- For other places with the same name, see San Salvador (disambiguation).
San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, approximately in the center of the country in a valley near the base of the San Salvador volcano. The city has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil tribes.
San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano. It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people. It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. The downtown area is filled with shops and modern buildings, but unfortunately earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the city's historic buildings.
The people of San Salvador are generally friendly, though as in any large city, less inclined to engage in conversations with strangers on the street as opposed to other parts of the country. The wealthy live in exclusive suburbs behind tall security walls or luxury condominium buildings. Wealthier areas such as San Benito, Colonia Escalon, Colonia San Francisco, Colonia Maquilishuat, Santa Elena (where the US embassy is located) and Ciudad Merliot have tree-lined avenues, the biggest malls in Central America, bars, clubs, gyms, restaurants, luxury hotels, modern high-rise buildings, plazas, boutiques, cafes, luxury salons, jewelry stores, etc. Some of these neighborhoods are in the hills surrounding the city and have breathtaking views. A number of new gated housing communities complete with parks, swimming pools, fitness facilities and tight security are popular with middle class families. Most of the city's hotels can be found in these suburbs.
There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthy neighborhoods. Poorer areas are in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's fringes.
San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm. Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.
Whilst not on most tourists' "to do" list in El Salvador, the capital provides a good base for exploring the rest of the country as it's a transportation hub, with most major roads running through it due to its central location. Spending a few days exploring this cosmopolitan and internationally-conscious city can be a rewarding experience. Whilst parts can seem like a maze of confusion, rich vs poor, modern vs dilapidated, cars vs pedestrians, the city has played a major role in defining and shaping the rest of this small yet intruiging country, once at the forefront of the Cold War. To understand this polarized country, it is essential to understand its political, cultural and social headquarters.
- 1 San Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez International_Airport (SAL IATA or "Aeropuerto Internacional de El Salvador") (near San Luis Talpa, 50km or a forty-five minutes' drive south of the capital city.). where visitors traveling by plane usually arrive
- Avianca Holdings (formerly Taca, Aviateca & Lacsa) is the national airline of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala & Colombia. Grupo Taca had formally completed their merger into Avianca Holdings as of May 2013 using the Avianca brand for the whole operation, thus expanding services to more places in South America and to Spain. Avianca inherited a fleet of new A319s, A320s, and A321s and the Embraer 190 series from Taca which are still in use throughout the Americas. However, they maintain a greater monopoly with the highest ticket prices, especially for travel within Central America and savvy buyers would do well to compare options using online aggregating services.
- Volaris El Salvador serves as budget carrier to rival the national airline listed in the above, under the Salvadorian flag. It is a subsidiary brand of Volaris Airline of Mexico, as a separate corporation from El Salvador's Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez International Airport to Cancún, Guatemala City, Houston–Intercontinental,Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Oakland, Roatán, San Pedro Sula, Washington–Dulles. Travel from additional cities will require transit through Cancun, Guadalajara, Mexico City and/or San Jose, Costa Rica on Volaris.
A US$32 departure tax must be paid upon departure. Depending on the airline, the full amount or part of the tax may already be included in the price of your ticket and the amount you must pay will vary from US$0 - US$32.
Other airlines that fly into San Salvador include:
- Aeromexico Connect (Mexico City).
- Arajet (Santo Domingo)
- American Airlines (Miami and Dallas)
- Copa (Panama City)
- Delta (Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York JFK)
- Frontier (Atlanta, Orlando)
- Iberia (Madrid)
- Spirit Airlines (from Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Miami, Orlando)
- United (Houston, Newark, and Washington-Dulles)
- Volaris and Volaris Costa Rica (Cancun,Mexico City, New York JFK and San José de Costa Rica). Volaris Costa Rica is a subsidiary of Volaris (Mexico) to offer direct flights from San Jose, Costa Rica (as a hub), as a Costa Rican flag carrier, to the U.S., Central America and Mexico.
From the airport Taxi Acacya, ☏ +503 2271-4937, +503 2222-1202. offers limited colectivo services up into several major hotels in San Salvador. At other times they offer a private taxi to a destination of the passenger's request. The other is Taxis Acopacific - Aeropuerto, ☏ +503 2339-9360. to provide airport transfers into town.
The nearest public bus stop is the #138 bus between Comalapa and San Salvador's Terminal Sur bus station just south of San Salvador. To get to the 2 138 bus stop go across the parking lot in front of the airport terminal to the other building on the other side (Airport Monseñor Romero Mall). Go through the building's breezeway (or open corridor) to the stop on the other side of the building. Bus makes multiple stops en-route along Hwy 5 and gets crowded.
