El Salvador Travel Guide
El Salvador is a really up and coming destination with unimaginably beautiful beaches, great food, vibrant nightlife, and culturally significant sights will intrigue and delight you! View our comprehensive travel and backpacking guide with tips, ideas for the best things to see and do and information about itineraries, costs, how to save money, and more!
Activities & Things to Do in El Salvador
Travel to El Salvador
Our destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing country. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get recommendations for budget travel tips, where to stay and advice how to stay safe.
Get inspired to visit El Salvador today!
- Capital: San Salvador
- Currency: US dollar (USD)
- Country Size: 21,040 km2
- Population: 6,705,000 (approx)
- Language: Spanish, English and Nawat
- Electricity: 110 volts AC, 60 Hz (same as United States)
- Airport: International Airport El Salvador (SAL)
Top Reasons to Visit El Salvador
- Great value for money
- Authentic experience
- Untouristy compared to nearby countries
- Beautiful beaches
- Friendly local people
Best Time to Visit El Salvador
El Salvador is a year round destination and there is no best time to visit although October to April is generally the most popular period to go due to the climate.
You will need a valid passport and on arrival allowing you to stay in El Salvador for up to 90 days. Some nationalities might need to pay $10 for a tourist visa on arrival.
Gap Years, Backpacking & Travelling in El Salvador
If you are planning a gap year or are keen to travel to Central America then consider going to El Salvador. This is an off the beaten track destination and less popular in terms of visitor numbers to nearby Mexico and Costa Rica but this means you will get a really authentic experience as there are far less tourists.
Although there are limited packages here from international travel operators getting around El Salvador is very easy especially if you can speak basic Spanish. There is a reliable bus service connecting most of the country. In cities like San Salvador, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and also smaller towns and villages there are usually taxi services available which are very cheap.
Best Places to Visit in El Salvador
El Salvador might look small on a map but there are lots of places you might want to add to your itinerary: Top destinations to check out include:
- San Salvador
- La Palma
- Joya de Cerén
- Santa Ana
- Lake Coatepeque
- Cerro Verde National Park
- Ruta de las Flores
- La Libertad
- Costa del Sol
- El Tunco
- San Miguel
- Playa El Cuco
- Ruta de Paz
Travelling in El Salvador on a budget is quite easy and there are lots of ways to save money. Hostels and accommodation is very cheap especially compared to similar destinations like Costa Rica. This country is also a lot cheaper to visit than others in the region in terms of entertainment, transport and eating out.
Health & Safety
El Salvador is a lot safer than you might think. There are problems in the country with crime and gangs but generally this doesn't affect tourism and most of the people you meet will be very friendly. Local hotel staff and other travellers are your best guide for advice on places to see, places to avoid and any dangers or things you should watch out for.
You will likely make new friends with locals and learn more about El Salvador, the people and culture. Try not to be paranoid and let the crime put you off applying, it is very easy to hear past stories and be put off from planning a trip to a certain country and then not visit. We think you should be open to seeing new places and there are lots of countries which a few decades ago were off limits like El Salvador are now some of the most up and coming travel destinations in the world.