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Travel Guide El Salvador - Visiting Santa Ana (2019)

We're in Santa Ana here in El Salvador and it's our first morning round and

we're going to go and give you a guided tour of this amazing town and visit all

these beautiful places.

Welcome to Santa Ana.

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So it's actually Saturday

morning and we've come down to the main square here in Santa Ana called 'Parc Libertad'

there you go! And everything runs off this main square, it's a very lively

happening place, let's just show you around. So behind us here is the main

hall that you can see, and then you have the National Theatre is over this side,

the Cathedral is over there, but you can't see that yet because it's covered

in trees and everybody has just come down to the park to hang out, enjoy the

weather, enjoy the market stands and it's got a really cool atmosphere.

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We've come into the theatre of Santa Ana and you can come in to have a little

look around without seeing a show, the entrance price is just one dollar fifty

per person, and it looks beautiful, let's go and have a look around.

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So the theatre here was built in 1889 and in 1982 it was declared a National

Theatre here in El Salvador. So we've actually come into the theatre area and

it is beautiful, it is 360 degree beautifulness! Look at this !! It's very ornate.

There's beautiful sculpturing, beautiful plaster work on the ceiling,

it's just so pretty.

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So in every theatre, they have the best spot in the house for

the VIP and we've met you Giovini, who has told us about at the president's spot!

Have a look at this lovely space it's right in the centre, on the first floor

these are the top seats in the house, what a spectacular view and just outside

this area, back out on the ring there is this beautiful area where people would

have come to do like an exhibition of dancing or what have some kind of special event.

Look at the plaster work, the mouldings around how beautiful is this. On both

sides there are separate areas, one side would be for the men to dance,

the other side would have been for the women, and then just up on the mezzanine

would have been the area where the bands would have been.

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And then just off the dancing area, there is this beautiful terrace, with

these lovely columns, the building behind me is actually the City Hall and it was

built in 1883 and the flag on the top is the Santa Ana flag.

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We've just found out as well, it's really lovely to hear, but from Wednesday to

Sunday every week there is a performance! It's so nice to know that this

theatre comes to life and actually lives what it was born for that's always so

nice to hear.

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It's interesting walking around Santa Ana Cathedral, and it's an

absolutely beautiful beautifully maintained Cathedral

and definitely worth a visit. The outside of the building, the front is white

absolutely stunning, the rest of the building is still the

original bricks, and they are doing a programme where slowly each year, they make

a little bit more of the brickwork white. Amazing can you imagine making a cathedral

of this size out of bricks.

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So all the way around Parc Libertad, there are food vendors, they are here all

day, every evening and they're selling a whole wide range of different products

for sale, and definitely worth coming down if you fancy a local

snack come down, and have a look around!

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if you are looking for souvenirs, all the way around the square

there are these wonderful stalls, selling bracelets and gifts that you can buy

around the square here.

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So walking around Santa Ana, we wanted to get a

snack and asked some locals, and they recommended that we come down to Ban Ban!

This wonderful little coffee shop selling sandwiches, pastries and they

have some seriously good looking cakes!

So we just had a sandwich and a drink,

four dollars fifty each, and we have heard from some locals, that there is an area

where there are some pools that you can actually go swimming in, so we're gonna

try and see if we can find where these pools are to show you guys and see what

it's about. I can't pronounce the name of it it's like a really long name it's

actually the 'Nahuatl' name, which is the local name 'a

woman's beautiful place' When we get there I will try and say it for you !

So we think it's probably about 15 minutes walk in this

direction, and we're walking on one side of the road to try and stay in the shade

because, the sun is beating down on us and it's super hot!

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So we found the

pools, it's one dollar fifty to get in, and we're gonna go and have a

little look around.

So we're just going to try and find the pools here, apparently

they have three pools and they are natural pools, how cool is that! Cold

water, they're not volcanic, and yeah, I think it's a really cool place to come

if you want to cool off when you're in Santa Ana. We actually did some research

online to see the best places in Santa Ana, and this was not mentioned by

anybody, no! We only have one day here, so we haven't got our swimmers, but we have asked

whether we can come in and film, just to show you another beautiful place to

visit, when you come to Santa Ana! There you go!

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So we're lost a little bit! He said come behind, and it's a really

big complex, but we're just trying to find where the three pools are.

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Well after that walk down to these pools that you can see behind us, it is so tempting

to go and jump in and it's a shame that we don't have our swimming costumes with

us. But if you're in Santa Ana and you're hanging out and you want somewhere to

come and cool off this is definitely the place to come it looks so amazing and

the gardens! there's gardens throughout here you can hang out and chill there's

a restaurant here where you can get some food,

If I had another day, I'd definitely be back here with my swimming shorts on in

the morning, yeah, if you're somebody that likes to sit by a swimming pool or even

if you just need a break from the street noises and just being in a town here you

feel like you're in a beautiful country park, or by a beach! It's open every day

from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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So another very handy thing here, in Santa Ana is that they have Uber, so

we've just ordered an Uber, to take us on to a nearby church in the centre of town.

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we've arrived here at 'Inglesia de Calvario'

And this is one of the top places to come and see in Sant Ana, so I am going to have a look

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So this church is actually located on another wonderful square, that's full of

people, lots happening, street vendors and it's only a couple of blocks from the

main Cathedral so the part behind me is called 'Parc Menendez' and is literally

down the street, opposite the Cathedral, which is there and the other church is there.

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So it's Saturday afternoon here in Santa Ana, and we are walking through the

local market they got loads of stalls here with fresh fruit and vegetables, a

really relaxed atmosphere, and if you come to the town of Santa Ana, then you

should definitely come and have a look at this beautiful market.

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And if you're staying in a hostel here in Santa Ana, this is one of the perfect

places to come a stock up on fruit and veg to do your cooking.

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And in this market,

they literally sell everything from toiletries, to fruit and veg, to clothes,

shoes, bags, you name it you'll find it here, barbecues!

So in case

you're wondering, this market is actually on seven days a week!

Certain parts of town are just weekends, but this particular market is every day.

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So opposite the Cathedral and next to the main Town Hall every weekend, they

have another market here and definitely worth a look around, like all sorts of

things from food and souvenirs, and a really nice relaxed atmosphere with

music playing.

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One of the other things to visit in Santa Ana is

'Inglesia El Carmen' and for me the churches are really beautiful and poignant and

really very peaceful, but I've got to be honest the views that you get from all

these points, are just really beautiful you can see the volcanic dormant,

mountains around Santa Ana, and it's just beautiful, you can see the tops and the

spires of the Cathedral from everywhere. It's just a really pretty pretty town.

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So we're just walking around the main square here in Santa Ana and just down

the side street, we've come across this wonderful restaurant called 'KeKa

place' and it looks fabulous so we're going to go in and get some lunch.

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I have ordered spinach and mushrom with lasagne and some garlic bread. YAY

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So during our time in Santa Ana, we are staying in El Sole hostel, which is

literally like three blocks away the main square is literally three blocks

this way, and one block over, so it's a perfect location if you want to come and

explore the town of Santa Ana. And this hostel is very new, it's only been going

for seven months, so everything is new comfy beds, and you can find it on

Bookings.com. We've got a lovely double room at Hostel Sole, and it has a lovely

big bathroom ensuite which is a real treat.

So on the side of each .... cut! start again

Marianne tries to pronounce the name!

This is actually the Nahuatl name and it means the 'place of beautiful' no a

'A Woman's Beautiful Place'