The north of El Salvador along the border with Honduras is not as developed as the central and coastal regions. During the war, guerillas hid out in the hills here, especially in the small town of Perquín which today hosts the country’s premier war museum. There are a few small colonial towns which are worth visiting in this area like Suchitoto and La Palma, otherwise the view out the bus window will probably be all the time you want to spend in this area.
Perquín: A historical war monument, Perquín was the FMLN headquarters during the war and today home to the Museo de la Revolución Salvadoreña. The museum features photographs and artifacts of the war. This is also a good spot for finding orchids and rare butterflies along with birds like the oriole and the chestnut-headed oropendola.
La Palma: The handicrafts capital of El Salvador, La Palma is tucked into a pine-forest valley at the foot of Miramundo mountain, just 84 km (52 mi) north of San Salvador. Delicate and ornate wooden carvings are La Palma’s specialty along with colorfully hand-embroidered tapestries. Almost 75% of the population is directly or indirectly engaged in producing handicrafts, much of which is exported to other countries. Many of the workshops are open to visitors. If shopping isn’t your thing, you can use La Palma as a base for exploring nearby mountains. Because of its altitude, 1100 m (3,600 ft), the air is much cooler than on the coast.