El Salvador small group holiday

“Discover why El Salvador is one of South America's secret jewels – a bold and beautiful country where cosmopolitan culture, ancient history and ravishing nature blend.”


San Salvador | Suchitoto | Tazumal and Joya de Ceren ancient ruins | Ahuachapan | Ruta de las Flores | Cordillera Apaneca | El Tunco surf mecca | Optional activities include Cinquera Forest hike, Lago Suchitlan kayaking, Guazapa Volcano and Cihuatan Ruins tour

Description of El Salvador small group holiday

Slipped between Guatemala and Honduras, El Salvador is perfect for those looking for experience-rich travel featuring small groups with local leaders. This is a bold and beautiful country with wonderfully diverse charms, from the handsome lively capital San Salvador to the surf hub of El Tunco via the lush wilderness of Ahuachapan and the gorgeous artisan towns and nature of the Ruta de las Flores.

Small group travel aids a more intimate community engagement – as does using local leaders – and helps reduce environmental impacts. Local guides also provide more genuine insight into El Salvador culture and history, while providing valuable income direct to local communities.

San Salvador provides an engaging introduction, tree-lined avenues and museums complemented by museums, bars and marketplaces. The colonial town of Suchitoto provides a perfect contrast with its painted houses, cobbled streets, tranquil vibe and wonderful location overlooking a valley patrolled by hawks and falcons. It's a great springboard for free-time nature adventures from a hike in the Cinquera Forest or kayaking on Lago Suchitlan to visiting the Guazapa Volcano or Cihuatan Ruins

En route to the attractive street art and spa town of Ahuachapan, you'll see amazing ruins including the 'Pompeii of the Americas' at Joya de Ceren. But the highlight of the trip for many will be the fabulous Ruta de las Flores – a 36km-long winding trip through nature and vibrant colonial towns famed for gastronomy and galleries on the doorstep of the hiker-friendly Cordillera Apaneca. You can combine coffee plantations with a hot spring soak too.

The laidback surf mecca of El Tunco provides a fitting coastal finale – a peaceful village famed for black sand beaches, brilliant sunsets and simple pleasure.

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Check dates, prices & availability

10 Oct 2020
excluding flights
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13 Feb 2021
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We educate passengers about environmental issues on all our trips and guides bring along a copy of our Responsible Travel Code of Conduct for travellers to read. It tells you all about how to travel responsibly, for instance using refillable bottles rather than buying single use plastic ones, recycling where possible and refusing plastic bags. It also notifies passengers about the importance of avoiding the purchase of turtle shell products, as they’re hunted to make souvenirs. On top of that, our leaders are trained to be role models by exhibiting responsible travel habits like picking up litter and rejecting plastic straws.

We encourage our suppliers to adopt a more sustainable approach and often select those that already have green practices in place. We eat at local markets and restaurants to support local businesses and to encourage the sourcing of local food products.

The Impacts of this Trip

El Salvador is often bypassed by travellers, so any foreign visits will have a positive economic impact. During this trip we’ll try to understand the country’s culture better by meeting the locals, visiting colonial towns and El Salvador’s first coffee plantations, as well as munching on local specialities like pupusa.
We’re all about helping you to experience real-life in your chosen destination. So, on this trip, we eat in small cafes and restaurants and buy locally made crafts and produce. This gives locals the opportunity to earn money directly and our travellers the chance to interact with them. We do pay a lot of attention to travelling in such a way that it doesn’t cause disruption to local life too. We also encourage travellers to avoid giving gifts or succumbing to begging, as this can result in dependency. We don’t visit orphanages and schools either, as it may expose vulnerable children to potential abuse – choosing to give back through local organisations instead.

We employ local leaders. We also design and operate our trips to feature local suppliers or suppliers who directly benefit the local community and economy. We offer local people good working conditions, a fair wage and empower them through training opportunities. All our tour leaders go through an initial training program, which includes a module on responsible travel.

We also have a foundation that was set up to empower travellers to have a positive impact on the communities they visit. Our foundation now supports over 50 local, grassroots projects around the world. In the last 15 years, the foundation has distributed over AU $5 million to initiatives tackling areas like sustainable development, human rights, child protection, environmental conservation, wildlife protection, education and healthcare. Even though we don’t have any current projects in El Salvador, our tour leaders will always encourage passengers to research other initiatives being run around Central America. At the moment we have a project running across Central America and the Caribbean called “See Turtles” who have created a campaign called “Too rare to wear”. Their mission is to end the demand for hawksbill products by collaborating with conservation organisations and the tourism industry. Informing travellers of the plight of hawksbill turtles and to educate them on how to identify and avoid hawksbill products when travelling abroad.


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