El Salvador Ranks Among NY Times Top 52 Travel Destinations for 2024

Photo of author

By Marco Echevarria

“El Salvador has improved dramatically, opening large areas of the country. Hotels and restaurants ignored for a long time are experiencing renewed interest along the Route of the Flowers,” says the newspaper. El Salvador got rank 33.

Las Flores Route

The route of the Flores, is the tourist heart of western El Salvador, with 20 villages “which are surrounded by coffee farms and pine forests, culminating in the constantly expanding night market in Nahuizalco, home to the Nahua, an indigenous group.”

Annually, the route of the Flowers receives hundreds of tourists and their recognition at national and international level is due to the beauty of landscapes, gastronomy and the diversity of sports activities for all tastes, without leaving aside a fresh and pleasant climate.

Gastronomy. From typical dishes or gourmet to a delicious high-rise cafe are found in the restaurants of the route. Photo: LPG/José Cardona

In 2014, the Legislative Assembly declared the National Day of the Flower Route, which is held every first Sunday in October, according to Legislative Decree No. 800.

The Salvadoran coasts

The coasts of El Salvador have always been widely visited by tourists and according to The New York Times, the port of Liberty is a perfect destination for tourism in the country.

“The Port of Freedom seafood market is the one that pays the most attention to them,” the newspaper says.

The Tourist Complex of the Port of La Libertad managed to position itself as the most visited tourist destination during the end of 2023. It is the Market of the Sea that mentions the American environment.

The market has 20 restaurants with special seafood dishes and a la carte food, also refreshing minutes and coconuts, crafts and typical cravings.

However, the NYT mentions a “more worthy” place of attention to what seafood refers to, it is the oyster bar, Ostrero Chepe Aleta, in the town of El Zonte.

In addition, camping and surfing activities on El Tunco beach, in the east of El Salvador, are also a tourist attraction to be carried out during 2024, according to the newspaper.

San Salvador

Finally, the NYT also mentions the attractions that can be found in the capital of El Salvador. “The gastronomester scene charges beyond fast food chains,” says the media, who pointed out that the Xolo restaurant, located within the National Museum of Anthropology, stands out for offering local varieties of corn.

He also mentions cafes such as Carajo and Crafters that “promuse small farms by growing native varieties such as pacamara.”

Latin American locations included in the NYT list

Costa Rica also achieved a place within the 52 tourist destinations of the New York Times, at 46th position. The newspaper included a destination that connects to the nature of the Central American country.

It is the Costa Rican Way, a 174-mile hiking trail that connects the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

This place is segmented into 16 sections, the national trail, parks and sanctuaries that house dazzling birds such as the bright quetzal, connects 25 rural communities and land ranging from beaches to cloudy forests where hikes can be made.

“The full walk can last from 11 to 16 days, and along the way, travelers passing through indigenous areas can hire members of the Cabécar community as guides,” the newspaper said.

Peru is another destination that is in 49th place the list, specifically Choquequirao, a spectacular Inca citadel, receives less than 10,000 visitors a year.

Although it sounds attractive, the New York newspaper specifies that a four-day walk is needed to get to the place.

However, the Peruvian government plans to build a cable car and improve the trails to boost tourism in the area. According to NYT, the project would have a $200 million investment.

Choquequirao, Peru.

Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is a destination to visit during 2024, according to The New York Times list. Especially with its new 14-mile subway line in the capital, which will connect to 15 stations from north to south of the country.

The project will congratulate travelers exploring the exquisitely preserved churches in the historic UNESCO centre.

“Although parts of Ecuador have made headlines for cartel-related violence, crime rates in Quito have dropped, according to the National Police, and a dedicated police patrolled areas popular with tourists,” the media clarifies.

Inflation in Guatemala closed 2023 at 4.18%

Food and non-alcoholic drinks, restaurants and hotels are the spending divisions that recorded the highest year-on-year inflation in the past year.

