Juayua Food Fair Grilled Meat

Visit Juayua Food Festival & Los Chorros de Calera

In City Guides, El Salvador, Food & Drink by Erik @ DIY Travel HQ7 Comments

Juayua is the most popular village on El Salvador’s Ruta de las Flores with the swimming hole at Los Chorros de Calera & the weekly Juayua Food Festival – find out what’s on the menu! 

Things to See & Do in Juayua

Juayua (pronounced why-ooh-ah) is best known for their weekend food fair known locally as feria gastronomica.

Although there are groups of foreigners like us here at DIY Travel HQ, this is a predominantly local affair which is what makes it one of the highlights of El Salvador.

El Salvadorians from across the country come to enjoy the Ruta de las Flores, and sample some of the best cuisine in the region at the Juayua food festival.

The other attractions are Templo del Senor de Juayua, and Los Chorros de Calera.

Juayua Ruta de las Flores

There is no knockout attraction along the Ruta de las Flores, but there are a lot of good things to do a short distance from each other.

  • Juayua Food Festival

Food stalls congregate around the main plaza with tables filling every conceivable space along the street and park.

The best time to visit is for lunch, as the food is fresher and all the options are still available.

The Juayua food festival seemed rather depressing when we returned from Los Chorros de Calera around 3 pm.

Juayua Food Fair Overflow Seating

Select the dish you want, and find a seat to enjoy your meal!

The meals on offer cost $5 to $6, and are a better version of menu del dia.

Portions are larger, there are a variety of meats and seafood to choose from, and presentation is well thought of.

These are the best meals you will eat in El Salvador without visiting a fancy restaurant.

Juayua Food Fair Display Dishes

A lot of the dishes are a variation of grilled meat or seafood, but tasty nonetheless.

Expect to find traditional grilled beef alongside paella, surf-and-turf skewers, barbecued rabbit, and other dishes.

We were disappointed not to be able to find iguana, guinea pig, snake, and frog dishes per guidebooks’ descriptions.

Overall, there are roughly 15 food stalls, and an additional 5 selling drinks.

Consider buying a 1.25 liter of coke for $0.75 at a nearby store to quench your thirst for less.

Juayua Food Fair Meals

We enjoyed grilled rabbit, and a surf-and-turf skewer.

Juayua food festival vendors lined the north side of the main plaza, with two block-long overflow sections at the end.

These each featured karaoke for your enjoyment.

Juayua Food Fair Dining Under Tent

If you didn’t arrive for lunch, then you are too late to enjoy the freshest food and countless options.

  • Templo del Senor de Juayua

Located on the west side of the main plaza is Templo del Senor de Juayua.

This church is notable for having the Black Christ of Juayua, which was carved by Quiro Catano in the 16th century.

Keep in mind that the church closes from 12-2 pm so plan on grabbing lunch at this time.

Templo del Senor de Juayua

Take a look inside Templo del Senor de Juayua to find the Black Christ.

  • Handicrafts Market

As you make your way from the bus station to the food fair, you will have to pass through a series of tents with vendors selling souvenirs.

We weren’t in the market for anything, but we did appreciate the cover during a rain storm.

Juayua Handicrafts Market

Take a look, and bargain friendly to reach a price both of you can agree on.

  • Los Chorros de Calera

Los Chorros de Calera is a free swimming spot for locals and tourists alike. It’s a popular tourist attraction, along with the Juayua food festival.

Try to time your visit for a weekend when there is ample traffic going back and forth to make the remote 2.5 km walk safe.

Otherwise, consider arranging a free police escort.

It is also possible to hire a tuk-tuk to take you there, but that doesn’t negate the security detail.

Juayua Los Chorros de Calera Tuk-Tuks

Try to visit Los Chorros de Calera on a weekend when it is safer due to increased traffic.

The entrance to Los Chorros de Calera is marked by a chain link fence that guards the final descent to the waterfalls, and dual swimming pools.

The waterfalls may be real, but artificial walls were constructed to create deep enough water to enjoy.

Juayua Los Chorros de Calera Entrance

They do a good job of securing Los Chorros de Calera with fences and barbwire on both sides, and armed police and military around the pools.

