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El Salvador is small and it’s only another 40 miles to Unesco-listed Joya de Cerén, the nation’s major Mayan site. Sometimes dubbed the “Pompeii of the Americas” it was coated in ash in AD 600 after the eruption of the Loma Caldera volcano. While it continually seeks to rebrand itself with American-fashion resorts and vaguely themed “routes” for drivers, the actual draw of El Salvador is its gutsy people and its gritty historical past.Once the colonial HQ of the Capitanía General de Guatemala, it's a pleasant, low-slung city with lovely civic buildings courting from the 16th-18th centuries. Several ochre-daubed palacios at the moment are upmarket hotels such as El Convento and Casa Santo Domingo.The bars, cafés and eateries on the main plaza are all the time buzzing, there are some fine art galleries, a fun chocolate museum and while its prettiness has made Antigua nearly too well-liked, it’s the perfect base for trips to the west of the nation. Once you’ve had your fill of “darkish tourism”, head east to the picturesque, lakeside pueblo of Suchitoto, 30 miles north of capital San Salvador. Owned by a Franco-Salvadorian homosexual couple, Los Almendros de San Lorenzo is a kind of dreamy old colonial mansions that make for the loveliest boutique hotels.During the civil struggle, a lot of the important thing battles happened in the Oriente, the nation’s south-east, and it’s to right here you should come if you like navy tourism. Perquin’s Museo de la Revolucion is an untidy however never boring collection of weapons, memorabilia, agitprop posters and photographs of guerrillas. At close by El Mozote – site of a bloody bloodbath in 1981 that left as many as 1,200 civilians useless – is a transferring wall of remembrance.Monkeys, agoutis and ocellated turkeys roam across the ruins, and there are lawns and limestone causeways to facilitate a straightforward strolling tour. Nearby is Yaxhá, one other necessary archaeological site, Lake Petén Itzá and the Belize border. mouse click the up coming post Skip the congested, polluted capital, Guatemala City, and make your first stop Antigua Guatemala, the previous capital .Reliable surf swells on the Pacific coast have turned the Nicoya Peninsula and a number of other spots along the west coast south of Playa Hermosa into popular destinations for Americans. One of those, Manuel Antonio, can be the positioning of one of the country’s most popular national parks. With coastal forest and plenty of seashores, it’s a habitat for sloths, monkeys, iguanas, basilisk lizards, birds, butterflies, dolphins and migrating whales.