Starting in Panama City and working my way North over land to Yucatan, Mexico I spent plenty of nights in hostels... from the long list, a few emerge as favourites - Casa Mazeta in Juayua, El Salvador ranks number 1!
For whatever reason (perceived danger, etc) El Salvador seems to get unfortunately overlooked by many Central American backpackers. As a result of this, I had trouble ascertaining recommendations from fellow travellers met along my journey. I decided to head to Juayua without firm plans as to where to stay or what to do there. This ended up being one of the best decisions I made!
I ended up at Casa Mazeta a beautifully restored colonial home in the centre of town, run by Alex, an incredibly kind and welcoming host. The dorm room was very well maintained with huge lockers to store backpacks and valuables, free wifi internet as well as computer use, laundry facilities, flowering gardens to hang out in, hammocks to lounge in, access to kitchen facilities (but don't miss out on eating pupusas from Esmeralda!! - Alex can point you in the right direction)... basically the place has everything!
As I arrived midweek, not during Juayua's weekend food-fair, I was the only tourist to be found at Mazeta... and in town for that matter - a very unique and unforgettable experience.
Through Mazeta, I arranged a walking tour to the 7 waterfalls of the area with a local guide (Douglas), a highly recommended day trip. Alex was also a wealth of information in regards to the surrounding towns on La Ruta de Las Flores, sights to see, places to eat, etc. - all of which you can easily do on day trips by bus from Juayua.
At Casa Mazeta I felt like more than just a passing tourist - I got to experience real life in Juayua. Of all the places in Central America I visited and stayed, this is one I can say with absolute certainty that I will return to.
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