My husband and I traveled to El Salvador to spend a week with his old college roommate Danny. Danny was born and raised in El Salvador. I had never thought of traveling here before I met him, but that’s the great thing about meeting people from different countries. You learn so much about their culture and you get to experience the coolest things. If you have thought about traveling here or you haven’t and you’re reading this, I hope this persuades you to add this country to your bucket list. You can find the links to the outfits I took on this trip here.
I was a little scared to book a trip in the middle of a pandemic. I was anxious about the requirements for leaving the country and getting back into our country. After doing it.. piece of cake! I was so worried for nothing. The most important thing is to have a plan and a back up plan. You should schedule your COVID-19 test appointments a week in advance if allowed by the clinic. Wherever you are traveling to, it would save a headache if you book an appointment for your test before you travel to that country. Most resorts have testing available, but we did not stay at a resort on this trip. We stayed with my husband’s friend and an air bnb that was absolutely breathtaking.
Before leaving the U.S., I scheduled our COVID PCR tests within the 72 hour window that is required. Check on updated requirements through the U.S. Embassy’s website before traveling. This can be frustrating, because not all clinics will get you your results back within that time frame. When scheduling your test, you need to ask the clinic the time frame for receiving your results. My husband and I have different insurance policies right now. We had to go to two different places for testing here in the states to get our insurance to cover the cost. I got my results back within 24 hours, and my husband said the clinic he went to told him it could take up to 72-96 hours. I scheduled our tests for Friday because our flight was on Monday. We had to get tested within the 72 hour timeframe of our departure. On my husband’s insurance’s website, it had the clinic I made an appointment with listed as in network. Along with the other clinics, it listed the time frame for receiving results. I made the mistake of not asking when I called and scheduled his appointment. There was an error for result time frames on his insurances website. It said it could take up to 48 hours to get his results when the nurse at the clinic said 72-96 hours. Of course, we were freaking out about this. We wouldn’t know if we were going on our trip until literally a few hours before our flight. Luckily, we got the results back on Sunday. We were so relieved to have these back in time. We finished packing and got everything ready to leave the next morning. We flew Delta, so Delta’s website has the requirements for each country if you put in the country you’re traveling to and the country you’re departing from. You can find the requirements for each country here.
If you are anxious about being COVID safe in this country, there is nothing to worry about. EVERYONE wears a mask, even if they are standing outside on the sidewalk alone. They also take your temperature and make you use hand sanitizer before entering every store.
Day 1: Our flight on Monday was going to depart at 9:55 am. We got to the International Airport in Atlanta and checked in, went through security and went to our gate. They checked our printed COVID PCR test results at check in and through security. They also checked these at our gate before we boarded the plane. I was so happy we were actually going on this trip!
The flight there was super smooth, it was a 3 hour and 45 minute flight from Atlanta, Georgia to San Salvador. We chose to fly comfort plus and took advantage of the complimentary wine and champagne. It was a beautiful flight in. You see the volcano as you start to land and the airport is in a very rural area. As we landed and deplaned, we went through customs and got our bags. They checked our COVID PCR tests again here. As soon as we got our bags, we headed outside for our friend to pick us up. It was 40 degrees when we left Atlanta and it was 95 degrees in San Salvador. Talk about HOT. El Salvador is about the same size of Massachusetts with about 7 million people.
As soon as Danny picked us up, we drove through the city of San Salvador. This is where he lives. We met his family and had a lovely lunch with them. Rice, avocado salad, breaded chicken with ham and cheese on the inside. Ugh, it was so good. His mother also made dessert after we ate and prepared some Turkish coffee. This coffee was amazing! We loved getting to know Danny’s family during this trip.
After we had lunch, we rested for a while and headed to have a drink on top of a volcano. This volcano was amazing! It had several activities to do with the family, a hotel, zip lines, several places to eat, an event venue, and the most BEAUTIFUL view.
You can see above that the views were insanely breathtaking. This gives you a good view of the volcanoes, Lago de Coatepeque and the city of San Salvador. One of the restaurants we had a drink at had a tree house and they specifically rent this place out for people. It was so cool!
