El Salvador

El Salvador is a new hot spot for beaches, surfing, and nightlife in the Americas. Located between Guatemala and Honduras, El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America. The capital city is San Salvador, and since 2001, the currency has been the US dollar. Vacations in El Salvador will be full of fresh strong coffee, local cuisine, and lazy days on the beaches. Unlike some of its neighbors, El Salvador travel isn’t defined by ecotourism or adventure tours, and most travelers arrive to this area of Central America for relaxation on the beaches and exciting nightlife.

The history of El Salvador shaped the country into its current form. In the early sixteenth century, the Spanish conquistadors took over the region, giving it the name El Salvador, or Republic of the Savior. It wasn’t until the early nineteenth century that the countries in this region broke free from Spain, but much of the Spanish culture still remains. Spanish is the national language and what you will encounter the most during your El Salvador holiday, though some residents do still speak native languages. Influences on music, architecture, and cuisine can be felt from this era of Spanish control as well, in combination with the indigenous culture.

Frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity have scared some people away from El Salvador travel, but the country is generally safe and prepared for natural disasters. The tropical climate is the main draw for planning vacations in El Salvador, and the country is marked by two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season lasts from May through October, while November through April is hot and dry. Crowds are sure to be experienced during the Christmas and New Years holidays and with them come rises in prices, so if you’re looking to plan El Salvador travel affordably, you are going to want to avoid this more expensive period.

Other than the beaches, attractions in El Salvador include volcanoes and sparkling lakes. If you plan an excursion away from the beaches, you’re likely to have these beautiful landscapes almost completely to yourself. Many vacations in El Salvador are planned for time spent outdoors—especially surfing. Punta Roca is the country's most famous surfing spot, and it is much less crowded than equivalent swells in places such as Costa Rica. If you get tired of the beaches and surfing scene, there’s plenty to see in the capital city of San Salvador as well. While crime is something to be aware of, most violence takes place between rival gangs and doesn’t involve tourists. When in the city, it is important to use common sense, avoid dark places, and only take registered taxis.

Some of the highlights of San Salvador include museums, galleries, a great live music scene, and exciting nightlife. An international airport, called Comalapa International, is located just 30 miles from San Salvador. Most visitors to the country are North American and Central American, with numbers rising from European and South American tourists. A reasonably priced flight from many US cities has been drawing American tourists since war in the country ended about 20 years ago. This turbulent past is now the source of museums in the country, and visitors can learn about El Salvador’s history during their trip.

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