El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated Central American country. Despite being the only country in this region without a Caribbean coastline, one of its big draws is its beaches. Surfers flock here to ride some of the longest and most perfect waves in all of Central America. However, there is so much more to this fascinating country than just swell swells. Want to know more? Here are some of the most interesting facts about El Salvador.
7 of the Most Interesting Facts About El Salvador
1. El Salvador’s nickname is the Land of Volcanos
El Salvador is known as the Land of Volcanoes because it has more than 100 volcanos. Around twenty volcanos are potentially active. Standing at 2,381 metres above sea level, Santa Ana is the highest volcano in El Salvador. Locals call Volcan Santa Ana Ilamatepec or Mother Mountain.
2. There are volcanos on El Salvador’s flag
With so many volcanos in the country, it is no wonder volcanos are represented on the El Salvador flag. The two blue stripes of the flag represent the Atlantic and Pacific oceans which border Central America. The white stripe symbolises peace. The coat of arms is in the centre of the flag. It features five volcanoes representing the five states of the United Provinces of Central America. The motto of El Salvador sits below the triangle. It reads Dios, Unión, Libertad (“God, union, liberty”).
3. The national bird of El Salvador is the Torogoz
The beautiful Torogoz is the national bird of El Salvador. It is also known as the turquoise-browed motmot, just look at the photo and you will see why. If you look closely you will also see its unusual tail. It is two feathers with no barbs along the middle section. At the end of these feathers are two little tufts.
4. El Salvador is a surfer’s paradise
El Salvador gets some of the biggest swells offered by the Pacific Ocean. It also gets some of the longest waves in the region. Another reason that El Salvador is a Mecca for surfers is due to the right hand, point breaks that grace most of its 307km coastline. Punta Roca and Punta Mango are arguably the best point breaks in all of Central America. For the best surf, come to El Salvador in the wet season (between May and October).
5. Coffee beans from El Salvador are world-famous
Coffee cultivated in the western part of El Salvador is famous world round. Despite its small size, El Salvador was once the 4th largest coffee producer in the world. Farmers grow some of the world’s most sought-after varieties here, for instance, Pacas and Pacamara.
6. There are pyramids in El Salvador
There are five archaeological parks in El Salvador: Cihuatan, Joya de Ceren, San Andres, Casa Blanca and Tazumal. The pre-Columbian Maya ruins at Tazumal are the most important archaeology site in El Salvador. The occupation of Tazumal took place from 1200 B.C. The site offers a glimpse into what daily life was like for the Mayan people.
7. El Salvador is home to the oldest capital city in Central America
The capital city of El Salvador is San Salvador. It is the oldest and most long-standing capital in Central America. In 1524, Pedro de Alvarado invaded El Salvador and founded San Salvador. Alvarado was a Spanish conquistador sent by Hernán Cortés from Mexico. El Salvador remained a Spanish colony for about 300 years.