The following are international first or deluxe class (pullman) buses that connect San Salvador to Guatemala City. There are other lines that also go to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and/or Costa Rica as well. TicaBus is the only company serving Panama City from San Salvador. They offer direct service to the said destination, without stopping and depart during the early morning hours to arrive in the afternoon hours thus making for safer travel. Their services usually include reserved seating, movies, on board restrooms and air conditioning. On more deluxe classes they can offer more space to allow the seats to recline further down and stewardess service for drinks and snacks. Most of these companies have their own terminal or an office or desk within a hotel in Colonia San Benito and/or El Centro.
- Comfort Lines, (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo Pasaje No. 1, 415; (Centro) 19 Ave. Norte y 3ra. Calle Poniente Esquina (ex Shell gas station), ☏ +503 2241-8713, +503 2241-8714, +503 2281-1996. Only between Guatemala City, San Salvador, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Managua. $25 o.w. or $50 rt.
- Condor Internationacional, Blvd Venezuela (Terminal de Buses de Occidente), ☏ +503 7603-5632. Connects San Salvador the Guatemalan/Mexican border in Talisman and Tecun Unman via Sonsonate.
- Platinum Centroamerica (King Quality), (Centro) 19 Avenida Norte y 3era. Calle Poniente; (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo, Pasaje 1, Local 415,, ☏ +503 2281-1996, +503 2241-8704, +503 2241-8787. They serve San Salvador, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Managua and San Jose.
- Pullmantur, Sheraton Presidente San Salvador @ Ave De La Revolucion, Col. San Beneito, ☏ +503 2526-9900. They traverse to San Salvador from Guatemala City & Tegucigalpa
- Ticabus (Transportes Internationales Centromaericanos), (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo Local 301; (Hotel San Carlos) Calle Conception 121, ☏ +503 2243-1188. The next stops from San Salvador are in Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa and Managua. They travel to the major cities in all countries in Central America except Belize.
- Trans Galgos Inter, Tideca Centro @ 19a Av Norte y 3a Call Poniente (Ex Shell Station near Terminal Puerto Bus.), ☏ +502 2220 6018. Once daily departures to Tapachula via Retaluleau and Coatepeque (up to $43 o.w.) on one route and to Guatemala City ($13 o.w.) on another. Passengers transfer in Guatemala City to get to Quetzaltenango/Xela.
- Transportes del Sol, Calle Circunvalación casa #149, San Benito (500 m from the Mexican embassy), ☏ +503 2133-7800. Goes to Guatemala (2x daily) and Nicaragua (3x daily). The 2am bus goes to Costa Rica via Nicaragua.
The city has four major bus stations based on the compass points shared by multiple (domestic) bus companies and co-ops in the following:
- 3 Terminal Plaza Amanecer, Km 6.5 Blvd Ejercito Nacional y Calle Antigua al Matazano, Col. Morazan, Soyapango. Daily 3AM - 9PM. Buses from the east such as Cabañas (111, 112, 181, 507, 142 y 518); Morazan (305); San Miguel (301, 302, 308, 428 y 442); San Vicente (110, 176, 116, 411, 499, 501 y 511); Usuluta (302, 303, 309 y 311); La Union (304, 306, 346 y 446), Ilopango (111), Suchitoto (129, 140), etc.
- 4 Terminal Occidente, Blvd Venezuela s/n, Col. Roma (Blvd Venezuela y Av 49a Sur), ☏ +503 2121-2600. Daily 4:30AM - 8:30PM. Buses from the west such as Ahuachapán y Chalchuapa (#202); La Libertad (#201); La Perla (#192); Santa Ana (#201); San Juan Opico y Joya de Cerén (#108); Sonsanate (#205); Teotepeque (#107); towards the Guatemalan border at Frontera La Chinamas (#406); in Candelaria de la Frontera y Frontera La Hachadura (#498); etc and local connection from Col San Benito to Terminal Oriente via Terminal Occidente on #34B and #34A pass by. Condor Internacional provides connections to the Mexican border from San Salvador, through Guatemala from Terminal Occidente.
- 5 Terminal Oriente, Av Perlta 903. Buses from the north such as Chaletenango (125), Honduras border at El Poy (119), Masferrer en Colonia Escalon (52), etc. This bus station previously included eastbound buses which have moved further down the street (Blvd Ejercito) to Terminal Amanacer hence the name "Terminal Oriente" (or "East (bus) Terminal"). The bus going towards Suchittoto (129, 140) begins at Terminal Amanacer and passes nearby Terminal Oriente on its way to/from Suchitoto while the 6 Ruta 52. towards Col Escalon has its terminal (end point) next to Terminal Oriente.
