If you’re in El Salvador and looking for a place to get away for the weekend, you could do worse than the colonial town of Juayua. Blogger Eddie Galdamez explains.
One of my favorite places in El Salvador is the colorful town of Juayua on the Ruta de Las Flores.
With a population of 23,000, this pre-Columbian town is famous for its cobbled streets, local coffee, and weekend food festival.
Visitors to Juayua will also see a lot of colonial architecture and be able to check out murals all over town, painted by local artists. These murals capture rural Salvadoran life in a beautiful way. It’s home to the Santa Lucia Church, one of El Salvador’s most famous religious spots, where people come to view the 16th-century Cristo Negro statue.
The original church dates back to 1557, although the most recent version was completed in 1957. But don’t let that most recent modern date put you off. This is still one of the most charming churches in the country.
Juayua produce some of the best coffee and food in El Salvador.
Visiting a local coffee farm allows you to learn all about the process of getting coffee from the plant into your cup each morning. You can see how the roasting process works, and what it takes to make the perfect cup.
The town itself is also full of great cafes and gift stores where you can sample and buy the local coffee.
Aside from the coffee, or as a compliment to the coffee, Juayua is also famous for its weekly food festival.
Vendors come from all over to set up their stalls and sell delicious local and national cuisine. You’ll find some of the best Salvadoran pupusas and tamales you’ll ever eat at the Juayua food festival.
The festival takes place every weekend in Juayua’s central plaza and surrounding streets. Sundays generally have a few more local stalls set up, with more options than Saturdays.
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Another must-visit is the Los Chorros de la Calera Waterfalls, just outside of town.
The hike to the falls takes you through forest and coffee plantations. Getting there on foot takes about an hour, but if you’re feeling lazy you can hop in one of Juayua’s moto-taxis. They’ll take you to the falls for around $3.
It’s possible to to swim in the pools below Los Chorros de la Calera, although bear in mind the water’s freezing!
El Salvador is full of little towns like Juayua, but there’s something special about this place.
Whether it’s the beautiful surroundings on the Ruta de las Flores, the fresh climate, the coffee, the culture, or the food, Juayua offers the perfect weekend getaway from the bustle and grind of San Salvador or the heat of the beach.
Eddie Galdamez is a Salvadoran blogger and web designer who loves writing about his country. His favorite topics include tourism, politics, culture, and overall life in El Salvador. He runs El Salvador Info, a blog about all things El Salvador.