Suchitoto: Tranquil & Friendly

Founded in 1528, Suchitoto was the first major Spanish settlement in what’s now El Salvador.

The conquistadors used Suchitoto as a base for subjugating the surrounding region before San Salvador was established as colonial capital in 1545.

Despite its martial history, Suchitoto is both charmingly tranquil and friendly.

Rich History and Colonial Charm

The town retains much of its colonial character—whitewashed adobe buildings, red tiled roofs, and cobblestone streets.

During the civil war, local filmmaker Alejandro Cotto successfully persuaded both sides that Suchitoto was worth preserving.

For untold centuries before the Spanish arrival, the indigenous Nahuat population dyed their textiles with the deep blue pigment of the Xiquilite or indigo plant.

By the dawn of the 16th century, Suchitoto’s indigo was a prized commodity in Europe. At its peak, an ounce of indigo was as valuable as an ounce of gold.

Indigo Plantations and Santa Lucia

The town’s prosperity was memorialized in mansions, haciendas, and the grand 1858 Santa Lucia Church.

Today, the indigo plantations and workshops are open to visitors, who can observing the cultivation and dying processes and create their own custom garments.

Lake Suchitlán

Suchitoto graces the southern shore of Lake Suchitlán, 29 miles northeast of San Salvador.

In the native Nahuatl language, Suchitoto translates to “flower bird“.

The surrounding wetlands are home to hundreds of avian species, many of which can be seen at Isla de los Parjaros on Lake Suchitlán.

Guazapa Volcano: Guided Hikes and Horseback Tours

Private tours with naturalist guides can be arranged.

Guided hikes to the Guazapa Volcano, 15 miles southeast of Suchitoto, take trekkers and horseback riders on forested trails and through civil war battlefields.

Los Tercios, Agua Caliente, and Montaña de Cinquera

Other popular day-trips visit the basalt-columned Los Tercios Waterfall, Agua Caliente hot springs, and a former guerrilla camp at Montaña de Cinquera.

Potters in the town of Ilobasco, 20 miles southeast of Suchitoto, produce jars, figurines, and egg-shaped sorpresas containing miniature village scenes.

To the south, Artisans in San Sebastian weave naturally-dyed hammocks.

San Antonio Los Ranchos, 15 miles north of Ilobasco, is well-regarded for its handmade baskets, cigars, and indigo textiles.

When you travel with LANDED, our team of travel experts and network of local contacts are at your service. We’ll handle the details, freeing you to savor the moments. Call us today at 801.582.2100. Dream big. We’ve got you.

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