Many locals take the opportunity to pose on the rocks, and frolic in the water.

Don’t expect scantily clad locals running around, as they are more likely to be drenched in normal attire.

You may well be the only one wearing a bikini.

Juayua Los Chorros de Calera

There are two pools to swim in at Los Chorros de Calera, but you won’t see much skin at either.

The best part was venturing through the tunnel that links the two pools.

There is a loose rope that guides you through the first half, but the fun is just getting started when it ends.

Up until then, it was possible to keep your entire head above water.

Coincidentally, once you lose grip of the rope you can only breathe with your neck arched back and nose touching the rock ceiling.

The scariest part is not being able to see the next air pocket and taking a swim of faith with over 30 meters left to go, while water fed by gravity pushes you down the tube.

It was fun, but I wouldn’t try this with no one around.

Juayua Los Chorros de Calera Tunnel

The adventurous can travel between the two pools in a tunnel that seems easy at first, but gets scary once the rope ends.

Where to Stay in Juayua

Most of the accommodation fills up in advance with El Salvadorians along the Ruta de las Flores during the weekends.

For this reason, we decided to keep our schedule open and decided to stay at Los Portones in Ataco.

You can easily visit Juayua as a day trip from Ataco since there isn’t much to see and do besides the Juayua food festival and Los Chorros de Calera.

Simple room at Los Portones de Ataco

Our room had everything you need

How to Get To and From Juayua

Juayua is reached by bus #249, which plies back and forth between Ahuachapan and Sonsonate along the Ruta de las Flores.

The entire stretch costs $0.90, but most fares along the route cost $0.50 such as to Ataco.

Ruta de las Flores Bus 249 Turnstile

I’m not sure why Guatemala doesn’t implement a turnstile instead of the conductor trying to remember who paid.

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Juayua, El Salvador is the most popular village on Ruta de las Flores with their weekly food fair. Los Chorros de Calera is also a fun swimming hole just outside town. Find out what is on the menu inside. Feria gastronomica allows tourists to sample some of the best cuisine in the region. The meals on offer cost $5 to $6, and are a better version of menu del dia. Expect to find traditional grilled beef alongside paella, surf-and-turf skewers, barbecued rabbit, and other dishes.

*** The Final Word – You can still visit during the week, but the best time to stay is on the weekends during the Juayua food festival ***

What exotic animal have you tried, and actually liked?

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4 Shovels

Easy DIY travel outside city centres using local transport

Visited in October 2016


  1. Wow, this is snot just about the food the I’m expecting to read and see, but there is more to it. I like those foods and it makes me hungry. I like the waterfalls as well which resemble to the Asik-Asik falls that we have here in the Philippines as well. I would love tow visit this place someday. Thank you for sharing!

    1. That is what makes the Ruta de las Flores in El Salvador unique. There are a handful of towns near each other that each specialize in a couple of things. In this case, Juayua has the food fair and Los Chorros de Calera.

      The Asik-Asik falls do look similar. The pictures online depict a nice environment surrounding the waterfall too. Here, the highlight is a swim through the tunnel linking two waterfalls. I haven’t made it farther south than the Visayas so maybe next time I will get a chance to visit them.

  2. A very comprehensive post about Juayua! I got curious at the mention of Black Christ. The food spread is mouth watering. I did sample some Malaysian street food and I liked the fish preparations a lot. The hare meat looks tempting.

    1. It is amazing how fast the food disappears. Everyone seems to come for lunch, and after that it is slim pickings. It is nice to be able to pick several dishes from different vendors if you wanted.

  3. We had pelibuey (sheep bred for warm climates) and frog legs. A town down the road, Nahuizalco, was meant to serve snake and iguana at the market seasonally. We visited this part of El Salvador twice and we loved it.

    1. El Salvador as a whole is wonderful especially the people & food. We weren’t quite as adventurous as you guys & it was always hard to eat anything besides pupusas anyway… sooooo good!

  4. Pingback: Solo Travel in El Tunco, El Salvador: Where I Went Wrong | Everywhereish

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