoubtedly, the canopy tour is an adventure full of an adrenaline-charged ride, with amazing views, and a unique feeling of freedom.
6- Get lost in the labyrinth of Apaneca.
The labyrinth of Albania is a top tourist destination in La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador. It is located in the Albania coffee farm between Apaneca and Ataco.
The Albania labyrinth is made up of more than 2,000 cypress trees, this is the main attraction of the Albania Coffee plantation. This labyrinth is the only one of its kind in El Salvador.
In addition to trying to get to the middle of the labyrinth, you can visit the coffee plantation or taste the locally grown coffee beans. Furthermore, you can enjoy the local gastronomy served at the Albanian restaurant.
7- Explore the murals and learn their meaning.
A fun thing to do while you are visiting any of the towns in La Ruta de Las Flores is to appreciate the beautiful murals. Simply walk around this colorful town, and you will see many different colorful paintings.
Most of the murals are about Salvadoran rural life, animals, and religion. These street murals are pleasant for discovering the artistic side of El Salvador. In these towns, homes, businesses, hotels, and abandoned properties have some of the most picturesque and vibrant street art in El Salvador.
8- Explore the Nahuizalco night market.
If you happen to be in Nahuizalco at night, you must visit the lively night market. At the night market, you can shop for everyday groceries, snacks, and pastries.
Nevertheless, most tourists visit for the tasty local food and to buy some local art and crafts. The Nahuizalco night market is known for all the different types of local dishes available to eat; also, for the many different stores that sell arts and crafts.
Top things to do in La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador.
Obviously, the eight top things to do listed above are not the only things that you can do at the La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador. For instance, you can visit the thermal pools, you can enjoy boogie carts in Apaneca. Besides, you can just relax, have a cup of coffee and enjoy the climate.
Once you decide if you are visiting for a day or a few days, then you can start looking at what activities you want to do in this touristic route.
Towns in La Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador.
These are the colorful towns that you will find in the picturesque Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador. They are Nahuizalco, Salcoatitlan, Juayua, Apaneca, Ataco, and Ahuachapan.
Let the journey start in Nahuizalco, a town that even today has strong indigenous customs and traditions. In this town, you will see women, especially older adults, use traditional huipiles. For those who don’t know, the huipiles are the skirts that indigenous Pipil women wore during colonial times.
Nahuizalco is famous for its wicker and tule handicrafts such as baskets, floor mats, and even furniture. These crafts are well known all over El Salvador and Central America.
Another top thing to do in Nahuizalco is to visit the night market. It is one of the traditions that make Nahuizalco a site of great tourist interest.
If you want to know more about this colorful town, visit our Nahuizalco page.
The town of Salcoatitan is the second stop in “La Ruta de Las Flores,” assuming you started your journey from San Salvador. This city has a variety of traditional mosaics and art galleries for visitors to view and enjoy.
At the entrance of the town, you will find Plaza La Ceiba with its main attraction, which is the 400-year-old tree. La Ceiba tree is over 400 years old and has reached about 30 feet in height, with its trunk being about seven meters wide.
Here is a local tradition for you to keep in mind. According to a local legend, whoever embraces the trunk of La Ceiba and says out loud words of gratitude in Nahuatl will receive a gift from the spirit enclosed within the tree.
Near the big tree of La Ceiba is the beautiful colonial church, San Miguel Arcángel. This small and beautiful colonial church dates back to the beginning of the 19th century.
I recommend you to visit the colonial town of Salcoatitan during the weekend. In addition to the normal touristic activities, you will be able to enjoy the local gastronomy served in the park in front of the colonial church.
Juayua is a Pre-Columbian Pipil town whose name in Nahuatl means River of the Purple Orchids. This vibrant town has plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy, especially on the weekends.
Among the six cities in La Ruta de Las Flores, Juayua has the best food festival, which attracts many national and international tourists. Every Saturday and Sunday, Juayua comes alive with its famous food festival, which offers a vast array of local dishes and drinks for visitors to enjoy.
Additionally, the Los Chorros de La Calera waterfall is also one of the main attractions of Juayua. These beautiful waterfalls are located about two kilometers from the center of town.
