Ruta de Las Flores – Adventures in El Salvador

The Ruta de Las Flores is supposedly the number one tourist attraction in El Salvador’s burgeoning tourist scene.  That being said, we still hardly saw any other foreigners traveling it!  The route includes three small towns up in the coffee-growing hills of western El Salvador.  Good food, quaint markets, and beautiful scenery were the highlights.  The lowlight: unfortunately it rained for a couple hours every day!  But what can you do?  It is the rainy season.

We started in Juayúa, home to a famous weekend food fair.  It was the same vibe as a carnival or state fair back home, except with different delicacies and lower prices of course!

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Booths selling delicious treats
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Steak, sausage, grilled potatoes, rice, cheesy tortillas, salsa, and chimichurri!

The next day we continued a few kilometers down the road to Apaneca, the smallest town on the route.  We didn’t find out until we got there that our hostel was located about 5km uphill from where the bus dropped us off, in the smaller village of Laguna Verde.  Lucky for us, hitchhiking is easy in the country and we caught a ride in a pickup truck bed most of the way up the hill.  We bought some great coffee in Apaneca and hiked to the small but pretty Laguna Verde.

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Look at all that fog!

Our last stop, Concepción de Ataco, was our favorite.  It was a bigger town with gorgeous blue and white churches, tons of public murals, and lots of awesome craft stores.  If you stay anywhere for more than one night, we would recommend it be here!

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Ataco street murals

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Our daily dose of ice cream from La Neveria, which we highly recommend
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Can you see me?

Travel in El Salvador during the rainy season is a little tricky, but once you get the pattern down you can work around it.  It usually rains in the early afternoon for a couple hours and you just have to wait it out.  On the Ruta de Las Flores, the towns are so close that you can easily arrive at your next stop and stash your stuff before the downpour.

If you enjoy this post about El Salvador’s Ruta de las Flores the check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and our subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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Arequipa, lovely and livable

Arequipa was exactly what we needed after out time in the jungle and our 60-hour bus marathon.  Coming from Bolivia, Peru seems ultra-modern and paradisiacal.  There’s fast Internet!  There’s soft serve ice cream!  What a dreamland.  We stayed for two nights in Arequipa, taking leisurely strolls around town and enjoying the fantastic architecture and mountain views.  Arequipa seemed to us a very modern, well-off, and livable city.  We’d love to go back and spend more time!

Arequipa's Plaza de Armas
Volcán El Misti behind the Plaza de Armas
City street
Cool tree/totem pole in Yanahuara neighborhood
Cathedral
Night view from our hostel's rooftop
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1/3 Highlights

As of January 27, we’ve been in South America for three months!  That’s about 1/3 of the total time we’ll be down here (assuming money lasts) so it’s quite a milestone.  Sometimes I feel like we’ve been on the road forever and other times it feels like it was just yesterday we landed in Medellin.

To celebrate our 1/3-iversary, let’s list some fun stats!

Days in South America:  95

Dollars Spent (not including flight): $3005

Countries Visited: 3

Books Read: 8 (Carrie), 7 (Zach)

Number of Laundromat Visits (not including hand-washing): 3

Bacterial Infections: 1 each

Things We’ve Lost
iPhone (Carrie)…The Infamous Bird Poop Incident
Water bottle (Zach)…just left it at a Couchsurfer’s house
Glasses (Carrie)…stupid lake
Sunglasses (Zach)…stupid ocean
2 rings (Carrie)…two separate places
1 shirt (Carrie)…I think this girl on our first WWOOF farm thought it was hers because she always wore orange!
Dr. Bronners soap (Zach)…”It’ll turn up!” he says
Umbrella…who knows???

And now, since it is Awards Season, we hereby present to you….

The 1/3-iversary Superlatives…a.k.a. the Best Of “So Far”

Favorite Food: ceviche (Zach), llapingachos (Carrie)

Favorite Beverage: Colombian coffee

Most Missed Food: Graeter’s ice cream and peanut butter (Carrie), Mexican food and cheddar cheese (Zach)

Most Missed Event: holidays at home

Most Missed Activities:  watching Oscar films (Carrie), cooking/baking, snowboarding

Most Annoying Phenomenon: loud music and movies on buses

Favorite Activity: The Inca Trail

Nicest People: Colombians

Favorite City: Cuzco

Most Times We Said “What a Crazy Place!”: Huacachina

Best Beach: Canoa

Best Shopping: Otavalo

Best Person We’ve Met: Oso the dog

Scariest/Coolest Experience: the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano

Most Authentic Cultural Experience/Cutest Kids and Puppies: WWOOFing at Finca Campo Bello

Biggest Party/Least Authentic Cultural Experience: Loki Hostel

Biggest Personal Changes: dreadlocks and eating meat (Carrie), actually speaking a second language (Zach)

Favorite Country Overall: Ecuador

Goals for the Next 2/3rds of the Journey

1. Save money and get ahead on our budget in Bolivia!

2. Find a WWOOF experience where we actually get to farm!

3. Do more filming!

4. Improve our Spanish!

I know, I know, we really need to stop losing things and wash our clothes more!  Do you like this silly little superlative round-up?  Should we do one again after 2/3rds?

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