Algeria is the sort of place that people would describe as an escape or a retreat. It is quiet and away from it all but there is something more to the place…
The trip itself is arduous (at least from San Salvador), it’s a distance from most significant attractions and there’s not necessarily a lot to do here. What I’m trying to say is that Algeria is kinda great. Perhaps it’s the time in the journey for us but this felt like the place to be. It’s a sleepy mountain town that is temperate compared to the heat of elsewhere, set amongst beautiful surrounds of coffee plantations and with distant views stretching out over the countryside. We arrived to a vibrant little market and woke to the sounds of drums, sax and horn lines and wandered down to the lake (one of the main attractions $0.25pp). Soon we found the source of sound in a high schools band performing their entry into an american competition. The market is on Sunday and whilst it was small, it had no shortage of locally made treats and a delightful family vibe. There’s also hikes in the surrounds and coffee plantation guided tours available but we didn’t choose to go on either. Truthfully though other than a few small excursions drifting through the streets and surrounds we mostly relaxed, recharged, ate pupusas and grounded ourselves before our next adventure.
The whole time we were there we didn’t see anyone other than nationals and locals and the lack of huge highlights is probably the biggest perk. This is genuine, the place sort of place you could imagine spending a weekend away if you lived in the country, not a tourist hot-spot but an awfully nice diversion.
Enter Pierdras – Private room $30 inc. breakfast. Clean facilities. For those needing to save a bit more there is a hostel in the town also.
Getting to Alegria from San Salvador:
• You arrive in San Salvador’s Terminal Ocidente – Boulevard Venezuela, San Salvador, El Salvador
• From here catch bus “Ruta 4A”. Head out to the main street Boulevard Venezuela, cross the road so you are on the side of the gas station, the bus stop is now down the road slightly to the right if you are facing the gas station.
• Take this bus as far as Terminal Estacion del Sur (US$0.20, 25 mins).
• At this station buy your tickets for Usulutan ($3, 1 hour 30 mins)
• As you come into Usulutan there is a large supermarket on your right. Depart here.
• From here direct buses to Alegria do not run on Sundays.
• If you are travelling on a Sunday take bus #362 to Santiago de Maria (US$0.75, 1 hour). If you are travelling Monday – Saturday ask around for the direct bus route number.
• In Santiago de Maria change buses to Alegria (US$0.40, 10 mins). The last bus to Alegria on a Sunday departs at 4pm.
Getting away to San Miguel and Onwards:
• Catch bus from square outside church to Santiago $0.50
• Catch shuttle from Agenda Norte near corner of Calle Poniente Heading to El Truinto $1, 20 minutes
• From where you are dropped in El Truinto the bus for San Miguel is around the corner on the left $1, 41 minutes to San Miguel station.
• If continuing to La Union take bus #324 $0.90, 1 Hour 15 minutes to La Union Terminal
• If continuing to Honduras click here for all the information you need to cross the Honduras and Nicaraguan borders.