Juayua (pronounced why-YOO-wuh) is a cute little town nestled in the mountains of El Salvador. Known mostly for being along the country’s famous Ruta de Flores and its weekend food festival, this town is becoming a popular destination for travelers exploring El Salvador.
I got to spend three days in Juayua and just fell in love with its small town charm. The mountain elevation brought cooler temperatures, and the easy layout of the town made it a wonderful place to visit. I wish I could have stayed longer in Juayua to explore more of what it had to offer. But in the few days I was there, I did see and do a lot. If you’ve got Juayua on your El Salvador itinerary (and you should), here is what you’ll want to know!
Juayua El Salvador Travel Guide
→ Juayua is not the easiest place to get to. You will either have to ride a chicken bus (the local transport system) or hire a private taxi.
→ There are two large grocery stores in Juayua, so don’t worry about needing to restock anything. They’ve both got a good selection of both Central American goods and familiar US products.
→ There are also several ATMs around town to help replenish your cash.
→ There are fewer tourists in this part of El Salvador. That means fewer people who speak fluent English. I hope you’ve been practicing your español! I’m not a fluent Spanish speaker, but was able to manage alright.
Where to Stay
Casa Mazeta hostel is an adorable little haven within the town of Juayua. It’s colorful and homey and an easy walk to anything within the town. Plus they’ve got a cute little (totally non-mangey) dog that hangs out, named Chomoco! There’s a lovely garden space in the interior of the hostel, as well as a fire ring, and laundry lines if you need them! The main living space is a great place to hang out. They have great wifi and tons of DVDs to choose from if you get stuck inside on a rainy afternoon.
Where to Eat
Juayua is known for its food festival that takes place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Food vendors from all over come and set up stations around Parque Central. You will find so much food here, you won’t even know what to do with yourself. Most of what you’ll find will be grilled meats, but if you look hard you can find some other treats too!
This is literally the best place in El Salvador to find pupusas. They are made-to-order, incredibly flavorful, and SO easy on your wallet. We ordered 5 different flavored pupusas, plus two drinks, and paid a total of $3.00. I had the chicken and cheese pupusas every time we went. They tasted just like a flat little chicken pot pie. There are lots of other flavors to choose from too!
Pasteleria y Cafeteria Festival
Looking for a little breakfast, or a place to satisfy your sweet tooth in Juayua? Look no further than Pasteleria y Cafeteria Festival. This was one of the most legit bakeries I’ve found in my Central American travels. There were a crazy amount of baked goods to choose from, plus a whole cooler of delicious looking cakes. I got an amazing little tartlet filled with my favorite Central American fruit- guava! I could’ve eaten twenty of them…
What to Do
This one is on here again! Not only is there some drool-worthy food at the Feria Gastronomica, but the atmosphere itself is something you have to experience! The sounds of meat sizzling on the grill. The smells wofting through the air. The families and friends gathered together at the tables. There are also a few market stalls that set up around the festival if you’re looking to do a little shopping.
Los Chorros de la Calera
A 40 minute hike outside of Juayua will lead you to these gorgeous waterfalls. You can’t have a trip to Juayua without seeing them. Plus, you can swim in the crystal clear pool that the falls empty into. Just make sure to go with an experienced guide. Here’s everything you’ll want to know before you hike to Los Chorros de la Calera!
As with all great places, Juayua has its own little Central Park. Here, you can see the beautiful water fountain that sits directly in the middle of the park. You can sit and relax, and people watch as locals go about their daily lives. There are also many restaurants and some market stalls around the park that you can explore.
If All Else Fails…
Stop in at their tourism office! They’d be happy to help you find more information about what to do in Juayua and its surrounding communities!
It may take a little more effort to get to Juayua, El Salvador, but it just cannot be missed! The quiet and peaceful vibe of the city, combined with the greenness of the nature around it makes Juayua a perfect and peaceful little stop on your El Salvador itinerary.