Sunday, February 27, 2011

Traveling to El Salvador from Guatemala; Comparisons and Contrasts

For our Thanksgiving November break we took the opportunity of a few days off of work to travel to El Salvador to meet a friend and her family who live and work there.

I always get freaked out traveling in Central America, but I was very surprised when we crossed the Guatemalan border into El Salvador and noticed a dramatic decrease in big-gun toting guards. I suppose living in Guatemala has the benefit of making everywhere else on this side of the world seem quite safe in comparison.

The travel itself was very simple; just get to CA1 and keep driving and you'll get there. Something to keep in mind, though, once you cross the border you have to search for the Migration (Migracion.) It was not as obvious of a stop with people patrolling outside like the one to exit Guatemala.

There were physical land differences as well: it was flatter, though still dotted with various volcanoes, but not as mountainous as Guatemala. This was probably a contributing factor to the many, many bikes we saw. It was hotter. Instead of black beans, red beans were the staple. Another difference was that while cantaloupes weren't in season in Guatemala, we were surprised to see them at all of the road-side stands in El Salvador, along with pineapples.

One of the obvious things that people visit El Salvador for are the beaches, something we didn't get to experience this time. Hopefully we will get to visit in the future and experience more of this beautiful country.

Have you ever traveled from Guatemala to El Salvador? What was your experience?

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