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Route of the Maya 2015

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Trip Extensions

Pre-trip: El Salvador: Colonial Suchitoto & the Flower Route

The smallest country in the Americas, El Salvador is a gem often overlooked by international travelers. Journey here to discover its friendly people and flourishing culture, explore lush rain forests and towering volcanoes, and visit the traditional villages along the Ruta de las Flores.

It's Included:
Accommodations for 1 night on the Pacific Coast, 2 nights in Suchitoto, and 1 night in Ataco
8 meals—4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners
6 small group activities
Services of an expert local guide, who speaks English and the native language
All transfers
Porterage for 1 bag per traveler
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    • Accommodations:

    Arrive in San Salvador today, where your OAT Trip Leader will meet you at the airport and assists with the transfer to our seaside hotel just south of the city, on El Salvador’s tropical Pacific Coast.

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    This morning after breakfast and a little time to relax, we travel overland to Suchitoto, a beautiful colonial town brimming with Salvadoran history and culture. We arrive in time for lunch at a local restaurant, then set out to explore Suchitoto. We’ll stroll the town’s cobbled streets, stopping to admire the whitewashed façade of the Santa Lucia Church and enjoy views of Suchitlán Lake, the largest lake in El Salvador. This evening, we gather for dinner at a local restaurant.

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    Following breakfast, we’ll depart for Cinquera, a small village that acted as a stronghold of guerrilla resistance during El Salvador’s civil war. Today, evidence of Cinquera’s past can still be seen in the bomb and bullet damage to several of its buildings, as well as the tail of a downed military helicopter on display in the town square.

    After learning more about Cinquera’s history, we’ll proceed to Parque Ecológio de Cinquera, a 9,689-acre rain forest preserve filled with winding hiking trails, lush landscapes, and a small waterfall.

    We’ll have lunch together at a local restaurant before returning to our hotel in Suchitoto, where you can either enjoy time at leisure or learn more about El Salvador’s indigo industry. As you are sure to discover, this deep blue dye harvested from the leaves of the xiquilite plant has been in use since the time of the ancient Maya. Tonight, dinner is on your own.

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    After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll depart for the archaeological site at Cihuatán, the ruins of the impressive capital city of a post-Maya, pre-Hispanic civilization. The city was founded sometime around the year AD 900, after the collapse of the Maya empire. Cihuatán was burned to the ground by unknown invaders, and then lay forgotten until excavation began in 1925. We'll spend some time exploring the site and discovering its temples, ball courts, and artifacts.

    This afternoon, after lunch on your own, we'll visit the village of Ataco, renowned both for the colorful weavings produced by the villagers and the elaborate murals that adorn many buildings throughout the town. We’ll enjoy a walking tour of Ataco before returning to our hotel, where we’ll have some free time before dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

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    • Meals included:

    We check out of our hotel this morning and travel through the towns of Juayua, Nahuizalco, Sonsonate, Izalco along the Ruta de las Flores (Flower Route). We arrive in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador and the second-largest city in Central America, in time for lunch on our own. This afternoon, we meet the rest of our traveling companions and begin our adventure along the Route of the Maya.

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