Of the 12 divisions that make up the Consumer Price Index (IPC) that of non-alcoholic food and drinks and that of restaurants and hotels are the two that recorded the most increase according to the year-on-year comparison to December 2023 against the same month of 2022.

Inflation closed 2023 at 4.18%, reports the information released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) during this week. However, when we see the detail by division, registered on the institution’s website, that of restaurants and hotels reflects an upward variation of 8.67%.

This item includes, among others, breakfast, lunch and other meals consumed outside the home, as well as ready-to-wear dishes and the student and tourist accommodation service.

Meanwhile, the food and non-alcoholic beverage division rose 8.47%, including fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, basic grains, meats, sugar, jelly, compotes, sweets, pastas, biscuits, cakes, tortillas, coffee, soft drinks and soda waters, among other products.

It should be taken into account that the food and beverage division had peaks during the year as between February and May increases were reflected that reached about 15%, explained Enrique Lacs, executive director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Food and Drinks (CGAB). The figure of 8.47% is the year-on-year comparison as of December 2023.

In the case of restaurants and hotels, the type of services also reflects the variation in food and drink, apart from the fact that for the holiday season, there was greater demand from travelers.

In terms of goods and services, recreation and culture, they had upward variations of about 3.5% each. While the housing and alcohol and tobacco divisions recorded inflation of 2.47% each.

The classification of housing includes expenses such as water, electricity, gas and other fuels (coal and firewood), rents, miscellaneous materials for repair, work and maintenance of the home, electricity and tap items, and garbage removal service.

In health, the variation was 2.39%; in clothing and footwear, 1.74%; furniture and household items 0.94%; in education, it was 0.4%, although in this area peaks are reflected in other months of the year for the school season. According to INE data, communications had a decrease of -0.25% and transport of -10.8%.

The CPI measures the average price variation of a group of goods and services that respond to those of greatest importance within the final consumption expenditure of households, according to the National Survey of Income and Family Expenditure 2009-2010. This index has as its calculation basis, December 2010, the INE is exposed on its website.

Prices in the Basic Food Basket

In the case of the Basic Food Basket (CBA), which is integrated with 34 products, increases are reflected in 32 of them and the highest were in bananas with 41.3%; tomatoes, 28.2%; onion, 23%; beans, 13.2%; some fruits such as bananas, pineapples, watermelon rose by about 12%; and sugar, 12.3%.

Liquid milk, with 9.2% and powder, 5%, roses, rice, 8.3%; and corn tortillas 7.7%. Oats, chicken eggs and beef, chicken and pork reflected price increases of about 5% each product.

CBA is made up of 34 products and quantifies the suggested grams for a home of 4.77 members, which would cover the energy requirement of 2,262 calories. In addition, in its formulation it follows the expenditure methodology that observes the patterns of effective consumption, that is, it is not a basket for normative purposes, as if it were dietary, the INE notes on its website.

Very strong increases

Fredy Gomez, an analyst at the firm Cardinal, said food divisions show very steep rises and price increases have been widespread, but poorer households are mainly affected.

In four years, food prices increased by about 40% for vulnerable families, which means that what they could buy with their income was almost halved in the food division, aspects that are evidenced in popular consumer items such as the basic basket including beans, rice corn, which in practice, thousands of families can no longer afford.

He added that in the world, food prices have shown a downward trend, but in the country there is a lag and it is not reflected in the same way, as is also the case with fuels.

Meanwhile, Lacs mentioned that there are cross-sided messages on the market, mentioning that sugar rises globally, corn and wheat have remained more stable and rice has been rising, due to the international context of supply and demand.

In the case of industrial products, raw materials and packaging materials such as cardboard and plastics, which have an impact on imported inflation, should be added.

In any case, he indicated that the prices of industrial foods in the basic basket are those that have shown the greatest stability, such as edible oil, although it also had months of rises by soybeans and sunflower.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Grafica