Before the Spanish conquest of the land, which is known as El Salvador today, it had the name of Cuscatlan, which means 'land of jewels'. It is the land of the mysterious culture of the ancient Olmec people, who created the first empire in America. The country of El Salvador amazes the visitors with the striking buildings of the ancient pre-Columbian cities, magnificent pyramids of sandstone in Tasumale and San Andrйs, mysterious stone heads of the Olmec, scattered across the country, the monuments of vanished civilizations, the surroundings of Lake Giha, as well as dozens of other archaeological sites, many of which have yet to be explored. Countless rivers flow on the hillsides, and at the foot of two dozen volcanoes there are amazing lakes with beautiful surrounding valleys. Because of the relatively undeveloped tourism industry and the years of civil war, the country is still rather poorly studied, which makes it particularly attractive to fans of historical tourism.

Stretching across the valley of Valle de las Amakas, at the foot of the majestic volcano of the same name, the city of San Salvador is a chaotic and rather ugly capital of the country, its main political and industrial center. The central point is the domed cathedral of the capital Catedral Metropolitano, where the national hero Archbishop Oscar Romero is buried. The cathedral is adjacent to the city square Barrios. Of special interest is also the Renaissance National Theatre and the nearby Teatro Cafe. To the east of the theater there begins a complex market Mercado Central.

There are so many buildings damaged by earthquakes and as if struggling to stay upright. In the north of the city there is one of the largest churches in the city, Iglesia Don Rua with its magnificent turrets and stained glass. The western suburbs and Boulevard de Los Heroes abound in fast food restaurants, shopping centers and markets, thus forming the largest outdoor shopping center in Central America. Mercado des Artesanias has a wide selection of handicrafts from around the country. The National Museum of History and Anthropology contains most of the unique archaeological finds of the country. The entertainment district Zona Rosa is known for expensive restaurants, nightclubs and shops.

El Salvador is also a picturesque mountainous country with numerous gorges, waterfalls and blue lakes of Los Chorros. It is a favorite place of rest for the residents of the capital. Near the village of Santa Tesla, there are the ruins of a unique settlement of the classical period, Joya de Ceren. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993, the settlement is widely known as the 'American Pompeii' because of the remains of the villages destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Small, but very informative archaeological museum covers in detail the culture of the Maya in El Salvador.

Near the capital there is a municipality of San Andres, where the fertile soil of the valley hides a lot of historical mysteries. The complex of San Andres is one of the largest sites of pre-Columbian cultures in El Salvador, initially covering more than three square kilometers. A small part of the city buildings here is known as Acropolis, or the South Square, a powerful stone platform on which there are a lot of pyramids and towers. A small museum located here contains an exact model of this ancient city and a good exhibition of ancient artifacts. Ask your El Salvador tour operator to hire an experienced guide to have an enriching excursion in the San Andres museum.

Bustling San Miguel is the third largest city in the country, a major commercial center and a starting point of the trips to many interesting areas of the eastern part of the country. Located at the foot of the volcano Chaparrastik, it is more quiet and picturesque than the capital of the country, It is not associated with any great monuments, but it is situated in the vicinity of the ruins of many ancient civilizations. Its attractions include the archaeological site Kuelepa, Laguna El Hokotal natural reserve, El Salvador's most famous restaurant La Perna, and a grand two-month festival of Nuestra Seсora de la Paz, in honor of the patron saint of the city.

Travel agents in El Salvador will help you organize a nice and memorable tour and deal with such matters as flights, hotels, ground transportation, etc.
City of San Salvador