- 7 Terminal de Autobuses del Sur, Carretera a Comalapa, Col. Bello San Juan, San Marcos, San. Salvador (Calle Principal y Carretera Comalapa (RN-5)). Buses from the south and on the Pacific Coast such as the Airport in San Luis Talpa (138, 400), Costa del Sol (495), Usulutan (302); Zacatecoluca (133), etc.
If you drive to San Salvador from Comalapa, please exercise extreme caution. There are many residents who walk this highway as well as cross it. There are many accidents with vehicles speeding as well as people who are hit.
If driving, rental car agencies include Budget[dead link], Alamo, and Hertz. Buses and taxis also provide good ways of getting around. Negotiating the cost of your taxi, Before you step in, is common practice and expected. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare. If you do not have exact change, taxi drivers will try to convince you to make the change a tip instead. Distances between sights make walking an unpopular option, as does the street layout in the city; San Salvador is not a square city but has long avenues that are straight and streets that are not. That said, in some areas walking is a great option, such as from Zona Rosa to Las Terrazas (Sheraton hotel) which are close together and within sight of one another.
San Salvador has wide avenues and boulevards, including the two widest boulevards in Central America: Boulevard de los Proceres and Boulevard de los Heroes. Other important boulevards include Alameda Roosevelt, Paseo General Escalon, Av. Jerusalem, Boulevard Constitucion and Av. Juan Pablo Segundo.
San Salvador has many beautiful monuments, some of them dating back to the early 20th century, while others are more modern. Some of the most important monuments include the National Palace, Plaza Gerardo Barrios, Plaza Morazan, Water Clock, Monument to the Sea, Atlacatl Monument and the Proceres Monuments (it has 10 monuments). One of the most recognizable monuments in El Salvador is the Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, or "Monument to the Saviour of The World".
- 1 Metropolitan Cathedral Of San Salvador (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador), Calle Ruben Dario. Open 8AM-Noon, 2PM-5PM daily. Includes the tomb of Monsignor Oscar Romero (enter from right-side entrance),
- 2 National Palace (Palacio Nacional), Avenida Cuscatlan.
- 3 Monument to the Divine Savior of the World (Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo). Consists of a statue of Jesus Christ standing on top of a global sphere of planet Earth.
- 4 Monument of Memory and Truth (Monumento a la Memoria y la Verdad). Inaugurated in 2003, this 85 metre long wall made of black granite contains 25,000 engraved names of victims of the Salvadorian Civil War.
San - Salvador has many museums, the two most important are "Museo David J Guzman" and "Museo de Arte MARTE". David J Guzman National Museum of Anthropology contains a variety of Mayan and Pipil artifacts, while Museo de Arte MARTE[dead link] displays an extensive collection of international art. Both are in the Zona Rosa district. There is also a children's museum, the Tin-Marin museum, where kids can experience the world in a fun way. The old national palace is being restored to house the "National Archives," and the "National Museum." Also a new display of early mammal fossils, including a giant sloth, mastodon and more than twenty other species is being set up in the "Museo de Historia Natural," or "Natural History Museum" situated in the SE section of Saburo Hirao park by the National Zoo. Close to the zoo is the "Museo Militar," or Military Museum which is housed in the old castle-like "El Zapote" barracks built in 1895. In the military museum you can find weapons and army uniforms from the 17th, 18th, and early 20th centuries, which were historically used by the Salvadoran army. Other highlights of this museum include the original copies of the 1992 peace accords and the Pope Mobile used when Pope John Paul II visited the country. Entrance is free and a guide service is provided at no charge.
- 5 Dr. David J. Guzmán National Museum (Museo Nacional de Antropología Dr. David J. Guzmán), Avenida De La Revolucion.
- 6 Museum of Art of El Salvador (Museo de Arte de El Salvador), Colonia San Benito.
- 7 Monseñor Romero Center (located on the Central American University campus), ☏ +503 2210 6675. M 9AM-7:30PM, Tu-F 8AM-5:30PM. Relates the story of the armed conflict of the 1980s-90s in El Salvador and the heartbreak of lives lost during it.
- 8 Railway Museum and Theme Park, Av. Peralta 903, ☏ +503 2259 4100. Tu-Su 9AM-5PM; M 10:15AM-8PM. Old locomotives and train carriages on display and topics about El Salvador's industrial history.
San Salvador has a large urban park, the "Parque de los Pericos". There is another park called Parque Cuscatlan (close to downtown), which is very elegant, with lights, trees and paths. Popular with locals, the beautiful botanical gardens of La Laguna (close to the U.S. embassy) showcase much native fauna. Zoologico Nacional (The National Zoo), and Parque Saburo Hirao (with a collection of native plants) are in the SE part of the city by the old Presidential House.
