From Alegría to Suchitoto is an easy half-day travel (once I finally left Alegría, it took about 4 hours with easy and fast connections). If you're thinking of making the same trip, here's what you do:
- Bus down to Santiago de María, $0.30, ~15 minutes. Bus doesn't seem to come frequently or on a schedule (I waited about an hour twenty for mine). Make friends with whomever else is waiting.
- In Santiago de María, walk through the market to the road leading out of town to find the microbus, $0.28, ~25 minutes.
- In El Triunfo, cross the Panamerican Highway (carefully!!). Catch any San Salvador-bound bus (I took 301) and tell the driver you want to get off in San Martin. It will take a few hours (2.5ish) and should cost around +/- $3.
- Important! You do not need to go all the way into San Salvador to change buses! The driver should let you off on the Panamerican Highway in San Martin. Cross the highway using the pedestrian overpass. Walk toward the west 20 meters until you're past the place where the eastbound travel lanes split--your bus will be going straight, so it will stop farther to the west so it can merge into the left lanes again. Boarding the bus at the highway means you're more likely to get a seat, before the crush of people board in San Martin proper.
- From San Martin to Suchitoto, take bus 129 just about 1 hour for $0.70.
|the spaniard, the french guy, the cop, and a kid from the barrio|
|los tercios... minus the water... neat, eh?|
|en la cocina... who's hungry?!|
|it all tastes good in the end :-)|
I didn't love Suchitoto quite as much as I loved Alegría, but I gotta say, El Salvador has wildly exceeded my expectations. Salvadorans have been really friendly to me. People on the street are constantly going out of my way to point me on to the correct bus or ask me if I need directions to where I'm going. I usually don't need the help, but it's a great opportunity to represent the United States abroad and to work on my Spanish. Compared to the whistles and kisses I've gotten in other countries, Salvadorean men have been surprisingly respectful and polite. I was squashed between two guys about my age on the bus from El Triunfo to San Matin, and I was expecting harassment and lewd stares the entire time. Nope--just polite small talk about where I'm from, where I'm going, the weather, and so on.
I really don't know why more people don't visit El Salvador. That's ok--leave it unspoiled for the rest of us. ;-)
Hats off for El Salvador!
More photos from Suchitoto: