Jose Salvador Alvarenga's account of his months floating across the Pacific Ocean at first raised eyebrows, but officials say they have no reason to doubt his tale, CNN reported.
Alvarenga was extremely weak and wearing only tattered underwear when residents discovered him Jan. 30. A live bird, apparently intended as his next meal, was found tied to the boat.
He told rescuers he and a companion set off from Mexico on a one-day fishing trip in late 2012. Blown off course and caught in a storm, they eventually lost their engines. The teenage companion died of starvation about a month later.
Health problems prevented Alvarenga from returning home last week, but Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Phillip Muller said Monday the former castaway was well enough to travel.
Alvarenga did so, boarding a flight for Hawaii. He was expected to arrive in El Salvador Tuesday.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]