If you don't get a chance to visit smaller towns and villages outside the capital, a must see destination is Los Planes De Renderos. 1000 Meters above sea level, and it offers a spectacular view of San Salvador. This is a popular oasis for locals from the hectic city life. Check out the restaurants, and near-by parque Balboa, (Balboa Park) with lots of trees and green lawns, ideal for picnics. Indulge yourself eating the tasty salvadorean treat known as pupusas! Visit the nearby colonial town of Panchimalco, one of the few towns in the country with a large indigenous population. Another interesting spot not to be missed is the spectacular natural formation and viewing area known as Puerta del Diablo (devil's gate).
San Salvador has several entertainment venues. You can go to restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, or if you are traveling with kids you can go to the cinemas, bowling, bingo, arcades etc. Cinemas in San Salvador include
- Cinemark, ☏ +503 2261 2001. Various locations throughout El Salvador, Merliot.
- Multicinema, ☏ +503 22439269. Various locations throughout El Salvador, Multiplaza.
- Cinepolis. Galerías Escalón.
You can also play video games at World Games and El Mundo Feliz. Families may also want to visit Central America's largest toy store:
- Jugueton San Salvador, Boulevard de los proceres #2000, ☏ +503 2248 1268. This a toy store similar to toys r´ us you will find all types of variety of toys and other fun crafts.
- Also, you can go via cable car to an amusement park on top of Cerro San Jacinto mountain (no longer in use).
The trendiest night spot to visit is called Zona Rosa. Some of the best hotels are there, including the Sheraton Presidente and one of the most luxurious hotels in Central America, the Hilton Princess. Although Zona Rosa doesn't cover a large area (around 1sq mi), it's home to many exclusive, upscale bars and nightclubs (Los Alambiques, Code), and the best restaurants in town (Paradise, 503, A lo Nuestro). If you want to visit a nightclub without the probable inconvenience of not being let in, you should visit Las Terrazas (Stanza, Envy) at Multiplaza Mall.
Feria Internacional de El Salvador is the largest convention center in Central America. El Salvador is rated the third best place for investment in Latin America by Moody's. Some of the very wealthy business families in San Salvador and throughout El Salvador are Siman (owners of the largest department store chain in Central America), Poma (owners of Grupo Roble and Grupo Poma), Quiros (owners of Grupo Q in Central America), Kriete (owners of TACA Airlines), Dueñas (owners of La Gran Via), the family that owns Biggest, Pops, Nash and Mister Donut, and a lot of other important families. In addition, San Salvador is one of the only two cities in Central America that have a World Trade Center.
San Salvador has many theatres, including the beautiful Teatro Presidente (near Zona Rosa), where the symphony regularly performs expensive and inexpensive concerts, and the Teatro Nacional (downtown), which has been restored to its full splendor. Here you can step back and experience the grandeur once reserved for the city's elite in the early 1900s.
- 1 National Theatre of El Salvador (Teatro Nacional de El Salvador), Calle Delgado.
- 2 Teatro Presidente, 33 Ave Norte.
There are many private schools and universities, including many language schools.
- La Casita. Locations in both Centro commercial multiplaza, San Benito and Centro commercial Plaza San Benito.
- La Ceiba, Galerias, Col.Escalon Av. Paseo Gral.Escalon. There are Many other la ceiba stores in the city.
Some of the shopping malls include: Loma Linda, Multiplaza [dead link], Las Fuentes, Galerias (elegant), Metrocentro (said to be the largest in Central America), El Paseo (expensive), Plazamundo [formerly dead link], Plaza Merliot, La Gran Via (a lifestyle center / "city walk"), Las Cascadas, Basilea [dead link] (unique), Plaza San Benito, Villas Españolas and many more. These malls have luxury boutiques, the latest in international fashion, specialty stores, large foodcourts (some even have 3 food courts) and many other amenities.
- 1 Mercado Nacional de Artesanias, Avenida Manuel Enrique Arujo, ☏ +503 2130 6315. Daily 9AM-5PM. Artisan crafts market.
For local arts and crafts, visit the Ilopango markets east of the city. Test your bargaining skills and take home some unique, handmade goods. For cheap souvenirs such as hammocks and other local crafts try the Mercado Cuartel. A good hammock can be yours for under $15 US, depending on bargaining skills.
San Salvador and some Mexican cities are the only cities in Latin America with Sanborns (restaurant and store chain) and Dorians (or Sears). Other department stores include Siman[dead link], Carrion and Almacenes Europa.
