El Salvador travel guide

El Salvador Tourism | El Salvador Guide

You're Going to Love El Salvador

This tiny country is packed with history, volcanoes, white sandy beaches and cloud forests, not to mention being the home to warm-hearted, welcoming people.

What to do in El Salvador

1. Surfing

Surf the Pacific Ocean in El Salvador and organize trips to beaches, such as Las Flores and Punta Mango in the east and Punta Roca and El Zonte in the west.

2. Horseback Riding on the Guazapa Volcano

Tour companies, such as Gringo Tours, will organize horseback riding tours through the forest and on to some spectacular views from the Guazapa Mountain. Tours can take anywhere from 3-8h depending on the route.

3. Visit Suchitoto

A pretty, colonial town, Suchitoto is famous for its main square, which is overlooked by the parish church. Stroll down the cobbled streets and look out for the colonial architecture of the buildings.

4. Walk in the Cloud Forest in Cerro Verde

Cerro Verde National Park boasts three volcanoes as well as a prime example of a cloud forest that is home to diverse species of trees, plants and birds. Guided tours can be organized to visit the volcanoes.

5. Explore a Mayan Settlement

While there are no surviving Mayan pyramids in El Salvador, you can still explore the likes of Joya de Cerén, the perfectly preserved archaeological site of a Mayan settlement that was buried after the eruption of Laguna Caldera volcano in 600 AD.

1. Surfing

Surf the Pacific Ocean in El Salvador and organize trips to beaches, such as Las Flores and Punta Mango in the east and Punta Roca and El Zonte in the west.

2. Horseback Riding on the Guazapa Volcano

Tour companies, such as Gringo Tours, will organize horseback riding tours through the forest and on to some spectacular views from the Guazapa Mountain. Tours can take anywhere from 3-8h depending on the route.

3. Visit Suchitoto

A pretty, colonial town, Suchitoto is famous for its main square, which is overlooked by the parish church. Stroll down the cobbled streets and look out for the colonial architecture of the buildings.

4. Walk in the Cloud Forest in Cerro Verde

Cerro Verde National Park boasts three volcanoes as well as a prime example of a cloud forest that is home to diverse species of trees, plants and birds. Guided tours can be organized to visit the volcanoes.

5. Explore a Mayan Settlement

While there are no surviving Mayan pyramids in El Salvador, you can still explore the likes of Joya de Cerén, the perfectly preserved archaeological site of a Mayan settlement that was buried after the eruption of Laguna Caldera volcano in 600 AD.

When to visit El Salvador

The best time to go to El Salvador is between November and April, which is the dry season with temperatures of around 73°F on the coast and cooler temperatures inland. Turtle nesting season is between July and November towards the end of the rainy season.

How to Get to El Salvador

Entry Requirements

Travelers from the US, EU, Australia and most of South America will need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months. They won't need a visa to travel to El Salvador for a period of up to 90 days.

Plane

El Salvador International Airport receives flights from the national carrier Avianca and various US carriers, such as American Airlines, Delta and United, while Iberia flies from Europe.

Car

Enter El Salvador on the Pan American Highway from Honduras in the east and Guatemala in the west. This highway is one of the safest ways to enter the country and links San Miguel and San Salvador.

Bus

Bus companies, such as Tica Bus and Transporte Del Sol, operate luxury coaches on routes that link El Salvador with the nearby countries of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. These coaches are usually safer than the buses that run the same routes.

Entry Requirements

Travelers from the US, EU, Australia and most of South America will need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months. They won't need a visa to travel to El Salvador for a period of up to 90 days.

Plane

El Salvador International Airport receives flights from the national carrier Avianca and various US carriers, such as American Airlines, Delta and United, while Iberia flies from Europe.

Car

Enter El Salvador on the Pan American Highway from Honduras in the east and Guatemala in the west. This highway is one of the safest ways to enter the country and links San Miguel and San Salvador.

Bus

Bus companies, such as Tica Bus and Transporte Del Sol, operate luxury coaches on routes that link El Salvador with the nearby countries of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. These coaches are usually safer than the buses that run the same routes.

Popular airports in El Salvador

Popular airlines serving El Salvador

KLM
Good (839 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,753 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,171 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,450 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,599 reviews)
Air France
Good (977 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,935 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,351 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (6,240 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (4,573 reviews)
Frontier
Okay (1,363 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (520 reviews)
Avianca
Good (1,334 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (771 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (738 reviews)
EVA Air
Excellent (899 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (5,622 reviews)
Air Transat
Good (269 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in El Salvador

While high-end luxury hotels exist in San Salvador and San Miguel as well as on the coast and in the mountains (Entrepinos Resort and Spa), there is also the option to stay at smaller hotels and hostels both in the cities (look on the Boulevard de los Héroes in San Salvador) and in smaller places of interest.

Where to stay in popular areas of El Salvador

Most booked hotels in El Salvador

Barceló San Salvador
4 stars
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
$164+
Holiday Inn San Salvador
4 stars
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$192+
Hilton San Salvador
4 stars
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$228+
Real InterContinental San Salvador at Metrocentro Mall
5 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$266+
Hotel Gardenia Inn
3 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$114+
Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Hotel
4 stars
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
$254+

How to Get Around El Salvador

Public Transportation

Bus is the best way of getting around the cities of El Salvador. The fares are inexpensive, although the buses are often crowded. Taxis are another option, though more expensive.

Bus

There is a good bus network around El Salvador linking cities and places of interest. The buses are usually old school buses from the US and run regularly with fares ranging between $0.25-5 depending on distance.

Car

Cars can be rented from San Salvador and San Miguel where international car companies, such as Alamo and Budget, have their offices. Most of the roads are paved, although signposting is not always clear, and traffic can be busy.

Public Transportation

Bus is the best way of getting around the cities of El Salvador. The fares are inexpensive, although the buses are often crowded. Taxis are another option, though more expensive.

Bus

There is a good bus network around El Salvador linking cities and places of interest. The buses are usually old school buses from the US and run regularly with fares ranging between $0.25-5 depending on distance.

Car

Cars can be rented from San Salvador and San Miguel where international car companies, such as Alamo and Budget, have their offices. Most of the roads are paved, although signposting is not always clear, and traffic can be busy.

The Cost of Living in El Salvador

The currency accepted in El Salvador is the United States Dollar, but be sure to carry notes smaller than $20 as change can be tricky. Visa is the most commonly accepted credit card and ATMs exist at banks and in shopping malls. A 0.2 gallon of milk and a dozen eggs will cost approximately $3.60 in a supermarket or grocery store. Eating out is reasonable and will cost around $5 for a meal per person in a local inexpensive restaurant.

Popular cities in El Salvador