Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, under the command of Hernán Cortés, had conquered Mexico and Guatemala before coming to the vicinity of Acajutla. There he met heavy resistance, but defeated the indigenous people in 1524 and conquered all of present-day El Salvador at the Battle of Acajutla.
Following the complete independence of El Salvador in 1838, the economy of the nation became increasinging dependent on the export of coffee. The rapid growth of this lucrative "cash crop" led to profound socio-economic changes in the region, and drew of the attention of foreign investors and the local plantation owners to Acajutla, where infrastructure development was seen as necessary to assure the transport of crops from the interior and the ability to load them efficiently aboard ships.
During the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising, two destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy anchored off the shore of Acajutla at the request of the British Consul in El Salvador who feared for the safety of British nationals and assets. Armed Canadian sailors briefly landed against the wishes of the Salvadoran government and began preparing to continue on to San Salvador before the situation improved and the British no longer deemed an armed Canadian presence necessary.
During the twelve-year Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992), the oil refinery at Acajutla (then the only operating refinery in El Salvador), was a target for anti-government rebels.
The port of Acajutla was built in its initial phase at a cost of 25 million colones. The wave breaker of 338 meters inaugurated its operations in August 1961, and is managed by the Executive Commission of Autonomous Port (CEPA).
As with all the Pacific Coast of Central America, the climate at Acajutla is continuously hot and humid. Daytime high temperatures are usually in the 32°C - 34°C range. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Aw" (Tropical Savanna Climate).
Acajutla's deepwater harbor is the principal port, and for some types of shipping, there are two operational ports in El Salvador. Its port cargo loading facilities allow the marine shipment of a large portion of its major exports of coffee (40%), sugar, and Balsam of Peru. Its oil refinery is the nation's largest and it mainly refines petroleum imported from Venezuela.
They celebrate their traditional parties between the last days of May and 2 June as the main day.
One of the most important celebration is made between March and April when they celebrate the passion of Christ. In that day, people clean the roads and create decoratives images in the sand they bring from the beach, and at noon they begin the simulation of the passion from San Francisco de Asis church near Barrio La playa ending in the same location the next day in the early hours of the day.
On 24 October they make celebrations of the fishermen, in honor of San Rafael Arcangel, a day that is not highly concurred by citizens that take a little trip by fishing boat.