Traveling The Ruta de Las Flores
PHOTO: Travel the Ruta de Las Flores in El Salvador
There are certain roads and highways and byways that just become legends of their own – the Autobahn and Route 66 are a couple that come quickly to mind – while at the same time perfectly epitomizing the flavor and personality of the region they represent.
In El Salvador, that highway is known as Ruta de Las Flores.
Named for the colorful flowers that shroud the road for several months a year, this road serves as a sort of gateway to its own special world. It offers a great escape from those seeking some solitude and quiet away from the activity of the nearby towns and beach areas.
This is the type of road where you can just sort of amble along from one place to another on a slow, relaxing journey. As you will quickly discover, one of the best things about this road is that there are literally surprises around almost every turn. You will travel through a succession of small towns and quaint villages, each of which has their own style and attitude.
Traveling on this route is an excellent way to immerse yourself in many aspects of the local culture, and get a sampling of many of the things that make this region unique.
Your first stop will likely be the town of Juayua, where you will ideally want to time your stop here to coincide with the food festival held every weekend. People come from miles around to indulge in some of the best authentic regional cuisine. While you are here, plan out your route for exploring some of the picturesque towns surrounding this central location. You can view many of the nearby landmarks and cultural sites of interest via a bus that leaves from Juayua throughout the day.
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Coffee lovers will definitely want to include room on their agenda for a tour of the major coffee plantation in Ataco. You will get an interesting lesson on how coffee is made, with a walkthrough of the entire process. And of course you can try some tasty samples.
If you love nature and are up for a fairly challenging hike, you will be rewarded with one of the most special and breathtaking views in the entire region. Los Chorros de la Calera is where you will find seven waterfalls, plus all sorts of wonders of nature. If you want a less strenuous way to enjoy nature, there is a tranquil waterfall that’s a much more leisurely walk from Juayua.
You then might want to head to Apaneca, a sleepy old-fashioned town that is perfect for a stroll where you take in the scenery or just get lost in your thoughts. The stunning environment is a huge bonus. Gaze upon the rolling hills as you explore the town on foot, or hike to one of the two nearby craters. For a way to get a bird’s eye view of the local landscape, consider taking a canopy tour. A configuration of ziplines offers a way to see the local sites from a unique vantage point.
More by Bobbi Dempsey
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