The Flower Route or ‘Ruta de las Flores’, how it is called in Spanish, is a lovely route along El Salvador’s western mountain villages. It stretches about 30 kilometers between the towns Sonsonate and Ahuachapán. The route got its name from the colourful flowers lining the road between October and February. The flowers are an actual eye-catcher along the route, but the highlight are the charming colonial villages, lagoons and waterfalls you can encounter when visiting the Ruta de las Flores.
You can start your trip in Juayúa. Plan your trip to stay over during a weekend, when the famous food and gastronomy festival takes place. You can taste some of the best national cuisine, listen to music on the main square and look for souvenirs at the market stalls. The picturesque town of Juayúa is also the starting point for the Seven Waterfall hike or if you are just interested in a small walk, you can visit the waterfall Los Chorros de la Calera. Next on the route comes Apaneca, a small town which attracts tourists because of the two lagoons closeby. You can hike to the Laguna Verde or the Laguna de las Ninfas, which have well marked tracks.
Another charming town is Ataco with its beautiful mural paintings and many coffee plantations. The cafés offer you the tasty and delicious local coffee, from which you should also bring some bags home. For many tourists, Ataco is the favourite and most welcoming village on the flower route. Also, the gastronomy fair taking place every weekend is rated higher than the one on Juayua by many visitors and locals. Ataco also has a stunning viewpoint, which gives you a nice panoramic view over the city and the surrounding coffee plantations.
Other smaller and often neglected villages along the flower route are Nahuizalco and Salcoatitán. Nahuizalco was an important Mayan town and even today is one of the few Salvadorian villages still rooted in its indigenous heritage. A popular attraction is the night market, which is illuminated by candles. Salcoatitán is famous for the many souvenir shops and coffee plantations around the village, providing the main income of its population.