I decided about a week before arriving that my wife and I were going to head to El Salvador for the weekend as a birthday present/trip. Neither of us had ever been so we thought it would be an exciting trip to see if Central America was a good place to keep traveling to for longer trips. We quickly decided that a tour would be the best way to see things on a short trip. Tripadvisor put Nahuat tours as the best so it seemed like a no brainer. I contact Nahuat tours and received a response pretty quickly that outlined options and pricing. I usually need a great deal of flexibility and with Nahuat tours you get just that. I probably contacted Mario half dozen times, including the time when I wasn't going to arrive as early Saturday as I had hoped. He remained flexible as ever even as we decided that Saturday was not going to be possible and we could only do our touring on Sunday. Sunday morning we met Mario (who was early) in the lobby of the hotel. He introduced himself and promptly retrieved our transportation for the days tours of the Volcano Complex and Lake Coatepeque. We opted for the private tour since we enjoy the flexibility in doing what we want at the pace we want. I would note that Nahuat Tours' vehicles are clean and new with great air conditioning.
Mario provided a great deal of history and background on El Salvador as we made our way to the Volcano complex. Once there we walked around the cloud forest guided by Mario and the complex's young guides. If you are lucky the clouds will be rolling and you will see some great views. By the way I recommend a light coat. My wife wore shorts and she was freezing (we went in June). Mario also showed us the remains of a once planned great hotel from around the late 50's to 60's. If you like retro you will like this deserted hotel.
After sampling some local food from a vendor we made our way to the lake. Before we got there Mario mentioned a great little restaurant that sits high above overlooking the lake that would be good for lunch. We had spoken earlier about what sort of local dishes he likes and he mentioned this place has having a specialty of fried lake fish that is stuffed with tiny shrimp. I don't remember the name of the fish, but this dish is amazing (and I don't like freshwater fish).
After a great lunch we headed down to the lake for our boat trip around the lake. One of the highlights is a part of the lake with a volcanic steam vent. The water is so warm, that it is therapeutic. We also went by old lava flows that went into this crater lake. The lake is dotted with some of the finest homes in El Salvador and we have already started looking for rentals around the lake, it is magnificent.
After our boat trip, our tour was basically over and it was time to start heading back to the hotel. With all of our talk of food along the trip Mario suggested we try more local food at another place in town. On our way back he stopped and had us order a number of small items to taste including some of the best fruit juice I have ever had in my life(seriously). At this point our minds were full, our stomachs were full, and our bodies tired.
I wish we had more time to tour the area with Nahuat Tours and when we return to El Salvador we will look them up. There is a lot to see and do in this country and the best way to do it is with them, you will not be disappointed.
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