Latai and Greg, roaming super-couple extraordinaire, have been globe-trotting in the hopes of finding the perfect home to hang their hats. They've had the chance to stay at multiple AST locations, and Latai chronicled her first tour through El Salvador, giving us a glimpse of the country through her eyes. Read below as Latai answers everything you need to know about El Salvador and the Las Flores area, and check back as we continue to document their journey.
I never thought I'd visit El Salvador. Describe it in one word? Underrated. Central America itself hasn't been on my radar since I haven't heard much about it, but as the opportunity to visit its smallest country presented itself, I chose the adventure of saying yes. In comparison to the negative rap it gets, I was surprisingly overwhelmed by what El Salvador has to offer and am looking forward to my next trip!
From the mountains to the ocean, adventure can be found. Roam colorful cities tucked between towering volcanoes, hike to wild waterfalls hidden away in lush green jungles or score perfect surf on the coconut dotted coastline. These are just a few options to fill your itinerary with. Not only can you enjoy the beauty which surrounds by sight, you can also delve into the rich Spanish culture through tasting the unique cuisine with delicious flavors sure to leave your tastebuds wanting more.
Located on the North Pacific side, most of El Salvador's perimeter is bordered by Guatemala and Honduras leaving its southern rugged coastline completely exposed to the sea. This influences the unique surf and its large variety of seafood cuisine. Whether you're just learning, are an experienced surfer, or are goofy or regular, there are waves for everyone. Beach breaks, point breaks and reef breaks can be found (empty too) if you know where to look. Pack sunscreen, snacks, water, your board of choice and you're set for a fun play date with the sea.
As a self-proclaimed foodie, I take my mealtimes seriously. For some, finding a good eatery or trying new foods can be a challenge while traveling. Luckily it is hard to go wrong here! There are many local goodies and snacks to opt for in gas stations or shops that won't give you that after junk food feel. Look for local labels - not only are they healthier alternatives but also make great gifts to bring family and friends (or yourself) back home. As for sit-down restaurants, the easiest thing to do is walk the street and pop into any place with live music, or that has the vibe you're looking for. If that's a bit out of your comfort zone, ask your guide or look online for the best nearby recommendation. If you're on the coast, try the seafood. It won't disappoint. Most importantly, one can't fully claim to have experienced El Salvador without trying its most famous dish, the pupusa, which you'll just have to take my word on trying and can be found on every street corner.
The most important thing to me while traveling is prioritizing my safety and having a few simple comforts as to not completely shock my system, but to also have the most authentic experience possible and venture off the beaten path. Finding the right balance can be hard, but staying with AST Surf Hotel made it easy. Not only are they based in two prime El Salvador surf locations overlooking the ocean, the food is delicious and the staff are an expression of how friendly the people are who make up this beautiful country. Always smiling and ready to help, we went on incredible tours viewing ancient Mayan temples, hiked an active volcano, discovered countless incredible waterfalls, and surfed perfect empty lineups. Our trip would definitely have not been what it was without them.