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San Salvador
San Salvador, the vibrant
capital city of El Salvador

El Salvador Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from major world cities to El Salvador International Airport in Comalapa.
What to see: San Salvador, coastal beaches, Mayan ruins, San Miguel, ecotours
US dollar
Official language(s):
Spanish, English

Although sometimes best remembered for civil strife during the 1980's, El Salvador today is a top tourist destination in Central America - populated by warm, friendly people and natural landscapes ideal for incredibly scenic outdoor adventure.

May to November is the rainy season, so North American travelers are able to make of El Salvador a perfect winter vacation getaway.

To promote national tourism, El Salvador has built 14 tourist and recreational areas located along the Pacific coast, famous for pristine beaches that are a popular favorite for surfing and diving.

These sandy beaches -- ranging from white to black and many other colors in between -- are also ideal for surfing, hiking and adventure travel.

If making San Salvador your home base in San Salvador, also don't miss a day tour to La Libertad, one of the country's best beaches with world-class surfing (and the best seafood), conveniently located in San Salvador's backyard.

San Salvador is the bustling capital city filled with shopping malls, a hopping nightlife, many fine restaurants, and even a Wendy's and McDonalds. While here, be sure to tour nearby Spanish colonial architecture dating back to the 1700's as well as even more ancient Mayan ruins such as San Andres - considered to be the best preserved and only a short drive from the capital.

san salvador at sunset
The city of San Salvador come alive as night falls.

For nature lovers and adventure travelers, it's hard to beat El Salvador for the ecotours available, and especially based in and around the eastern end of El Salvador - including a hike up Chaparrastique - one of the most active volcanoes in El Salvador.

Because of the billions that poured into the country during the 1980's, the American dollar is the chief currency throughout the country. And, although Spanish is still the common language, English is widely spoken in major tourist spots.

DID YOU KNOW? El Salvador Travel Fun Facts

Surfin' El Salvador.

• The Pacific coast of El Salvador is one of the most popular surfing destinations on the planet hosting world class surf competitions every year.

• Buried in ashes and perfectly preserved by a volcanic eruption in 600 A.D., Jaya de Ceren is often called "the Pompeii of the Americas.”

• One of the most frequently active volcanoes in Central America, Izalco volcano is also known as "the lighthouse of El Salvador" since its glow serves as a beacon for ships at sea.

• The national dish of El Salvador is pupusa, which dates from pre-Columbian times. It is made from a thick corn tortilla filled with cheese, pork, or refried beans.

• Visitors to El Salvador quickly discover that some words are different than traditional Spanish. For example, a dog is a chucho (instead of perro), pisto is money (instead of dinero), and salu is goodbye (instead of adios).


More about El Salvador travel & tourism around the Web:


Welcome to El Salvador - Check out the main tourist portal with descriptions of top travel spots & destination throughout the country, a restaurant guide, practical travel tips, event calendar, photo gallery & videos.

El Salvador travel guide - Wikitravel - Excellent overview of El Salvador's long history along with advice on top attractions, suggested hotels & restaurants, getting around by car or bus, practical health and safety tips, photos, related resources.

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