After we left Volcatenango, we went and ate at one of Danny’s friend’s restaurant called College Town Pizza. They have several types of pizza, a great atmosphere and great beer! His friend has done an amazing job with this restaurant. Check it out if you go to this area!
Day 2: We hiked Volcán de Santa Ana today and my legs felt like jello on the way up. This volcano is 8,100 feet high. The views were so worth it! At the top there is a huge crater. And, on a sunny day you can see the lake, Lago de Coatepeque. We started hiking at 9:00 am and got down the volcano at 1:00 pm. We were exhausted, but we had planned to go to the lake afterwards.
Danny’s friend’s family has a house on Lago de Coatepeque, so we ate lunch there and hung-out for a while. We also took the boat out and went around the lake. It was amazing! Fun fact: this lake is actually in the crater of a volcano and it has been said that they haven’t found the bottom of it. You can see that it is in a crater because of the ring of mountains that surround you. It’s so beautiful.
I also tried a michelada today. It was amazing! It is a spicy Mexican beer. You have a spicy mix with Clamato juice or tomato juice, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper and hot sauce. You mix this with any Mexican beer. DELICIOUS! If you love Bloody Mary’s, you’ll love this!
Day 3: We slept in this day which was much needed after yesterday’s activities. We went to eat brunch at Delikat which is in the city. We had mimosas and I had the French toast.. soo good! The atmosphere was just as good as the food. The ceiling is covered in greenery and there are flowers everywhere. The picture below is in front of the restaurant.
After brunch we went to PriceMart, which is like our Sam’s Club or Costco, for food to take to the beach the next day. We got charcuterie items wine and champagne, we were set! We relaxed for a while when we got back to the house before we were heading to one of Danny’s friend’s house for a barbecue. We had steak tacos and they were delicious.
Day 4: On this day we woke and headed straight to the beach. It is about 35 minutes from where we were staying in the city. We stopped at a place on the side of the mountain to eat that had an incredible view. Here’s the link to the Beto’s Restaurante. I had shrimp sliders, and the volcano appetizer that has fried calamari and yuca frita. Yuca kinda tastes like potatoes, it was delicious.
Our air bnb was absolutely breathtaking. It was on the side of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with our own private beach. The sunrise and sunsets are incredible. If you stay here, you will want to wake up at 5:30 every morning to see the sunrise and you won’t want to miss the sunset.
This air bnb has two separate rooms, each with their own bathroom, an infinity pool, and it has a social area with an outdoor kitchen. Each room has an amazing view of the ocean.
I wasn’t lying about the sunsets….. UNREAL.
Day 5: We woke up to see the sunrise this morning. 5:30 am isn’t easy when you’ve been going constantly. It was well worth it. We had to get our COVID antigen test today to get back into the states tomorrow. We went to Analiza Laboritorios Clinicos. After we got our tests we went to Danny’s ice cream shop in Olivos Plaza. They have delicious soft serve and hard ice cream with different toppings!
We ate at a very good authentic Mexican Restaurant called Laca Laca. If you travel to El Salvador, this is a must! For dinner we went to another friends house and had Pupusas. Amazing! I also tried a Manguuniada, which is a slushee with mango strips, hot sauce and a few other things. It is like a salty slushee and is good if you really like salt.
Day 6: Our flight today leaves at 12:55. We slept in this morning and went to eat breakfast at Gofres. They ship the waffle mix from Belgium. This restaurant is in the same plaza as Danny’s ice cream shop. I had a chocolate waffle with fresh strawberries and ice cream… yes, for breakfast!
Once we got to the airport, we checked in, went through immigration and security and boarded the plane. They checked our COVID antigen test at check in, immigration, and before we boarded. We arrived in Atlanta at 6:00 pm. We went through border control and claimed our bags. We were happy to be back home and couldn’t wait to see our animals!
We loved meeting a ton of new people here in El Salvador. We have felt so welcome in this country and we plan to go back soon. I highly recommend this place to anyone who is interested. There are a ton of adventures you can take here. We had the most amazing time.
Watch the video I made of our trip on Instagram!