Supermarkets and other retail stores
- Despensa Familiar Discount store. has 63 stores in El salvador.
- Maxi Despensa has 16 stores in El Salvador.
- Walmart Supercenter has 6 stores in El salvador.
- Super Selectos. has 99 stores in El salvador.
- La despensa de Don Juan has 17 stores in El Salvador.
- Pricesmart (Costco in the U.S.A.), Blvd. De los Heroes and Santa Elena.
- Dolarcity Discount store. has 100 stores in El salvador.
The restaurant scene in San Salvador is influenced by many different cultures. Food options include Italian, Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, Chilean, American, Peruvian, Mexican, Spanish, Middle Eastern, German, Chinese, Argentinian and others. Local food options include Tipicos Margot where one can purchase the famous Salvadoran Pupusas. Perhaps the biggest indictment against the quality of the San Salvador restaurant scene however is the sheer number of chain restaurants referenced in this article.
When you are in El Salvador you won't have to worry about finding a place to eat, there is food everywhere you go.
- La Panetière, ☏ +503 2-263-8792, fax: +503 2-264-1759. San Benito, Zona Rosa. There are many other La Panetière in all San Salvador.
- Punto Literario. In El Museo de Arte Marte col. San Benito. Zona Rosa.
- Sal y pimienta, Bulevar Del Hipodromo 572, ☏ +503 2263 8005. Focus on nutrition with detox drinks and stuff, but also regular breakfast and dinner and wine options.
- Restaurante Pasquale, CP 1101, Paseo General Escalón #3931, ☏ +503 2263 1693, fax: +503 22635445. Paseo Gral. Escalón, Col. Escalón frente a Galerías shopping center. Italian food.
- Tre fratelli, Km. 15.5 Carretera a El Salvador, ☏ +502 6634 5094. Italian Food.
- Al Pomodoro, Ave. La Revolución y, Calle Circunvalacion 184, ☏ +503 2243 7888. Italian food.
- Dynasty, Bulevar del Hipódromo 738-B, ☏ +503 2263 9955, fax: +503 22638615. Chinese food that you can spin around on one of those glass turntables at your table so that everyone can have a bite.
- Sushi-Itto, Bulevar Del Hipodromo 407 (in Zona Rosa, 2nd location in La Gran Via), ☏ +503 2243 1166, fax: +503 22982676. Zona Rosa
- Restaurante Pueblo Viejo, CC Metrosur, Boulevard de los Heroes y, Avenida Los Andes, ☏ +503 2261 1253. A popular Salvadoran buffet/restaurant that got consumed in a fire but is being rebuilt.
- Los Balcones Buffet, R-5 at km 40.5, south of San Salvador towards airport, ☏ +503 7170 7254. Buffet or menu with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Royal, 87 Avenida Sur. Chinese food. +503 2264 0051
- Restaurante Club Campestre, ☏ +503 22633555. Av. masferrer, Col Escalón 550 M from de Redondel Masferrer. Buffet and à la carte.
- San Martín Multiplaza and El Paseo. Bakery.
- Benihana inside El Paseo - International Japanese steak house
- Bennigans inside La Gran Via - International - Irish
- 168 Chinese Restaurant, ☏ +503 2264-1168, +503 2264-6168. 89Av. Nte y 9a calle poniente #4612 Col. Escalon. Chinese food.
- Cervecería La 20 Zona Rosa, Calle La Reforma local #225, ☏ +503 2207 3429. Blvd. del Hipódromo, Zona Rosa. Upscale, international cuisine and sushi lounge.
- La Pampa Argentina, ☏ +503 2-2786057. In Zona Rosa, in Col. Escalon 1000 m from Redondel Masferrer, in Santa Elena Boulevard Orden de Malta, and Boulevard. Constitución Col. Escalón.
- Los Ranchos, Calle La Mascota #232 Interseccion Pje. A y Pje #3 Col.La Mascota, Zona Rosa.
- Hacienda de los Miranda, Final calle las Rosas y, C. Antigua Ferrocarril, ☏ +503 22431108, fax: +503 22434841. Jardines de Guadalupe frente a CA1, La Libertad. Buffet and à la carte.
- El Mirador, Intercontinental Hotel, Col. Escalón. Buffet and à la carte.
- Hunan, Upmarket Chinese restaurant specialising in Szechuan and Shanghai in elegant surroundings - Paseo General Escalón y 99 Avenida Norte. Plaza Villavicencio
- Faisca do Brasil, Boulevard De Los Heroes y, C. Los Sisimiles (in the Hotel Real Intercontinental), ☏ +503 22113333, fax: +503 22114444. Authentic Brazilian 'rodizio' style dining in luxurious surroundings/churriasca.
