By far I would have to say one of my best time in the country was in Suchitoto. When I first went there I wouldn’t have expected it to be my favorite place. I always figured El Tunco would be as it was a hot destination for backpackers to go. Little did I know that the Suchitoto at night was completely different than the Suchitoto during the day. I would definitely recommend this as a place to visit on your travels through El Salvador.
You see the thing with Suchitoto is, at first glance it looks like a quiet little town that would make for a great place for a day trip and nothing more. The town itself is not that visually appeasing besides the town square. Everything else is hidden and stuffed between the many alley ways and corners that surrounds this small busy town. Be prepared to do a lot of walking.
The Town Square
Everything seemed to happen at the town square. The whole town was here as well as majority of the restaurants, cafe, and shops. I decided to check this place out first as it seemed liked it was the main attraction of this small time town. My favorite thing about this area is the small park that happens to be right at the center of it all in front of the church. It’s a great meet up spot if needing to regroup with some friends or if you just want to sit down and relax and just people watch. Best part about it is that it has wifi for you to connect to! You’ll meet lots of people here, from locals that wants to practice their English with you to other backpackers thankful to meet someone else that can speak English. The restaurants are all on one side (right side if your facing the church) and the shops on the other. Definitely worth checking out if spending the day in this nice little town.
I definitely recommend not walking over here. I took a cab over here and it took 10 minutes to get here driving so imagine trying to walk down to this area at the bottom of the hill. There is a small fee that you have to pay per person to enter the lake area (I forgot what it was but its not much though! Just a few small dollars)From what I was told from the locals this is the biggest lake in the country. The area was gorgeous and you can definitely take awesome pictures. The lake area itself has a couple of dining areas if you were to ever get hungry as well as some souvenir shops. There’s a small island in the middle of the lake called Bird Island and is possible to get there via ferry. Seeing as I got there really late in the afternoon the ferrys were no long running so I had missed my window of opportunity to visit the small island.
Then There Was the Night Life!
Truth be told I had done all of this within a couple of hours. It was too late to go see the waterfalls and I didn’t really know what else to do in this town. I decided to turn in early and see what tomorrow would bring so I headed out to my hostel to catch some zZzZz’s. At least that’s what I thought I would be doing the whole night and boy was I wrong! I was woken abruptly by loud music at around 7pm.
Trust me when I tell you that I was confused as to what was going on. I decided to go out and investigate what the hell all the ruckus was about, so I quickly put on a change of clothes and off to the square I went only to be more confused than ever. What was out before me were building, trees and stands covered in lights! Even the church was lit up (talk about being lit)! Music playing everywhere and people dancing, singing, and having a good time. Where am I, was the first thing that popped into my mind. This wasn’t the quiet little town I was in earlier before I went to sleep. Not only that, but the town was extremely packed and the funny thing was majority of the town was drunk. Locals and backpackers stumbling everywhere! This was a completely different town then where I was at earlier. The difference was night and day (yes, that pun was intended)!
You know the old saying “When in Rome, do what the Romans do”? That’s exactly what I did as I wasted no time going to the nearest bar to catch my self a drink. Drinks were easy to get anywhere. If you didn’t want to walk to the bar they had stands outside selling beers. Everyone was drinking and having a good time. I ended up meeting a local couple who spoke very (and I mean very!) little english. They wanted me to join them for the night and have drinks with them. I practice my Spanish with them and they practice their English. They showed me around town and we ended up bar hopping and met another couple who spoke English and Spanish. They joined us and were pretty much our translators. We all became very good friends that night.
If you’re looking for a good bar to drink then I highly suggest going to Cafe El Necio especially to end your night. The place looks pretty cool and I wish I had taken pictures but I was too drunk to think about doing that. I loved the vibe and its where majority of the town goes to. What really made it my favorite bar in town was the second story. You go up stairs to sit down for a drink and you have a beautiful view of the lake and surrounding mountains. The view was just amazing so I highly recommend getting some drinks there.
All in all I loved this little town and after the first night there I felt like I was part of the town the rest of my time there. Made a lot of good friends there as well as improve on my Spanish. I’m not sure if the nights are like that all the time but I did learn that they do have a couple of festivals held there each year. If you’re ever traveling to El Salvador, be sure to make a stop in this quiet little town. It’s worth checking out.
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