La Libertad also offers beautiful scenery in the surrounding mountains. Tamanique, located just 20 minutes from the beach is a nice example. The name originally in Nahuatl means “hill of the capture”.
Its inhabitants where first the indigenous tribes of Pokomans, later the Yaquis or Pipiles arrived. Their main economic activity was agriculture, especially maize. After the Spanish colonization the area was renamed “Santiago Tamanique”.
In popular history, it is said that old Tamanique town was known as “Cinacantán” where a major battle between natives and conquering Spaniards took place. There are a series of mounds, presumably archaeological remains, which have not been excavated. This site is located about 5 kilometers from the beach El Sunzal, north of a rocky hill called “Cerro Redondo”.
It is said that the town of Tamanique is older than the Republic of El Salvador; their founding documents are sealed under the Central American Confederation, when the Salvadoran land belonged to this entity.
If you want to combine beach and mountains, visit Tamanique. Driving up to Tamanique there is an outlook called “Eyes of Sunzal” where you can see the beach El Sunzal and the tropical dry forest that surrounds it.
After traveling 15 kilometers of road, you will glimpse a small traditional town, stuck in time. Tamanique festivities take place from February 25th to 27th and November 19th to 21th in honor of its patron Saint Lucia.
During those dates there is folk music playing, traditional food and drinks like “Shuco” (beverage made from maize) a parade, and dances depicting mythological characters like “El Cipitío” and “La Ciguanaba” that play practical jokes on the spectators.
The municipal government of Tamanique offers Ecotourism services. There is a trip that that takes you to a 45-meter high waterfall. There are other seven waterfalls in the area. Food is included in the tour, all at accessible prices.
If you feel like to mountain biking, there are tours in Tamanique. Mototour El Salvador provides this service for US$ 60 (equipment included).
Where to eat:
If you visit Tamanique you will find little shops (tienditas) that sell everything from soft drinks, sweets and basic groceries at low cost. If you decide to do the waterfall trek, the Eco tour package includes the 2 native hens cooked traditional style prepared for a group of 5 people. The cost is US$ 12.
How to get there:
Tamanique is situated in the mountainous region of La Libertad. The entrance is located on the Coastal Highway, Close to El Sunzal beach. There you will see the sign that indicates the entrance to Tamanique.
If traveling by bus there are two options:
a) Route 187A: This travel from Tamanique urban area to Puerto de La Libertad, serving from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm.
b) Route 483 or 102: This route is known popularly as “Las Marielas”, it travels from San Salvador to Tamanique . Catch it at Parque Simon Bolivar (downtown San Salvador). Fare ranges from US$ 0.35 to US$ 0.75.
-Trip to the waterfalls: Tamanique EcoTour, contact City Hall at (503) 2347-0800 / (503) 2338-9601 / (503) 7914-6611 / (503) 7608-5105 or write am.tamanique @ hotmail.com
-Mototour El Salvador:
Contact phone (503) 7729-0188
Contact Email: email@example.com
“Mirador Sunzal Eyes ”
Elevation: 649 feet
N: 13 ° 30,815 ‘
WHERE: 89 ° 22,832 ‘
Elevation: 1952 feet
N: 13 ° 35,878 ‘
WHERE: 89 ° 25,114 ‘
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