This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Santa Ana. To help you make friends with Santa Ana before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Santa Ana is the second-biggest city in El Salvador. Its colonial architecture, manageable size, beautiful surrounding natural landscapes, and comparative security compared to the capital city San Salvador make this one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The city is conveniently located just off the Pan-American Highway, meaning that it is a more than worthwhile stop off on your way north into Guatemala, or south into Nicaragua.
The surrounding region is also blessed with outstanding beauty. Just eighteen kilometers south of the city, Lago de Coatepeque is a beautiful lake that is formed inside a volcanic crater. Along the banks of the lake are a number of bars and restaurants, although you will pay a premium to dine here (by El Salvador's normally cheap standards). Just to the west you will find National Park Cerro Verde, which features an active volcano (the Volcan de Izalco). You can hike another nearby volcano (Volcan Santa Ana) with the assistance of a guide. The hike takes around two hours and takes you to another beautiful lake formed inside the crater. Due to their close proximity to the city, both these areas can be done as a day trip from the city itself.
After a great day hiking, you can return to the city and your Santa Ana hostel, and take in the beautiful architecture that is mostly centred around the main square, Parque Libertad. The best examples are the Cathedral Santa Ana, the French-style National Theatre, and the Municipal Palace. The beauty of the collection of buildings surrounding the square rivals any other square in the whole of Central America.
Written by local enthusiast for Santa Ana hostelsElgrumpygringo