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  • Brian D. Hinson

El Salvador’s La Ruta de Las Flores


El Salvador’s La Ruta de Las Flores (The Route of the Flowers) is a string of half a dozen towns along a highway. All of them burst with art, crafts, nature (like flowers, duh), food, and culture. This road is a backpacker’s dream. Accommodations are cheap, the towns are super safe, and pocket change gets you on a bus to the next town.


The busses. No, they’re not first class. Yes, I did have half a baby on my lap sometimes. Other times someone had a sack with a couple of chickens poking their heads out. But this is where the people are. You don’t get a flight ticket to just see things, do you? And the people of El Salvador are very friendly and helpful. I don’t know enough Spanish to carry on a conversation, but it’s fun to try. And your phone has Google Translate on it, and that can make all the difference in crossing a bridge with a stranger.


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I hit Juayua first. The nearby waterfalls were fantastic, the Feria Gastronomica (Food Festival) every weekend wastasty AF. In my journal I had a list of the more uncommon things I ate with remarks on the experience, but that’s missing. Just go and eat food. As for the murals, I have pictures.


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I’m a travel bum, not a travel guide. This is the post where it becomes most apparent. I couldn’t find my notes or my old travel guide, so I might have one of these towns mixed up with another. And I’m not going to sweat it. Neither should you. Browse through here for a few notes, then pick up an actual travel guide (roughguides.com have been my fave for decades) and then go.


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The other two towns I hit up were Ataco and Apeneca. One of them had a carnival in town. I seated myself in the outdoor section of a café to watch children having the time of their lives on the colorful, brightly-lit rides.


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Tacuba is not on the route. I needed to be there to check out the Parque Nacional El Imposible (you can figure that one out), which I’ll blog about in the future. But there's the ruins of a church destroyed by an earthquake back in the 1600s. I had to go to some municipal office to have someone unlock the gate for me. But that's backpacking the untraveled roads for ya: a few extra steps to get to where you need to go.



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