Weekend in El Salvador

I had a long weekend off work and Chris and I decided to go to El Salvador for a few days, not knowing anything about where to go or what to do once we were there. Luckily we ended up missing all the shuttles to San Salvador on Thursday and got stuck in Guatemala City for a night. I say luckily because it meant we got to spend some time at the mall and found a movie theater showing X-Men: First Class in English! It’s always nice to see a movie in English when you are away from home, something comforting about the big squishy chairs and air conditioning and familiar language.

The next day we took a shuttle to San Salvador, chicken bus to the coastal town of La Libertad and from there caught another chicken bus to Playa San Diego. We had read about a hostel there called El Roble that was supposed to be really chill. The chicken bus drops you off in the middle of a neighborhood and we had to walk through a dozen or so ranches before we found the hostel. So glad we did!
The pool at El Roble

It was a paradise, about a five minute walk from the beach, and a backpacker’s play ground. There were hammocks strung up everywhere, books, darts, games, a pool, lawn chairs, awesome bar where we could help ourselves and keep our own tab, great family style dinners with the owners and guests. This is my ideal hostel; everyone hanging out at night and drinking together, owners who clearly want to meet people, friendly hostel dog.

El Roble's Awesome Bar!!!

We spent an afternoon in Playa el Tunco, two bus rides north of El Roble. Glad we went there as well! It was a weird little surfing town, super small but jam packed with seafood joints and hippies. I found blue crabs there, which pretty much made the whole weekend worth it.

Blue Crabs and Prawns at El Tunco

Chris on Playa San Diego, we had the beach all to ourselves

After the beach, we decided to head up to Juayua, a city in northern el Salvador, for a food festival we heard was pretty great. It was actually overwhelming at first, dozens upon dozens of carts and booths of everything you could want being freshly grilled and slapped onto plates for 3 bucks a pop. Prawns, rabbit, ribs, roast chicken, strawberries dipped in chocolate, it was foodie heaven. Apparently this food fest happens every weekend in Juayua! The city was noticeably nicer and more wealthy than other El Salvadorian towns and I think it was in part due to the food festival. Parts of the city reminded me of Miami, actually. A 50 cent train ride took us all around the city on a rainy afternoon, which was a good way to get around and see things. The hostel we stayed at in Juayua was really great as well, communal kitchen and swings and everyone sitting around watching cheesy action movie together.

This has made me want to travel more of Central America, but now I’ve only got 6 weeks left here in Antigua!
Center of Juayua, cathedral in the background

Food festival, random person waving at me!


  1. Chicken Bus? Why is it called that?

  2. They are chicken buses because people literally bring their chickens on them.


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