Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Santa Ana - Part 1

Yes, you can travel by bus from Suchitoto to Santa Ana without having to go through San Salvador. We did it. See details below. Traveling by local bus, we are convinced that Central American bus conductors are among the hardest working people we've ever seen.

Santa Ana. El Salvador's second largest city, is the kind of place that a traveler might stay for awhile. We stayed three nights - long for us - haha. And one of the reasons was that Hostal Casa Verde lived up to its reputation as the best hotel/hostel for travelers in Central America.

The Parque Central of Santa Ana, surrounded by interesting architecture, was happening in the evenings with live Christmas concerts and food stalls. We grazed on tasty street food every evening: roasted ears of corn with salt and lime juice; papas with ketchup, mayo, hot sauce, and grated cheese; vegan tacos; and ice cream. There are many cafes and pastry shops. We patronized Ban Ban so many times that the staff got to know us.

We used Santa Ana as a base for two day-trips. The first was to Chalchuapa, 30 minutes to the west via bus #218. Chalchuapa is very tranqillo. We gazed at the Mayan ruins at the edge of town, then trekked to centro to the parques, mercado, and church.

Tip for travelers: It is possible to get from Suchitoto to Santa Ana without going through San Salvador, we just did it. The route, all done with public buses, is Suchitoto to Aguilares to San Pable Tacachico to Santa Ana.

From Suchitoto take bus #163 to Aguilares. Ride it to the end. The bus (not sure of the number - our bus had 3 numbers painted on it) to Tacachico starts 2 blocks from where 163 drops you off (ask the 163 driver to point out the Tacachico bus for you). Ride this bus to the end also. In Tacachico you change buses, but it's easy as the #232 bus to Santa Ana starts from the same intersection where the from Tacachico ends it's route. We killed the 45 minuted between buses by walking down to the square and buying ice creams.

Alternatively, you can take bus 163 to Aguilares, then go south to Apopa where bus 276 will take you directo to Santa Ana - our friend did this.

The Aguilares to Tacachico bus.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

Sun-Ling in full travel gear buying ice creams in San Pablo Tacachico, El Salvador.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

View to the Santa Ana Cathedral.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

Christmas concert in the parque.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

This corn vendor got a lot of business from us.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

This former bank is now a museum. Very cool stylings.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

One of the architecturally interesting buildings on the parque.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

Sunrise view from the Hostal Casa Verde rooftop terrace. That's a minaret at left.
Santa Ana, El Salvador

Igelsia Santiago in Chalhuapa with bicylists.
Chalchuapa, El Salvador

A view of the Tazumal ruins in Chalchuapa from the cemetery.
Chalchuapa, El Salvador

An interesting building in Chalchuapa.
Santa Ana, El Salvador


3 comments:

hoponthegoodfoot.com said...

Hi Guys,

This was exactly what I have been looking for. Transport from Suchitoto to Santa Ana. Thanks very much! How long did the journey take? Planning on making it in a couple of weeks.

Cheers,

Rich

hoponthegoodfoot.com said...

Hi Guys,

This was exactly what I have been looking for. Transport from Suchitoto to Santa Ana. Thanks very much! How long did the journey take? Planning on making it in a couple of weeks.

Cheers,

Rich

john said...

Hi Rich!

My notes say that we left Suchitoto at 8:50AM, left Aguilarers at 10AM, arrived San Pablo Tacachico at 11AM;
left SPT at noon; arrived Santa Anna at 1:30 PM.

Busy day today - can answer more questions later.

-john