El Salvador’s Route of Flowers

The Route of Flowers encompasses a circuit of historic towns in mountainous western El Salvador.

Many of the original place-names here refer to endemic wildflower varieties. The cool mountain climate is perfect for the cultivation of orchids and premium coffee.

Travelers on this route can visit plantations, waterfalls, volcanoes, historic churches, and traditional markets.

Comfortable Mountain Lodges

The circuit can be traveled in two, three or four days, with accommodations available at comfortable mountain lodges.

The Route of Flowers begins in Nahuizalco, 46 miles west of San Salvador and 6 miles north of Sonsonate.

This town’s most famous attractions include the 1660 church of San Juan Bautista and a candle-lit night market, where visitors can purchase:

  • Local Produce
  • Handmade Wicker
  • Earthenware
  • Textile Products

Apaneca & The Santa Leticia Coffee Plantation

From Juayúa, the road twists six miles west to Apaneca, a village whose name means “River of Winds”.

Situated 4,800 feet above sea level, Apaneca is a perfect base for active adventure.

ATV, Hiking, and Zipline Tours

Tour options range from zip-line canopy tours and hiking to ATV tours and horseback riding.

Flower nurseries sell a wide variety of ferns and flowering plants.

The Santa Leticia coffee plantation offers visits of its beneficio and a small archeological site that dates to 600 BC.

Concepción de Ataco

Concepción de Ataco, just three miles west of Apaneca, lies a misty mountain town of cobblestone streets, brightly painted houses, and textile workshops.

On weekends, traditional folk music fills its shaded central plaza.

Here you can enjoy Salvadoran quesadillas (inch-high pound cakes seasoned with honey and sesame), frozen fruits dipped in chocolate, and succulent local watermelon.

The nearby La Golondrinera Waterfall, accessible via a moderate 40-minute hike, plunges 131 feet to a cool swimming hole.

Three other waterfalls and a botanical garden can also be visited from Nahuizalco.

San Miguel Salcoatitán

Another four miles to the northwest, San Miguel Salcoatitán is blessed with a spring-like climate—ideal for shade-grown coffee production.

Originally known as the City of Quetzalcoatl, this town was a center for the worship of the Maya God of the Morning Star.

Today, visitors come to enjoy traditional food fairs on Saturdays and Sundays. Coffee tours are available throughout the week.

The River of Purple Orchids

Juayúa, perched two miles to the north, is anchored by a colorful church and surrounded by eleven volcanoes.

Its Nahuatl name translates to River of Purple Orchids.

From the city center, a 1.2-mile trail leads through coffee plantations to the most famous waterfall in El Salvador—Los Chorros de Calera.

Hot Springs, Geysers and Weekend Food Fairs

Other attractions include orchid nurseries, a geyser field, hot springs and weekend food fairs.

Achuachapán: City in the Pines

Achuachapán, or “City in the Pines”, is a lovely hamlet roughly four miles northwest of Ataco.

The city center includes a mix of colonial buildings from the 17th century and metal edifices from the coffee boom era.

Tacuba, ten miles to the west, stands the northern gateway to El Impossible National Park.

Guided Hikes in El Impossible

Guided day-hikes within the park allow you to observe wildlife and visit waterfalls.

Constructed in 1605 and destroyed by fire in 1773, the ruins of Tacuba’s Iglesia Maria Magdalena can be viewed near the city center.

LANDED arranges personalized travel in the flower region and throughout El Salvador. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides.

Let us turn your dreams into memories. LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll create the most exceptional trip of your life.

“Earth laughs in flowers.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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