- Jeques, ☏ +503 7683 9766. Middle Eastern Cuisine. Plaza Futura. Calle el Mirador, Colonia Escalón, San Salvador
If you need to buy something, there are a lot of supermarkets in this city. Some are international, which come from Guatemala, the USA and other countries that are interested in bringing supermarkets to San Salvador.
San Salvador is well-known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars can be found in the Zona Rosa, Basilea Mall, La Terraza (Sheraton Hotel), Las Terrazas (Multiplaza Mall), Boulevard de Los Heroes, Temptation Plaza, and the bars and restaurants area in La Gran Via (mall and night lifestyle center). These places have many bars, discos, restaurants, DJ centers and boutiques.
Visit the laidback bohemian bars (university crowd) around Calle San Antonio Abad to meet interesting locals or head to the Zona Rosa/Multiplaza Mall area to dance the night away with the city's style-conscious upper class youth.
Bars and clubs
- La Taberna, Beer House 79 Ave Sur y Calle La Mascota, Lotes #7 y 8. Bar and grill. +503 2519 4374
- Scape (Gay),Centro Comercial Juan Pablo Segundo, Local 311A, Prolongacion Juan Pablo Segundo, San Salvador.
Large events and conventions are generally held in the Feria Internacional .
- Hostal Esencia Nativa, ☏ +503 2301-4322, +503 7737-8879, email@example.com. Surf lessons, laundry service, English spoken. Rooms with A/C and private bath available. Doubles from $15.
- International Guest House, 35 Avenida Norte 9. Breakfast, internet, laundry, safety box. $16-26.
- Hotel Tazumal House. The, 35 Avenida Norte, Casa 3. A/C, cable TV, free internet use. From $10 to $40.
- [dead link] Ximenas Guest House, Calle San Salvador 202, ☏ +503 2260-2481, +503 7981-4517 (Cell), firstname.lastname@example.org. A small guesthouse open for over 25 years in a quiet residential area in the Blvd. de Los Heros district. It is within walking distance to malls, banks, pharmacies, post offices, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. The building is well-lit with a tranquil, homey atmosphere with a common area with cable TV, as well as a roof-top terrace with sparse vegetation. Services available include book exchange, modest cafe/restaurant, laundry service, safe deposit lockers, luggage storage and free tourist information. Wireless internet is also available, but there is a small one-time charge to obtain the access code. Computers are also available for $2/hr. Dorms $7, $9 w/hot shower, privates $18-35, varying by AC, number of beds, hot water, TV.
- Hostal Cumbres Del Volcan Flor Blanca, 6-10 calle poniente #1937 colonia flor blanca 01101 san salvador, ☏ +503 626-6285194, email@example.com. bunk bed in a mixed dormitory room. free wifi, washing machine, Lockers, baggage storage, tour desk, 24 hour front desk, garden, terrace, sun deck, shard kitchen, speaks English. $8 per person.
The staff of all the hotels speak English and Spanish, but there are also others who speak other languages. All the hotels include room service.
- Ramada Inn, 85 Av. Sur y calle Juan Jose Cañas, ☏ +503 2263 9852, fax: +503 2263-4099. 85 Ave. Sur y Calle Juan José Cañas, Col. Escalón San Salvador. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Quality Real Hotel Aeropuerto San Salvador, ☏ +503 2366-0000, fax: +503 2366-0001. Check-in: Noon, check-out: 4PM. KM 40.5 Carretera Al Aeropuerto de El Salvador. Just 3 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the sandy beaches of Costa del Sol. In house restaurant. Room service, business center, bar and pool.
- Hotel Happy House, Avenida Los Sisimiles, #2951, Colonia Miramontes, ☏ +503 2563 1729, fax: +503 22 60 15 68, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel includes air conditioning, double bed rooms and free wireless internet access.
- Holiday Inn, Urbanización y Boulevard Santa Elena a 400 m de la Embajada Americana., ☏ +503 2500 6000, fax: +503 2-241-4070, +503 2-241-4067. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Best Western Plus Hotel Terraza, 85 Ave. Sur y Calle Padres Aguilar Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2565 7000, fax: +503 2263-3223, email@example.com. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Hotel Alicante, Col. La Sultana Calle las Rosas Â·1, ☏ +503 2243-0889, +503 2243-5838. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. $56.
- Hotel Casa Berlin, Avenida El Espino Lote No 62-64, Santa Elena, Madreselva, Antiguo Cuscatlán., ☏ +503 2243-8877, fax: +503 2243-8872. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. The staff speaks Spanish, English and German.
