The small village of Juayua along the Ruta de las Flores is truly authentic El Salvadorean. People are warm and friendly and the everyday pace is very-easy-going.
It's the perfect place to settle into and absorb local life. You can go hiking to the nearby waterfalls, as we did with the assistance of Douglas, our local guide. You can also arrange horseback rides into the coffee plantations. Here you'll get a glimpse firsthand of the rigors of the harvest as you watch locals laboriously pick, sort and lug sacks of beans from early in the morning until sundown.
A visit to the towns of Apaneca and Ataco are also very enjoyable, especially if you arrive on Sunday - market day. Stalls are filled with local cuisine, bands are playing and the locals all gather for a full day of fun and relaxation.
Back in Juayua, late in the afternoons, women emerge in their make-shift shops to cook all sorts of savory snacks. My favorite were the pupusas - flat, pancake-like tortillas made of corn and stuffed with pork, cheese and refried beans. Each day during my stay in this tranquil village I looked forward to an afternoon pre-dinner nosh, just like the locals.