Day 1: El Salvador International Airport – Jiquilisco Bay
Welcome to warm & sunny El Salvador. Arrive at El Salvador International Airport, & transfer to your hotel. Enjoy dinner & an overnight stay in one of the country’s most beautiful, natural areas, Jiquilisco Bay. Officially a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the area features white sandy beaches, lush forests, islands surrounded by cool blue waters, & an ample population of mangrove trees. Jiquilisco also plays a vital role in El Salvador's ecosystem, & is home to a large population of migrant & native species of fish, birds, reptiles, & mammals. Look forward to meeting some of the bay’s sea turtle population tomorrow.
Day 2: Jiquilisco Bay (La Pirraya Beach)
Discover the mangrove up close this morning as you cruise through the bay area via boat. Visit the Marine Wildlife Training Center, & learn about the local mission to protect the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtles during a field methodology course. Enjoy lunch with the locals before heading to La Pirraya Beach. Lend a hand in eco conservation this afternoon as you participate in a beach cleaning. Before returning to the hotel, enjoy an opportunity to observe the turtles’ nesting area on the beach. Spend the remainder of the day in this natural paradise at leisure.
Day 3: Jiquilisco Bay (La Punta)
Take a boat ride to La Punta this morning for a unique species preservation activity, the Black Sea Turtle Rodeo. Explore the area in search for sea turtles, & capture them by using specially-made nets. The capturing of the sea turtles aids in controlling the reptiles’ well-being. Afterward, return to the hotel, & enjoy lunch. Later today, learn about the cultivation process of the plant in which coffee is made from, the cacao plant, on a cacao tour. Other highlights this afternoon include exploring the Monkey Forest.
Day 4: Jiquilisco Bay (La Pirraya) – San Salvador – Suchitoto
Help preserve the Hawksbill Sea Turtle species by participating in another rodeo this morning on La Pirraya Beach. Return to the hotel afterward for lunch. Next, travel to El Salvador's capital city, San Salvador, for an exciting sightseeing tour. Some of San Salvador’s highlights include the Metropolitan Cathedral, Civic Plaza, & the National Theatre. See the magnificent “El Boquerón,” the San Salvador Volcano, & take a hike on the nature trail that leads to an amazing view of the volcano’s crater. Discover scenic views of San Salvador on the walk back. Enjoy a traditional Salvadoran dish at one of the city’s local restaurants before heading to the town of Suchitoto for an overnight stay.
Day 5: Suchitoto
This morning, visit an organic hacienda (organic plantation). Learn about the indigo production process used during the era of the Mayans & continues to be employed today. Take a culinary workshop on how to make “Las Pupusas,” & enjoy this famous, traditional dish for today’s lunch. Afterward, head back to Suchitoto. Explore the city at leisure this afternoon before cruising on the lovely Suchitlán Lake. Enjoy another overnight stay in historic Suchitoto.
Day 6: Suchitoto – Joya de Cerén – FURESA – Cerro Verde – The Flower Route
Visit the famous archeological site, Joya de Cerén, to observe the ancient Mayan ruins & learn about Mayan culture. Next, head to the FURESA Wildlife Refuge. Here you can observe endangered lions, monkeys, hippos, & other animals native to the area that are well tended to by the refuge care takers. This afternoon, enjoy scenic views of the Izalco Volcano, the Santa Ana Volcano, the Cerro Verde Volcano, & their surrounding lakes. Hike alongside large agave plants as you take on the eco trails inside Cerro Verde National Park; where you’ll find spectacular views of the Izalco Volcano. Before heading to the hotel, discover a true Salvadoran gem, the volcanic Lake Coatepeque.
Day 7: The Flower Route (Juayúa, Nahuizalco, Apaneca & Ataco)
Experience the essence of Salvadoran culture today as you journey along The Flower Route. Marvel at the array of colorful flowers while you travel through several vibrant villages. Discover the village of Juayúa, known for its enchanting waterfalls. See the local handicrafts for sale, made from wicker & tule, during a guided tour through the village of Nahuizalco. Enjoy the sweet & robust aroma of local coffee as you visit the cacao cultivating towns of Ataco & Apaneca, & find out how the people of the Apaneca Mountains produce this world-famous drink. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure before heading back to the hotel.
Day 8: The Flower Route – El Salvador International Airport
Transfer to El Salvador International Airport, & board your return flight home.