47km (29 miles) N of San Salvador
Suchitoto was a volatile and fought-over territory during El Salvador's civil war, and many battles unfolded on the nearby mountain and former guerrilla stronghold of Cerro Guazapa. But Suchitoto has since recovered and remade itself into one of El Salvador's premier scenic and arts destinations. With a mix of international arts, upscale boutique hotels, natural beauty, and famously friendly people, it's now a place where you might plan on coming for a day but end up staying for a week.
This small, walkable town and surrounding area offer camera-ready mountain views, and a charming main square filled on weekends with locals and visitors enjoying the weekly market. The town has also become an international arts center, with the opening of galleries by an array of international owners and the 2000 renovation of Suchitoto's Teatro Las Ruinas, which hosts an annual international arts festival. Over the last few years, some of El Salvador's finest boutique hotels, including the exquisitely designed Los Almendros and Las Puertas on the main square, have made the town a shopping destination, too.
When you consider all the opportunities for day trips, like boat rides on the country's largest man-made lake, Lago Suchitlán, and tours to a historic village called Cinquera, it becomes obvious that Suchitoto is one of El Salvador's must-go destinations. Since it's centrally located, it's also an excellent spot to base yourself during any extended trip to the country.