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Seeking help for planning the trip

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Mississauga, Canada
posts: 132
reviews: 24
Seeking help for planning the trip

I am a solo female traveler planning to go to El Salvador in October for a total of 9 days. It seems there are not a lot of guidebooks out there. Saw another thread in the forum that recommended the Explorer's Guide so will probably order one online later. So far I have been using the Frommer's website which left me with many questions; and the valuable advices from this forum. This is my preliminary plan and places that I want to visit, and probably in this order unless there are other suggestions:

- Suchitoto and Lago de Suchitlán

- Ruta de las Flores. May stay in Juayúa (based on recommendations from other threads in this forum). Apart from visiting the towns on the route, I also want to visit a coffee plantation.

- Joya de Cerén. It will be my first Mayan site.

- San Salvador. Not too keen to stay in the city so may only spend one whole day sightseeing in the capital before my flight back.

My main question is how to travel between places. How can I travel from the airport to Suchitoto to Juayua and finally to San Salvador with my luggage? Are there shuttle buses or coaches? How can I go to Joya de Ceren? Should I rent a car? Do I have to join a tour? I speak some survival Spanish but not enough to carry a normal conversation. I saw some local tours on the web but most require 2 persons traveling together.

I would also like to see a bit of wildlife in El Salvador but I can't do difficult hike. Any suggested places that is safe, easy to get to and easy to hike? Have I missed some must-see places?

Any advices are welcomed. If the country is not that safe for a solo female traveler who can only speak survival Spanish, please also let me know. It is not too late for me to change my plan... yet.

La Libertad, El...
posts: 207
reviews: 7
1. Re: Seeking help for planning the trip

Try this government site for basic info http://www.elsalvador.travel click on the US flag top right for English you can also check http://www.wtf-elsalvador.com for some up to date local info, a good easy cheap place to hike http://www.istu.gob.sv

Another good site politurelsalvador.com/otras-actividades/Home… shows some safe different activities.

I would suggest booking a B&B or hostel in the La Libertad area (1/2 hr from the airport) for the first couple nights, everything can be booked from there & is only a few hrs away. Using common sense & taxis after dark you're as safe as in your home town, chicken buses are a good cheap way to travel just leave the bling & anything you can't live without at home.

Mississauga, Canada
posts: 132
reviews: 24
2. Re: Seeking help for planning the trip

Thank you for the links! I am not a beach person and I don't surf. I wonder if it is worth going to La Libertad area.

I am debating if it is worth spending nights in San Salvador. Will it be convenient to travel to San Salvador in a day trip from Suchitoto? Can I join a tour to see Joya de Cerén from Juayúa or Suchitoto? It seems traveling from Suchitoto to the airport will not take too long.

Can I take a chicken bus to travel from Juayúa to Suchitoto or vice versa? Do I need to transfer between buses? Is there another option, say a shuttle bus? I am worried being lost in the middle of nowhere.

Minneapolis...
posts: 360
reviews: 43
3. Re: Seeking help for planning the trip

I traveled for 2 weeks by myself. One thing about El Salvador unlike most of the other Central American countries is that shared shuttles between destinations are rare - your options are to take private transportation (via taxi or private driver) or chicken bus. Neither are ideal - private option can get pricey and chicken bus requires transferring between major cities. From the airport, I arranged a taxi transfer to the beach area but I would say that if you aren't much of a beach person, aside from hanging out in a hammock, there might not be as much stuff to do, as, say, going to Juayua or other areas in the Ruta de Flores or Suchitoto. I enjoyed the volcano hike from Santa Ana - the Santa Ana volcano and you could check out Lago Coatepeque. Send me a PM if you would like but I think you should get at least the first couple of nights figured out and if you're lucky, you might meet up with other travelers who are going the same direction with whom you can ride the chicken bus with (makes the time go by faster and reduces the anxiety factor) or share a taxi/car.

Good luck. El Salvador is a fascinating country but it takes a bit more work for a solo traveler to do it in a cost and time efficient manner.

Mississauga, Canada
posts: 132
reviews: 24
4. Re: Seeking help for planning the trip

Spahkee, thanks so much for your post. While I was looking into El Salvador and checking out the TA forum, I realized that there was not a lot of tourist information for first time traveller. I have changed my destination to Guatemala. I may travel to El Salvador next year after I gain some more travel experience in Central America. I do feel that I would like El Salvador once I am confident to move around on my own.

5. Re: Seeking help for planning the trip

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