- Hotel Capital, Autopista Sur, Boulevard La Sultana y Pasaje Monelca., ☏ +503 2526 7000, fax: +503 2243-8018. Air conditioned, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Hotel Manantiales, Avenida Los Sisimiles Pje. #5 casa 2943, Colonia Miramonte, ☏ +503 2260 1655. Air conditioner, Chinese restaurant, private parking, free internet, excellent location, only two block from Metrocentro and many other amenities at very low price.
- Hotel Grecia Inn, Avenida Sisimiles 2922, Colonia Miramonte (50 m from Hotel Real Intercontinental, across from Metrocentro), ☏ +503 2261-0555, +503 2261-0566, +503 2261-0577. Air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. The staff speaks English, Spanish and Greek.
- Hotel Mediterraneo Plaza, 15 Calle Pte. No. 4319, Col. Escalón, ☏ +503 2263-4592, fax: +503 2263-4612. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Hotel Mirador Plaza, Calle El Mirador y 95 Ave. Norte Col. Escalón, ☏ +503 2244-6000, fax: +503 2244-6099. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Novo Aparthotel, Final 61 Ave. Nte. Col. Escalon, ☏ +503 2260-2288, fax: +503 2260-5053. Air conditioned, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
- Hotel Merliot, Col. Jardines de cuscatlan, Polígono G, No. 24, Av. L-A, Ciudad Merliot., ☏ +503 2278-4417. Our comfortable and elegant single, double and triple, with breakfast included (6AM-10AM) have cable TV, telephone, free wireless Internet, private bath with hot water, closet, executive desk, air conditioning.
- Courtyard San Salvador, Esquina Calle 2 y calle 3, Centro de Estilo de Vida La Gran Via, ☏ +503 2249 3000.
- 1 InterContinental San Salvador-Metrocentro Mall, Boulevard de Los Héroes, ☏ +503 2211 3333, fax: +503 2211 4444. The InterContinental San Salvador Hotel has 228 rooms, 6 suites and 2 Club InterContinental floors. It has 13 conference rooms, 3 restaurants, gym, spa, pool and business center. $100-450.
- 2 Crowne Plaza Hotel, 89 Avenida Norte (In Colonia Escalón neighboorhood), ☏ +503 2-257-0700, fax: +503 2-257-0710. Rooms from $139 per person, per night.
- 3 Sheraton Presidente, Avenida De La Revolucion (in San Benito neighboorhood, in front of El Chulon), ☏ +503 2-283-4000. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
San Salvador has had a history of violence. San Salvador was considered the most dangerous city in the world in 1992. Today, El Salvador experiences some of the highest homicide rates in the world, and it is considered an epicenter of the gang crisis, along with Guatemala and Honduras. Crime rates in general are high. Most tourists will experience few problems in the city as they are not specifically targeted. Most murders are committed by gang members against members of other gangs.
To stay safe:
- Don't walk on streets that look abandoned and dark.
- Use only licensed taxis or rent a car. If you are adventurous, watch your valuables and put away jewelry when using the public buses. Most major hotels have taxis that they have approved as safe and legitimate. If unsure about a taxi, call your hotel and they can generally have a safe taxi dispatched to your location.
- At best, walk in tourist areas.
You are not likely to have a problem in the malls or inside major stores or museums, and most public buildings are full of security guards, alarms, fire extinguishers, etc.
There is a lot of gang violence in El Salvador, but in San Salvador the downtown areas, the malls, the Zona Rosa, most tourist attractions, and the upmarket neighborhoods are generally safe. Doing your homework and avoiding gangland areas will ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable experience.
No matter how adventurous you may feel, it is strongly advisable to stay away from the city's poorer districts of Soyapango, Barrio Mejico and Apopa and their surroundings on the east and north sides of the city.
San Salvador is a city full of pharmacies. Hospital services are also very good and facilities include Hospital de Diagnostico in Villavicencio Plaza.
Finding a bank is not a problem within the city. Banks include Citibank, Banco Agricola $5.50 atm fee., BanTpym, Banco Centromericano, cuscatian, Procredit. Banco Davivoenda has a atm fee of $3.50.
Embassies and consulates
Being the national capital, San Salvador hosts a large number of embassies. A majority of them are clustered in the western part of the city in Colonias Escalón, San Benito and Naquilishuat or further west into the Municipality of Santa Tecla. A number of countries maintain a non-resident diplomatic representation to El Salvador from their embassy in Mexico City, Washington DC, or elsewhere in the region. The following countries maintain an embassy in San Salvador:
- Argentina, Av. El Almendro No. 2-5, Col. Maquilishuat, ☏ +503 2521-9400, fax: +503 2521-9410. M-F 08:00-16:00.
