- Parque Libertad, Catedral de Santa Ana, Teatro de Santa Ana, Palacio Municipal
Population: 275 000
Santa Ana is the second largest city of El Salvador. It is situated in the West part of the country, close to the border to Guatemala. In the vicitniy you find the Santa Ana volcano, Ruta de la Flores, Tazumal (Mayan pyramids) and many other attractions. Santa Ana is known for its coffee bean industry. The city is not very developed, and feels much smaller then it is, like the center of small villages that grown together. But around Parque Libertad, the square that is the heart of the city, there are several beautiful structures in colourful heritage style. The most significant of them is the Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana. It was built in 1906 and features a splendid white gothic facade. The cathedral is probably the most beautiful in the whole country (more beautiful then the one in San Salvador). Santa Ana is a very religious catholic city, and has a lot of other churches as well.
Teatro de Santa Ana, the Theatre, is a beautiful light green heritage building from 1910, just at Parque Libertad. Palacio Municipal, a yellow heritage building with columns, also at Parque Libertad, is the City Hall of Santa Ana. Santa Ana also features a few musuems, a small zoological park and a Palestian mosque.
The Metrocentro in the outskirts is the largest shopping mall, and probably the most modern building in Santa Ana.
Be careful, avoid to walk around after dark, not only because the high risk of robbery, but also because many pavements are in a very bad conditions, with 10cm deep holes.
We visited the city briefly, for less then an hour, enough to walk around the square, see the main sights and visit the cathedral. It is considered an important tourist destination, but there are not many hotels in the city and the inhabitants look very surprised when they see foreign tourists.