El Salvador is a beautiful country with many natural beauties, cultural, material and immaterial. Its name in the indigenous language is Cuscatlán, which means “land of jewels,” Jewels that the visitor find in our country. Its people, landscapes, lakes, volcanoes, beaches, wildlife and Ancient culture, are only part of the elements by which El Salvador is Impressive!
We invite everyone to discover all the touristic beauties that keep El Salvador, and its routes designed to facilitate tours and experience the magic and culture of our “Pueblos Vivos”.
El Salvador has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America. You should take care if you need to travel in downtown San Salvador and on roads outside major towns and cities at night. There have been several attacks on tourists in recent years including robberies, car-jackings and assaults. Petty crime is a problem. You should be particularly careful of your belongings at bus stations, airports, tourist places and on public transport. Foreign visitors and residents can be targeted by scam artists. The scams come in many forms, and can pose great financial loss to victims. If you or your relatives or friends are asked to transfer money to El Salvador you should make absolutely sure that it is not part of a scam and that you have properly checked with the person receiving the money that they are requesting it. Despite the high levels of crime most visits to El Salvador are trouble-free. However, you should take steps to mitigate the risk. The following advice may help: You should take great care travelling at night. You should take particular care if you need to go to downtown San Salvador, other towns or cities, or travel on roads outside of major towns and cities after dark. Some areas within San Salvador are safer than others at night, although you should still exercise caution. These areas include Escalón, San Benito, Zona Rosa, Maquilishuat, La Gran Via and Multiplaza. You should take care travelling alone. When travelling to remote areas it may be safer to travel with others or take part in a tour with a reputable company. The same applies to walking on remote trails, as there have been reports of attacks on tourists walking alone. Keep your valuables, including your passport, locked away in a safe or keep them on your person when travelling. Carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes. Avoid displaying items of value. This is particularly important when arriving at the airport. There have been several instances of foreigners being targeted when leaving the vicinity of the airport. Do not wear expensive jewellery and only carry minimal amounts of cash when travelling in El Salvador.
It is safer to withdraw money from ATMs in shopping centres or change money in hotels or banks. It is wise not to withdraw too much money at one time. There have been attacks on foreigners after they have withdrawn money from ATMs. You should avoid withdrawing money at night. You should be aware that victims of robbing have been killed and injured resisting attack. There have been instances of armed attacks on vehicles travelling in El Salvador. Avoid travelling on unpaved roads as you are at greater risk of attack in remote areas with fewer police patrols. The road between El Salvador and Guatemala has seen such attacks. See the Local Travel section for more information. For shorter trips within towns and cities it is safer to take radio or hotel taxis rather than public buses or unofficial taxis. We advise against travel on public buses (i.e. repainted US school buses) for security reasons. Private inter-city buses are generally safer, although attacks can also occur on these. The risk of kidnapping in El Salvador still exists, despite success by the National Police in tackling the problem in recent years. Kidnap gangs generally target rich Salvadorians rather than visitors.