- Australia (Honorary Consulate), 12 Calle Poniente 2028, Colonia Flor Blanca, ☏ +503 2298-9033, +52 55 1101-2200. By appointment only. No visa processing or passport services available. The Australian Embassy to El Salvador is accredited from the Australian Embassy in Mexico City at Rubén Darío 55, Col. Bosque de Chapultepec, Del. Miguel Hidalgo 11580.
- Belize (Belice), Calle y Colonia La Mascota, Complejo Residencial La Mascota Nº 456 casa Nº 2, ☏ +503 2264-8024. M-F 09:00-15:00.
- Brazil (Brasil), Boulevard Sergio Vieira de Mello, #132, Col. San Benito, ☏ +503 2298-7888, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Canada, Centro Financiero Gigante 63 Av. Sur y Alameda Roosevelt, Local 6, Nivel Lobby II, ☏ +503 2279-4655.
- China, Avenida Olímpica #3742, Entre 71 y 73 Avenida S, ☏ +503 2283-4079, fax: +503 2283 4079. M-F 09:00-12:00 & 14:30-18:00.
- Colombia, Calle La Mascota #923B, Colonia Maquilishuat, ☏ +503 2263-1936, fax: +503 2263-1942. M-F 08:30-12:30 & 14:00-16:00.
- Costa Rica, Calle El Lirio, Colonia Maquilishuat. No. 160, ☏ +503 2264-3863, fax: +503 2264 3866. M-F 08:00-16:00.
- Dominican Republic (Republica Dominicana), Av Las Azaleas y Calle Maquilishuat No. 183, Col. Maquilishuat, ☏ +503 2263-3832. M-F 09:00-16:00.
- France (Francia), 1a Calle Poniente 3718, Colonia Escalon, Apartado Postal 474, ☏ +503 2521-9000, toll-free: +503 2521-9092.
- Germany (Alemania), 77a Av. Norte, esqu. 7a Calle Poniente 3972, Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2247-0000, fax: +503 2247-0099.
- Greece (Grecia)(Honorary Consulate), Final Calle Primavera y 23 Av. Sur, Santa Tecla, ☏ +503 2251-9780, +52 55 5520-2070, fax: +503 2278-3121. The Greek Embassy to El Salvador is accredited from the Greek Embassy in Mexico City at Calle Monte Ararat 615, Col. Lomas de Chapultepec, Del. Miguel Hidalgo 11010.
- Guatemala, 77 Av Norte 335, Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2271-2225, email@example.com. By appointment only. Solo por cita.
- Honduras, 89 Avenida Norte entre 7 y 9 Calle Poniente, No. 561, Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2263-2808, fax: +503 2263-2296. By appointment only. Solo por cita.
- Japan (Japón), Nivel 6 Torre 1, World Trade Center 89 Av. Norte y Calle El Mirador, Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2528-1111.
- Mexico, Calle Circunvalación Pasaje No. 12, Col. San Benito, Apartado Postal 432, ☏ +503 2248 9900, +503 2248 9901, +503 2248 9902, fax: +503 2248 9906.
- Nicaragua, 7 Calle Poniente Bis No.5135, Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2263-8770, fax: +503 2263-8849. M-F 09:00-17:00.
- Panama, Calle Los Bambués, Av. Las Bungambilias No. 21, Colonia San Francisco, ☏ +503 2536-0600.
- Spain, Calle La Reforma, 164 bis., Colonia San Benito, ☏ +503 2257-5700, fax: +503 2257-5712.
- United Kingdom (Reino Unido), Edificio Torre Futura, Nivel 14, Colonia Escalón, ☏ +503 2511-5757. M-Th 07:30-16:30; Fr 07:30-11:30.
- United States, Final Boulevard Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlan, ☏ +503 2501-2999, fax: +503 2501-2150.
- Venezuela, Calle y Colonia Maquilishuat # 28, ☏ +503 2263-3981, fax: +503 2211-0027.
You can get out of Comalapa International Airport or rent a plane for a moderate fee in Ilopango Airport to give you a ride to other of the countries important cities. The rent a plane service is available to go to Santa Ana, San Miguel and La Union (on Tamarindo, near the Gulf of Fonseca where you can board a ferry to take you to the other Islands).
If you are looking for an excursion out of the city, check the classified section of the newspaper El Diario de Hoy ("Asesores de Viaje y Excursiones" heading) for any reasonably priced tours that may be departing soon.