Traveling to El Salvador – With Kids

El Salvador is the neighboring country of Guatemala, yet so very few people go there and even less know
anything about this country. So for that reason, and many others, we decided this would make a great 5
day getaway.

We took this trip 2 weeks after K boy’s US passport was issued and at the age of 6 months K boy has
visited his first international hot spot.

Discover many more fun facts about traveling to El Salvador.

While doing research, I spoke to the 2 people that I knew that had visited El Salvador, one of them was
actually from there. They both said to get to San Salvador is 4 hours. The one that was from El Salvador
has said that she and her family had made this trip in 4 hours and her brother, because he drives fast,
has done it in 3.

So we planned accordingly.

After doing lots and lots of research I decided on 2 locations for the 5 days. Neither of them were to be
anywhere near San Salvador. Even though, no one really knows much about this country, everyone can
passionately tell you all about the gang problems in San Salvador. So to be safe, we decided to avoid this
area at all costs.

The two spots I landed on was Suchitoto – a colonial town next to a gorgeous lake.

Playa Tunco – El Salvador has some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America and some of the
best breaks. I wanted to chill on the beaches while International Dad and B boy take surf lessons. Playa Tunco seemed like the best option for both!

Lee mas sobre qué hacer en El Salvador y a donde ir.

We piled into the car with the MIS-conception that it’s only 4 hours.

5 hours later we were STILL in Guatemala and extremely unhappy. Finally after crossing the border after
dark, something we wanted to avoid, we started looking for our first top – Suchitoto. Circling round and
round, we couldn’t for the life of us find the turn off. After asking at least 4 different people- none of
which ever heard of Suchitoto, we had to give them a spot close to the colonial town . From there it was
smooth sailing.

For More Great Info Get Your Book NOW!


About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

9 Responses to Traveling to El Salvador – With Kids

  1. Hi Marina! Thank you for write about my country. And it was really sad to be a longer trip as expected.
    If you need anytime any address or direction about a place or any recommendation (specially in the western part of the country), I’ll be really pleased to help.
    this is my twitter account: @RolandoPeralta
    I hope you still enjoy your trip with your beautiful family!!

    • Hey Rolando!

      El Salvador so far has been our FAVORITE country. We’ve already been there 2 times 🙂 I’m even writing an Travel guide for families in El Salvador.

      So I would love to hear your advice, which parts exactly are you talking about.

      I am following you on twitter now!

  2. Hi Marina! wonderful news for my eyes. thank you for your comments about my country.
    Well. I think you can enjoy the western Departamentos: Santa Ana, Sonsonate and Ahuachapan.
    Santa Ana is a very historic city with a beautiful Theater and Gothic Cathedral. The City Hall is from Colony, as much of the city, so you’ll see some nice spots for pictures. It’s 64km from San Salvador, and 50km from Las Chinamas/Valle Nuevo border (with Guatemala).
    You can find a nice place to stay at Lonely Planet (Casa Verde) if you want to stay downtown.
    Sonsonate is very well known for beaches. But it’s higher part is connected with Ahuachapan by a road called “La Ruta de las Flores”. This route starts in Ahuachapan, which is located just 16km from Las Chinamas/Valle Nuevo border. It’s a small town with a little bit of art and fantastic sunsets.
    After you leave Ahuachapan, in the Ruta de las Flores, you’ll find Ataco. Which is a fantastic place to stay. Very colonial town and nice people, too. Let me know if you visit this town, I have a good friend with a new small hotel for foreign tourist and really nice restaurant.
    After you leave Ataco, you’ll find Apaneca. Maybe the most pleasant weather from the route. You’ll find lot’s of nice places to stay with beautiful views to mountains and nature. Lot’s of bird sighting, too.
    After Apaneca, you’ll find the first towns from Sonsonate: Salcoatitan (a very small one) and Juayua. This is very famous for its gastronomic festivals on weekends.
    Juayua is a point where you can continue driving to Santa Ana by a popular restaurant and hotels route called “Los Naranjos”, or you can continue your trip to Sonsonate.
    In this case, you’ll have to drive to Nahuizalco. This small town is one of the only places in El Salvador where you can still find people speaking Nahuatl (our original language).
    And please let me know if you need something to know around these places 🙂
    Rolando Peralta recently posted..LinkedIn presenta su boton para aplicar a plazasMy Profile

    • Thanks Rolando for great ideas. We already came back and am waiting for my husband to get some time off for us to head back to El Salvador. I will keep all these in mind and talk to you again!

  3. Hi Marina!!!
    I’m goingo to San Salvador in next december, and I have so many questions. I’m having difficulty to choose a hotel in the city. What would be the best place to stay? The city is really as dangerous as people say? We have only 4 days in El Salvador, what to prioritize in our visit? Thanks for your posts.

    • Hey Ana!!!

      Thanks for writing me. You will love El Salvador! I haven’t been to San Salvador, becausae we’ve fallen in love with Suchitoto and Balsamo Coast.

      Can you get there? It’s only about 1 hour drive to either place? I can make tons of recommendation for those areas.

      Let me know!!!

  4. Tammy says:

    Hi Marina,

    My husband is heading to San Salvador to do volunteer work for a few day and I’d really love to go along with our 2 year old. We have traveled throughout Guatemala and Costa Rica prior to our little one. I feel in love with Central America. We took the little one on a work trip to Kingston, Jamaica; so I’m hoping San Salvador is comparable or safer. We then took a private driver though the blue mountains into the northern regions to spend a week in a tree house. So we have gone on a few adventures with the little one. I normally avoid the big cities, however in this case we can’t. Now that you have been back would you visit the capitol with your children? Should we just stay in (very near) the hotel while dad works then relocate to a better area after his work is finished. Can you please give me any suggestions, insight, ideas! I really want him to experience as many cultures and countries as possible and I don’t want to wait until he is older (I need my travel fix), but I also want to be smart about it.

Leave a Reply to Marina Kuperman Villatoro Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.