It’s time to trade the sandy beaches and colorful reefs of Roatan for the city streets of Santa Ana, El Salvador! I would be sad to be leaving if I wasn’t looking forward to exploring a new country.
Hello El Salvador! You look so pretty from the air!
As I usually do when planning a trip, I researched the best ways to get around to all the different cities we want to visit. Chicken buses are a ridiculously cheap way to go, but are they safe? There’s not a lot of information available online that I could find about riding them. So I asked my friend Dave who has family in El Salvador and they strongly recommended not taking the buses over long distances. Which means we had to hire a driver. As much as I didn’t really want to do this because it takes away from the local experience (and costs a lot more money), I admit I was also a bit relieved. One less thing to worry about.
Our driver Gerardo picks us up from the airport and we head straight for Santa Ana. The drive takes about an hour, but Emma and I stay entertained by the pretty scenery.
I also did some research on places to stay in Santa Ana. I read good things about Hostal Casa Verde, so that’s the first place we stop. We don’t have a reservation – when we arrive, we ring the bell and ask for a room. Fortunately it’s low season, so there’s plenty available. The building is pretty nondescript from the street. I only recognize it from the Trip Advisor sticker in the corner. If you decide to stay here, hopefully this photo will help you find it!
But inside, it’s quite an oasis! I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in such a nice hostel. There’s also a rooftop deck that’s supposed to be great for watching the sunset. Unfortunately during our stay, it rains or is cloudy most nights. ‘Tis the price of traveling in the offseason.
I spend nearly every evening in those hammocks on the right, reading and editing photos. I could seriously get used to this.
There’s even a pool! We never get around to using it, but it looks very inviting.
Since the cost of a private split between the two of us is only $1 more than a bunk in a shared room, we go with the private. AC is available for $5 more per night, but we make do with the fans on the ceiling which are surprisingly strong for being so small.
The room is basic, but clean and the beds are comfortable. What more could we possibly need?
The hostel is owned by Carlos who turns out to be one of the friendliest and most helpful people we meet in El Salvador. The hostel is located in what was the home he grew up in. When he inherited it, he turned it in to a hostel and it’s clear he loves what he does. He’s also one of only a handful of people we meet who speaks any English.
Having sorted our room situation, it’s time to find something to eat. The hostel provides maps of the city that highlights various places to eat, directions to the bus stations and sites to see within the city. So helpful!
After dinner we wander the town for a bit before calling it an early night. It’s a busy and colorful place.
We don’t spend a lot of time in Santa Ana, preferring to use it as a base location for exploring surrounding sites. There isn’t much to do or see here. But I always enjoying seeing new places, so I’m happy to wander around a bit. Tomorrow we’ll hike the Santa Ana volcano. I can’t wait to share those photos with you!