El Salvador's small size means transfer times are short, making it easy to see the country's top attractions. The stunning coastal town of Barra de Santiago set on a peninsula in the north east, is little known to tourists but well worth a visit to enjoy a delightfully empty beach and a variety of water sports available on the estuary. If you're looking to make the most of some of the world's best and least known surf spots, head to La Libertad, a rustic fishing town where experts can be seen taking on the world-famous Punta Roca surf break in the early mornings and evenings.
Inland, Parque Nacional Los Volcanes, El Salvador's national treasure, is a major bird sanctuary which also offers great guided climbing on one of three volcanoes or hiking along an extensive network of trails. An hour away, the Ruta de las Flores takes you to the heart of the country's coffee region where a tour of a plantation is a must, and the friendly locals are sure to give you a warm welcome as you wander through the brightly painted colonial villages and pick up some authentic arts and crafts.
Some of the country's finest examples of colonial architecture, as well as excellent restaurants and bars, line cobblestone streets in Suchitoto, El Salvador's answer to Antigua before the tourists arrived. This quaint town is especially worth visiting in February when it plays host to a world renowned arts and culture festival.