La Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador. Exploring unique towns!

By Karla Ramos  |  Nov 1st, 2022

La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador is a tourist route that includes six picturesque towns, Nahuizalco, Salcoatitan, Juayua, Apaneca, Concepción de Ataco, and Achuachapan.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Tourism: A Journey Through Pristine Beaches, Colorful Towns, and Enchanting Parks

La Ruta de Las Flores is by far one of the most popular destinations in the country. This beautiful area is in the western mountainous region of El Salvador.

Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador
Ruta de Las Flores Panoramic view of the volcanoes.

These towns are in the departments of Sonsonate and Ahuachapan. They are near each other but have a uniqueness 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 to visit La Ruta de Las Flores?

The best time to visit La Ruta de Las Flores is from the middle of November to the middle of February when the flowers in the area are blooming. But, keep in mind that due to climate change, the blooming season can vary slightly.

Another option is to visit in the middle of the rainy season or winter. During this time, visitors will have to deal with rain; however, visitors will also get to see the dense vegetation that comes alive during the winter months.

Now, you can visit the towns on any day of the week; however, it’s best to do it during the weekend.

During the weekends, municipalities in the route try their best to attract tourists. Therefore, in addition to the normal activities, they held more cultural and food events.

Top Things to do in La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador

This tourist route has plenty of things that keep visitors busy for days. The following are some of the best things to do in the La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador. The list is in no particular order.

Visit the Juayua Food festival

The Juayua food festival is one of the main attractions in this tourist route; it takes place every weekend at the town’s municipal park.

Visit Juayua during the weekend food festival and join people from all over the country. Locals and foreigners visit this colorful town 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.

Juayua Food Festival
Juayua Food Festival. Photo by El Salvador Travel

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.

Explore the Coffee Plantations

The La Ruta de Las Flores area is known for producing some of the best coffee beans in El Salvador. Taking the time to take a tour of a coffee plantation is always a good idea.

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, the nature, and the climate.

Try 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 seven waterfalls hike might be for you.

The hike is a challenging six-hour trek that offers 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.

Also, 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 seven of the best waterfalls in the country.

Visit the Los Chorros de la Calera Waterfall

Visitors who don’t want to take the challenge of the seven waterfall trip can take a journey to the Los Chorros de La Calera waterfall.

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.

At this beautiful waterfall, you can’t only go swimming. You can also enjoy the scenery and the local flora and fauna that surround the waterfall.

Chorros de la Calera Waterfall
Chorros de la Calera Waterfall in Juayua. Photo by @esimpressive

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 green valleys.

The canopy tour is an adventure full of an adrenaline-charged ride; it has fantastic scenic views and a unique feeling of freedom.

Get lost in the Labyrinth of Albania

The labyrinth of Albania is a top tourist destination in La Ruta de Las Flores. It is in the Albania coffee farm between the colorful towns of 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. Additionally, 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.

Labyrinth of Albania
The Labyrinth of Albania in Apaneca.

Explore the Charming Murals

A fun thing to do while visiting any of the towns in La Ruta de Las Flores is to appreciate the beautiful murals. Walk around these colorful towns, and you will see many different colorful wall paintings.

The murals are about Salvadoran rural life, animals, family, traditions, and religion; they display El Salvador’s artistic side.

Many homes, businesses, hostels, and abandoned properties have some of the most picturesque and vibrant street art in El Salvador.

La Ruta de Las Flores El Salvador
Ruta de las Flores-charming Murals. Photo by Susan Metenosky

Explore the Nahuizalco Night Market

Visiting the Nahuizalco night market is another activity worth doing in this tourist route. At night and until about 10 pm, local shops near the city center are open and lit only by candlelight.

At the night market, visitors can shop for items such as groceries, snacks, pastries, and local arts and crafts. Additionally, visitors can visit the small restaurants and try the tasty cuisine.

Things to do in La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador

The top things to do listed above are not the only things that can be done at the La Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador. For instance, you can visit the thermal pools, enjoy boogie carts in Apaneca, or relax and 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 with a long history of 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 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.


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 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 living 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.

La Ceiba Tree in Salcoatitan El Salvador.


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. Every weekend, Juayua comes alive with its famous food festival.

The Los Chorros de La Calera waterfall is also one of the main attractions of Juayua. These beautiful waterfalls are 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.

Santa Lucia Church
Santa Lucia church in Juayua.


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 are 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.

Also, 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.

Ecotourism and adventure sports such as buggies, canopy, hiking, and camping are also popular in Apaneca.

Apaneca in El Salvador.
Apaneca in Ahuachapan. Photo by Mariana

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 in the mountains, the temperature is colder. Therefore, the city is perfect for coffee lovers.

When visiting Ataco, spend time at one of the coffee farms nearby, see how the process works, and at the same time, enjoy the local coffee.

The colorful murals all over town are another top attraction; these murals describe everyday rural life in Ataco. By the way, you can learn about Salvadoran culture just by looking at and understanding these murals.


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; however, I decided to include 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 is an ideal starting point to explore Ahuachapan and its culture.

Visitors can go to La Concordia, a combination of a small passage and a town square located next to the church. It 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.

These are 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.

Getting 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.