The town has other attractions other than the gastronomy and waterfalls, there is the conga bus, the little trains, the shopping, and the horse-drawn carriages, to name a few. Visit our Juayua page, if you want to know more about this astonishing city.
Because of its colorful and picturesque landscapes of flowers on the road, Apaneca is one of the main cities of the Ruta de Las Flores. The best months to view this picturesque landscape is from November to February.
Apaneca is located about 1,470 meters above sea level, which makes it one of the highest cities in El Salvador. The name Apaneca in the old Nahuat language means “River of winds.”
The altitude and wind led to the implementation of wind barriers along its mountain chain. These wind barriers are a popular picturesque attraction that can be viewed from the city.
Because of the altitude, some of the best coffee in the country comes from this area. You can sample this coffee at one of the many stores in town.
Furthermore, ecotourism and adventure sports such as buggies, canopy, hiking, and camping are popular in Apaneca.
To sum up, the town of Apaneca is developing a lot in the tourism sector; it offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and diverse crafts made by the locals.
Concepcion de Ataco.
Concepcion de Ataco is another beautiful mountain town in La Ruta de las Flores. And just like the other towns in the route, it has plenty of things to do.
Since this town is located in the mountains, the temperature is colder. Therefore, the city is perfect for coffee lovers like me. When visiting Ataco, go spend time at one of the coffee farms nearby, see how the process works, and at the same time, enjoy some brew.
The colorful murals all over town are another top attraction for tourists; these murals describe everyday rural life in Ataco. By the way, you can get a big dose of Salvadoran culture just by looking and understanding these murals.
The viewpoint of the cross or Mirador de La Cruz is also a top thing to do in Ataco; from this viewpoint, you can see the entire town and the surrounding areas. Obviously, there are many other things to do at Concepcion de Ataco; so, consider visiting this town, it’s fantastic!
Ahuachapan is the biggest town on La Ruta de las Flores. Some people say that this town is not part of the route and that Tacuba is. I don’t know who is right or wrong, but I decided to included Ahuachapan as the sixth town.
Just like the other towns on the route, there are plenty of things to do or see in this city; here are a few for Ahuachapan.
La Parroquia de la Asunción is a beautiful colonial-style building with more than 100 years old history attached to its walls. This is an ideal starting point to explore Ahuachapan and its culture.
Then you can go to La Concordia, a combination of a small passage and a town square located next to the church. This is a beautiful pedestrian area decorated with stunning and colorful murals.
Additionally, El Espino lagoon is a pleasant place to see; this place is of great historical importance to the country; because of the events that transpired here in the eighteenth century.
This is just some of the best things to do and see in Ahuachapan; visit this fantastic, not too small city, in La Ruta de las Flores.
How to Get Around La Ruta de las Flores.
Getting around the Ruta de las Flores region is not that difficult, you can either drive, take a private shuttle, or take the local bus.
If you are driving, simply input the final destination into a mobile application and follow the directions. All the towns are located on the main road that takes you from Sonsonate to Ahuachapan.
If you are going with a Salvadoran tour company, all you need to do is to relax and enjoy the ride and the scenery.
If you take the local public bus, take bus route number 249 that travels from Sonsonate to Ahuachapan; this bus stops in all the towns in the La Ruta de Las Flores.
Best way to visit the La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador.
There are different ways to enjoy a visit to this tourist route, it all depends on what you want to do, and if you are visiting for a day or a few days.
The following are suggestions and information that can help you choose the best way for you to visit this tourist route.
- Juayua has the most popular gastronomy.
- Apaneca has the most popular extreme sports activities.
- Nahuizalco is the most popular town for locally made crafts.
- Juayua is the most visited town in the route.
- If you are spending the night or a few nights, Juayua is the best option. (Personal opinion)
- Nahuizalco is the town where you will get to see more colonial time customs and traditions.
If you are having a hard time deciding on what to do during your trip to the route. You can talk to other travelers and see what they have done or just call a Salvadoran tour company and see what they recommend.
La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador.
La Ruta de Las Flores has a blend of six incredible small towns with an astonishing history, great traditions, and plenty of things to do and see.
This tourist route is for anyone who loves local art, colorful small towns, the outdoors, coffee, and great food.
Visit La Ruta de Las Flores and enjoy some excellent local gastronomy, enjoy nature, and make some fantastic memories along the way.