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El Salvador & Honduras: Secrets of Central America

Group Tour

14 Days From C$4,191

Overview

A chance to discover two of Latin America’s most underrated gems, this spectacular adventure takes us deep into the heart of lands blessed with a rich natural beauty, and a cultural inheritance that can boast some of the most captivating colonial cities and most complete Mayan ruins anywhere on the continent.

Beginning in El Salvador, we’ll make our way through a landscape scattered with reminders of the country’s turbulent heritage. Against the backdrop of breathtakingly ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

13 x Breakfasts
12 x Lunches
11 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses and boats.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in hotels and eco-lodges, the vast majority of which are quite comfortable, although you can expect it to be a somewhat more basic in Perquin. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

El Salvador & Honduras: Secrets of Central America
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN SAN SALVADOR (EL SALVADOR)

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN SAN SALVADOR (EL SALVADOR)

The tour starts this evening in El Salvador’s capital although rooms will be available from 15:00 for anyone arriving early.

Mirador Plaza 4* or similar

DAY 2: SAN SALVADOR - BAHIA DE JIQUILISCO

DAY 2: SAN SALVADOR - BAHIA DE JIQUILISCO

This morning we start exploring the Salvadorean capital. San Salvador is the most populated city in El Salvador and it is the country’s political, cultural, educational and financial centre. We will wander the streets of the Historic Centre taking in the amazing architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Palace, the beautiful French Renaissance style National Theatre, and El Rosario church. After Lunch we head straight for the Bahía de Jiquilisco, on the Pacific Coast, exploring Central America’s largest estuary, an area of untouched natural beauty.

Puerto Barillas or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: BAHIA DE JIQUILISCO

DAY 3: BAHIA DE JIQUILISCO

Today's exact schedule will depend on the timings of the tides but at some stage we plan to head out into the bay and join some local marine biologists to assist with monitoring the health and development of the local sea turtle population. This amazing experience will allow us to observe these majestic sea creatures in their natural environment. The rest of the day will be free for you to swim and relax.

Puerto Barillas or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: BAHÍA DE JIQUILISCO - PERQUIN

DAY 4: BAHÍA DE JIQUILISCO - PERQUIN

Today we head to Perquín, an area which was used for guerrilla incursions during the 1980s’ civil war. We will visit El Mozote, the village where the largest massacre took place which is part of the dark history of El Salvador. Here we will visit a poignant memorial which lists the names of the hundreds of people who lost their lives. After lunch we will make a stop at the Museo de la Revolución Salvadoreña. This provides us with a greater insight of the 12-year bloody civil war that will allow us to have a greater understanding of the lives of the local people, past and present, of this region. Perquín is situated amongst lush coffee plantations, green pine groves and some beautiful mountain scenery, so we will finish the day with a leisurely walk.

Perquín Lenca or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: PERQUIN - SUCHITOTO

DAY 5: PERQUIN - SUCHITOTO

This morning we head straight for Nuevo Gualcho, a self-developed community comprised of refugee families, who decided they wanted to return home from Honduras in the early ‘90s. In recent years the inspiring youth have taken the initiative to develop an ecotourism project, in the hope this will provide employment and income for them, whilst still being able to remain at home with their families. This land is also home to ‘La Hacienda’, a site famously used by Francisco Morazán during the fight for a unified Central America in 1828. After lunch with the friendly locals and a tour of their homes we continue on to the picturesque pre-Colombian town of Suchitoto, founded over 1,000 years ago by the Pipil people. The town became the country’s temporary capital when an earthquake destroyed San Salvador in 1853. It is now famous for its cobbled streets and colourful colonial style houses, as well as the beautiful array of birds and flowers that ‘Suchitoto’ is named after.

La Posada de Suchitán or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: SUCHITOTO

DAY 6: SUCHITOTO

Early in the morning we visit the main square in Suchitoto to appreciate the Santa Lucía Church. After a short stop we transfer to Hacienda Los Nacimientos, located a short distance away. The hacienda uses organic ingredients to produce high quality indigo with a percentage of between 50-55% indigotine. He we will learn what the hacienda’s artisan produce using indigo dye and organic farming practices. There will also be an opportunity to sample traditional Salvadorean cornmeal pupusas (small tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans or meat). We will enjoy lunch prepared by the local inhabitants.

La Posada de Suchitán or Similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: SUCHITOTO – CERRO VERDE

DAY 7: SUCHITOTO – CERRO VERDE

After breakfast we drive towards Cerro Verde National Park and take a refreshing sightseeing tour through the eco trails of the park. Cerro Verde is an inactive volcano located at an altitude of 2035 meters and length of 500 hectares of nature. It has a cloud forest in and around the crater with a temperature of between 12 and 18 degrees centigrade. Today we will be hiking up to the crater of Llamatepec, one of the surrounding volcanoes, which will take around 4 - 5 hours to reach. Upon reaching the crater on a clear day you should have impressive views of Lake Coatepeque, Cerro Verde volcano and the Pacific Ocean. If you would prefer not to hike you will be able to explore the National Park and visit the bird sanctuary full of colourful creatures including the emerald Toucanet, motmots and 17 different species of hummingbirds.

Casa Degraciela or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: CERRO VERDE - ATACO

DAY 8: CERRO VERDE - ATACO

After breakfast we drive further east to visit Joya de Cerén, declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1993, also called the Pompeii of America. Here we admire a pre-Columbian Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash because the village was buried by a volcano eruption around A.C. 600. This afternoon we will visit the flower route famous for its dramatic abundance of wild flowers before ending the day at Nahuizalco, one of the most traditional towns in the area. The people here are known for their handicrafts and furniture made from tulle and willow.

