Getting There And Away
links have improved in recent years but roads in San Doloroso are
notoriously poor. There are a handful of daily flights from Mexico
City to Toronja International Airport. Esperando
and Air Mexico both
run regular services. The Pan American Highway passes close to the
capital and is perhaps the best land route available. Train services
are limited, but rail lines connect the three biggest cities, Toronja, Ausente
nationals require visas to enter San Doloroso but these are easily
obtainable at land borders or on arrival at Toronja International
Things To Do
is a lively and vibrant city that is perhaps under appreciated
as a tourist destination. There is a thriving night life and many
charming squares still redolent of the colonial era. The Plaza Mayor
(Avenida 43 Este) is a good place to start, with the impressive
two hundred year old Catedral proving a popular destination. The
Ayuntamiento (City Hall) is on the eastern side of the plaza but more
impressive still is the Independence Monument, a statue of Simón
Doloroso, the famed revolutionary leader,
whose stern visage dominates the surrounding area. The
transmission aerial of Radio Libertad can also
be seen from the
plaza. One of the most familiar sites on the Toronja
skyline, Edificio Libertad itself (on
Avenida 58 Sur) is a striking art deco building
not dissimilar to the BBC's
Broadcasting House in London. It was partially destroyed by a terrorist
bomb in 1990 but has since been completely restored. The
National Museum on Avenida 19 Oeste - itself rebuilt after a
devastating earthquake in 1993 - is a treasure trove of ethnic art
and culture dating back literally thousand of years. The Archaeological
Museum, on Avenida 55 Este, is smaller but still contains many
important items. Matanza Park is the largest area of greenery in
Central Toronja and the Plaza de los Mártires is also well worth a visit
(though it is inadvisable to take photographs here as the
Metropolitan Police Headquarters is situated nearby on Avenida 31).
Further south, there are boat trips to be
had on the Rio Verde, San Doloroso's longest river (though watch out for unscrupulous touts selling tickets for
non-existent boats) and
there is usually something to watch at the National Football Stadium,
which played host to the World Cup Final in 1998.
The small city of Escote on the Pacific coast also has a lively night life. There
are many bars worth visiting in the area surrounding the Plaza
Mayor. A trip to the local monastery of Santa Maria La
Virgen is a must for the culturally minded, and for the athletic there
hikes to the top of Mount Izquierda and Mount Derecha.
Historians might like to visit the birth place of Miguel
and spend an hour or two in the El Hombrito museum. A notable port
has some superb restaurants and the best fresh fish in San
is available to buy directly every Wednesday at the weekly market).
who would rather hang out at the beach might prefer to head north along
coast to El Paraíso, a popular resort town for the young, the
trendy and the beautiful.
colonial city just north of Sierra
Sangrienta, Ausente has a faded grandeur certain to appeal to the
more romantically inclined.
mines of Cerro Pobre - on the outskirts of the city - are of particular
historic interest. Organised tours
are available most afternoons but they are not for the faint-hearted.
visit to the Royal Mint in the city centre gives further insight
into the tragic history of this once famous city.