Suchitoto is a municipality in the department of Cuscatlán, just 45 minutes from the Salvadoran capital. Its territory has been inhabited since pre-Columbian times, and it was also the site where the town of San Salvador was founded in 1528, where it had a brief existence. In Náhuat, Suchitoto is known as, Shuchitutut which means Flower-Bird, a name that reflects the nature that surrounds a city beautified by old structures and cobbled streets.
This beautiful city has a population of more than 27 thousand inhabitants, a figure that can vary depending on the year. In 1958, Suchitoto obtained the title of city and during the eighties it suffered the onslaught of the civil war that almost lead to its complete abandonment by its inhabitants.
After the peace accords were signed in El Salvador on January 16, 1992, the town prospered to become one of the most important tourist sites in the country. Its well-preserved colonial-style architecture marked by its cobbled streets, hostels, restaurants and picturesque cafes make this town reminiscent of the Hispanic colonial era.
During the armed conflict, there were 10,000 inhabitants living in Suchitoto yet only 50 families remained and faced the armed conflict.
This is a place that was greatly affected by the war. But after the conflict, Suchitoto began the process of reconstruction and its inhabitants returned.
Since then it has become a tourist emblem and its growth is largely attributed to the late filmmaker, Alejandro Coto, who did a lot for his pre-Columbian city.
Suchitoto is home to the Puerto San Juan del Lago de Suchitlan, a beautiful paradise that connects with cantons in the department of Chalatenango.
Something very interesting is that Suchitoto was not defeated by the pandemic. During the confinement caused by the pandemic in 2020, Suchitoto seemed like a ghost town but little by little it has recovered and almost everything has returned to normal.
Its people are already back to their jobs and are carrying out cultural activities, always keeping the measures of hygiene in place.
Visitors and tourists continue to visit this colonial place. Similar to Antigua, Guatemala but only smaller, in Suchitoto, you’ll find a climate that changes from hot to very cool at night. The walls of the houses are approximately one meter thick and it is forbidden in this place to modify any home since they are considered a heritage asset.
In this beautiful city you can find gastronomic festivals, crafts, restaurants, bakeries, coffee sales, tour guides, bicycle rentals and mini train rides that offer tours of the entire town. There are also 4-star hotels and hostels for those who like to venture, tourist tours and pupusas schools for tourists who want to learn how to make them.
The square has an old church, shops where one can purchase gourmet coffee as well as artisanal desserts made by hand by entrepreneurs in the area. The church chimes to gather for mass at different times during the week and on the weekend.
While visiting Suchitoto, there’s a variety of places of interest. Church of Santa Lucia was built in 1853, and it is one of the main attractions of Suchitoto due to its original structure from the colonial era. The Guazapa Volcano is part of the rich natural heritage. The volcano is covered with tropical dry forest, a fertile eco-system with trees, plants and birds. The Hacienda la Bermuda and Ciudad Vieja are places of great historical and cultural importance. Lake Suchitlán is an impressive artificial lake that offers multiple services such as food and rest areas. There you can access the ferry to transport vehicles to the north shore of the lake, where you can visit the towns of San Luis del Carmen and San Francisco Lempa. Los Tercios Waterfall is located in the Las Ánimas stream, barely a kilometer and a half from the city center.
Luckily for the future generations of Suchitoto, the beautiful city of the beautiful balconies and the adobe houses and its romantic cobbled streets, was not destroyed. It is perhaps the Salvadoran site that houses the most ancient buildings in its enclosure, an important history of El Salvador’s patrimony.
Suchitoto has two entrances, one is through San Martin on the Pan-American highway that leads to the east of the country, and the second is in Aguilares, the northern road that takes us to Chalatenango and both entrances, its streets are in very good condition.
Mauricio Alexander Cáceres García is a Correspondent for Latina Republic focused on El Salvador and Latin America. He is a renowned and awarded Photojournalist and Documentarian from El Salvador. He has extensive experience reporting on migration, community, travel, tourism and patrimony. His work showcases the power of human stories. Among his specializations, Cáceres has reported on “The migrant route” of the Guatemalan border, Mexico and the United States. Cáceres has a degree in Migration from the Universidad de Centro América, UCA. Cáceres has served as an Editor of the newspaper Más, EDH and elsalvador.com. He has extensive experience in national and international news coverage, studied journalism has won several photography awards throughout Latin America, including second place on a photographic contest centered on the migrant woman, and earning the Santa Clara de Asís prize for his report on the migrant route.