Casa Degraciela or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: ATACO - COPÁN (HONDURAS)

DAY 9: ATACO - COPÁN (HONDURAS)

Today we will transfer to the colonial city of Copan. The drive should take approximately 5 hours and on arrival we will have lunch before visiting Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve. This sanctuary serves as shelter to abundant species of birds which were previously kept as pets. We will walk through the different aviaries and along nature trails that wind through a lovely primary forest of cedar, mahogany, fig and zapote trees.

Marina Copán or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10: COPÁN RUINAS - GRACIAS

DAY 10: COPÁN RUINAS - GRACIAS

Set to be one of the trip’s real highlights, we begin our day with a guided tour of these incredible Mayan Ruins. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, Copán has remarkable sculptures and hieroglyphics and is often referred to as the ‘Paris of the Ancient Mayan World’. In the afternoon we continue our journey to Honduras to reach the small, peaceful town of Gracias, originally named Gracias a Dios (Thanks to God) by the Spanish trekkers that reached this flat land. Full of colour and atmosphere we will enjoy this picturesque town, including the castle fort, museum and plaza.

Hotel Posada de Don Juan or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: GRACIAS - LAGO DE YOJOA

DAY 11: GRACIAS - LAGO DE YOJOA

This morning we will travel to La Campa a characterful town set in a rugged mountainous area. Here we will learn skills from the indigenous community of La Campa. We will have time to witness how they work and perfect their ceramic art, followed by a pottery workshop at Doña Licha's where you can try and create your own ceramic specialty. Transferring to our accommodation for the night which is located at the heart of Lago de Yojoa the largest lake in Honduras.

Casa Lenca or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: LAGO DE YOJOA - PULHAPANZAK - TELA

DAY 12: LAGO DE YOJOA - PULHAPANZAK - TELA

The Cerro Azul Meambar National Park is one of the best run national parks in the country. With clearly marked loop trails through the tropical rainforest which take from 30 - 90 minutes to complete, we will have the chance to see a variety of butterflies, birds and tropical trees. Continuing to the Pulhapanzak waterfalls, we will get a chance to delve into these tumbling waters before heading to our final city of the tour. Tela is a little slice of heaven on the north shores of the Caribbean coast. Originally the headquarters for the United Fruit Company, it has the largest concentration of Garifuna villages in the world! This is the perfect place for us to relax at the end of what has hopefully been a memorable journey through El Salvador and Honduras.

Cesar Mariscos or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: PUNTA SAL EXCURSION

DAY 13: PUNTA SAL EXCURSION

Our final day takes us to Jeannette Kawas National Park otherwise known as Punta Sal. Offering the best of both coastal marine and tropical forest ecosystems, Punta Sal is an excursion of diversity. Accessible only by water we will start by traversing the peninsula on foot through mangrove and tropical forests, where hopefully we will get to glimpse some monkeys, spiders and butterflies. We will then head to the unspoiled beach where we can snorkel in the turquoise waters and enjoy the coral reef. Kicking back we relax in true Caribbean style on the beach of Cocalito, enjoying a typical Garifuna lunch. Arriving back in Tela late afternoon, you will have some time at leisure before our farewell dinner this evening.

Cesar Mariscos
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: TOUR FINISHES IN SAN PEDRO SULA

DAY 14: TOUR FINISHES IN SAN PEDRO SULA

The tour finishes this morning and those on the suggested group flights will be transferred to San Pedro Sula for the flight home.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Superior

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Nuevo Gualcho

On this tour you will visit Nuevo Gualcho, a self-developed community comprised of refugee families, who decided they wanted to return home from Honduras in the early ‘90s. In recent years younger members of the community have developed ecotourism in order to generate income whilst being able to remain at home with their families.  Lunch will be with some of the friendly locals and you will have the chance to tour their homes and village.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
UA 1461 George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 18:28 San Salvador, Central America (SAL) 21:30
UA 879 London Heathrow (LHR) 09:10 George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 13:50
UA 1488 San Pedro Sula Airport (SAP) 12:35 George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 16:26
UA 5 George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 21:15 London Heathrow (LHR) 11:15

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for El Salvador or Honduras. However there is an entry tax of USD10 (subject to change) which is valid for 90 days and covers travel in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. This will need to be paid for on arrival. If you choose to fly via any US airport you will need to obtain an ESTA.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

NB. Please note that as of January 2016 US policy (subject to change) has stated that anyone wishing to travel to or via the USA must have a biometric passport. In addition, anyone who has travelled to several countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen or Somalia since March 2011, is required to apply for a US visa (rather than just an ESTA). If you are affected by this, the process is fairly straightforward and you can read more about it here - www.wildfrontierstravel.com/us-visa  

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Honduras (Roatan or Utila)

Just off the northern coast of Honduras lie the stunning island escapes of Roatan and Utila. Why not spend a few days soaking up the sun in one of these magical gems?
Allow 3-5 days.

Guatemala

Head across to Guatemala to explore the similarities and contrasts of this slightly more developed Central American country, with sights such as the famed Antigua and Tikal.
Allow 5-14 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Being situated so close to the equator El Salvador and Honduras are hot year round but you can expect temperatures to vary between late 20’s to mid-30’s (C) on this trip. It will be humid in places and cooler on the coast and in the mountains. We will be visiting outside of the rainy season, although there may be the odd shower here and there.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. However, please note that you will need to be able to climb in and out of small boats.

There is an optional volcano hike on Day 7 which takes 4 - 5 hours roundtrip. Although not a challenging walk, the initial part is through covered forest and then becomes quite rocky and uneven in the exposed areas, and can be quite narrow at times.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 10892 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION

ABOUT WILD FRONTIERS

In this short film Wild Frontiers founder and MD explains the ethos behind the award-winning travel company.