Guide to El Salvador
El Salvador Facts & Info
If you’ve never thought about El Salvador as a place to visit, you wouldn’t be alone. It has had a repuation for being one of the most dangerous countries to go. With violence, crime, rampant gangs, and a high murder rate, El Salvador has not been a big tourist destination. Things have changed recently. What used to be 105 murders for every 100,000 people, that has dropped down to just 18. Much less than it’s neighbors, including Mexico. Hopefully this Guide to El Salvador will help convince you to give this country a chance.
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Guide to El Salvador: Location
El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America, is also called “the Land of Volcanos”. There are 170 Volcanos in this tiny country but only 23 are active, including one that you can actually climb! El Salvador is located on the Western side of Central America along the Pacific Ocean. Besides Volcanos, this country has beaches, waterfalls, Mayan Ruins, National Parks, forests, and more. El Salvador has some of the best surfing conditions in the world. Read more about El Salvador in our Guide to El Salvador.
El Salvador recently elected a President that has made it his mission to clean up the crime in his country and it appears to be working. Of course anytime you travel to a foreign destination you should always be aware of your surroundings. I hope this Guide to visiting El Salvador changes your mind and inspires you to travel there!
Interested in reading about another country? Head over to our Destinations page and choose the country you’re interested in.
Guide to El Salvador: What you need to know
Currency: US dollar
Language: Spanish, but a lot of people do speak English in the tourist spots
Population: Around 6.5 million
Voltage: El Salvador’s voltage is 120V
Food: El Salvador’s national food is the Pupusa, a thick tortilla filled with meats, cheese, and other items.
Coffee: El Salvador is famous for it’s coffee beans
Weather: El Salvador’s weather is mostly tropical
Guide to El Salvador: Travel Info
El Salvador is tropical in nature. Being located close to the equator, you can expect it to be hot. There is a monsoon season and you should avoid going during this time, unless you love rain. Monsoon season is from May to October. The dry season is from November to April. No matter which season it is, it will be hot.
Although there are small airports located throughout El Salvador, most flights arrive at the San Salvador International Airport located about 40 minutes outside of San Salvador. Avianca Airlines is the most popular airline that flies here but there are other airlines that do as well.
El Salvador is a poor country which means your money will go very far here. Food and hotels/hostals are inexpensive but car rentals are a different story. It’s much cheaper to just hire a taxi or Uber (yes, it’s here!) to get you to where you want to go. Once you’re in your location, you can either walk, take the bus, or uber to sites. To learn more about costs, read our El Salvador Travel Guides below.
In my opinion, the best way to get around is Uber or Taxi. We were able to hire an Uber to take us (4 of us) from one city to another, about 1.5 hours away for $40. You can rent a vehicle (and it’s so much more convenient), but expect to pay much more than you’re used to in other countries. El Salvador also has a bus system known as the Chicken Bus that is super cheap (about $1) as long as you dont mind all the stops along the way. Read more about travel in El Salvador in our El Salvador Travel Guides below.
El Salvador has hotels, hostals, and everything in between. We stayed at a nice hotel in San Salvador that was very inexpensive, a cute hostal that was pretty cheap, and a more expensive eco friendly hotel that was a splurge. The beach areas are going to be more pricey and small towns will be cheaper.
El Salvador is such a small country you could drive from one end to the other in just 5 hours. So, how long you stay depends on what you plan on seeing. I would say a minimum of 5 days but 8 is better if you want the full experience. 1-2 days in San Salvador, 2 days outside of the city hiking a volcano, seeing Mayan Ruins, and swimming in waterfalls/hotsprings, and then another 3-4 days at the coastal towns.
El Salvador Travel Guides