Dark volcanoes jut up through a broad, plain patchwork of sugarcane fields, cotton farms, and cattle ranches in eastern El Salvador, which, even though an important economic and agricultural region, still gets fewer visitors than the attraction-filled west. Yet its rural charm and civil-war history make this corner of El Salvador well worth the trip. Highlights include the charming, cool mountainside village of Alegría; the historical town of Perquín, which has the country's most definitive collection of FMLN war relics; and the tragic village of Mozote, whose people suffered one of modern Latin America's worst war-time atrocities. Although this is also one of the poorest sections of the country, you'll find the residents of the east to perhaps be the friendliest of your trip.

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