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San Salvador is the capital and largest city of El Salvador and one of the biggest in all of Central America with a population of around 2,3 million inhabitants living in the metropolitan area. The city itself has well over half a million people. San Salvador is home to 1 out of 3 people in El Salvador. It is located in the central parts of the country in a valley at an elevation averaging 560 metres on the skirts of the Quezaltepeque. It is an area with high seismic activity and as a consequence the city has been struck hard in history. The city is the cultural, administrative and economic heart of the country and is a lively mix of old and new, of rich and poor.
This important El Salvador Tradition is a religious festival known as Semana Santa in the Spanish-speaking world and features a carnival-like atmosphere across Latin America. Best experienced in San Salvador with street parades and performance art, the week-long event is usually held in late March through Easter Sunday.
Of all El Salvador Holidays, Fiestas Agostinas, in early August is one of the most popular ones. Held in the capital of San Salvador, a marching band wakes the city up at 4:00am, after which parades, sports, food, and art exhibitions take place.
September 15 marks El Salvador's independence from Spain in 1821 with flag-waving, parades and fireworks on the beaches, in the cities and mountain towns. The biggest national day celebrations take place in San Salvador.
San Salvador has a hot and humid climate with average daytime temperatures between 28 °C and 32 °C and night time temperatures of around 20 °C. April to September is the rainy season, although it is not as wet as many other places in Central America. Best time to visit is the dry season from November to March.
|Avg Max||30.3 °C||30.1 °C||32 °C||32.2 °C||30.8 °C||29.5 °C||30.1 °C||30 °C||29 °C||29.1 °C||29 °C||29.6 °C|
|Avg Min||16.3 °C||16.8 °C||17.7 °C||19 °C||20 °C||19.6 °C||19.1 °C||19.3 °C||19.4 °C||19 °C||17.9 °C||16.9 °C|
|Rainfall||5 mm||2 mm||9 mm||36 mm||152 mm||292 mm||316 mm||311 mm||348 mm||217 mm||36 mm||10 mm|
Cuscatlán International Airport (SAL) near San Salvador receives a number of international flights, for example with the national airline TACA, which is actually comprised of 5 different Central American airlines. It mainly flies to cities in the United States, Canada and countries in Central America, but also has flights to Bogota in Colombia, Lima in Peru and to Madrid in Spain.
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.
Trans Mermex offers services between San Salvador and Guatemala, while Pullmantur has buses to Guatemala and Tegucigalpa in Honduras. Transnica has buses between San Salvador and Managua in Nicaragua. Ticabus has a wide range of services, from Tapachula in Mexico through Guatemala and on to San Salvador and buses from San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa in Honduras to San Salvador. There are even buses from as far as Panama, through Costa Rica and Nicaragua to San Salvador.
If driving, rental car agencies include Budget, 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.
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.
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 laid back 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.
|Hostal Portada||Octava Calle Poniente #2326 Colonia Flor Blanca, San Salvador||Guesthouse||53|
|Hotel San Mateo||Colonia San Mateo, Calle Caracas 20 San Salvador, El Salvador||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Mariscal Hotel & Suites||Paseo Escalón #3658||Hostel||-|
|San José Hostal||Boulevard universitario 2212 Col. San José||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Tazumal Guesthouse||35 Avenida Norte, Casa 3 Reparto Santa Fe||Guesthouse||76|
|Hotel Nueva Villa Santander||8 calle pte No.2321 San Salvador||HOTEL||-|
|Joan´s Hostel||Calle del Mediterraneo No. 12 Colonia Jardines de Guadalupe||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Cumbres del Volcan||85 Avenida Norte #637 Colonia Escalon||HOTEL||86|
|Ximena's Guest House||Colonia Centroamérica, Calle San Salvador 202||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Hotel Las Magnolias||Av. Las Magnolias Zona Rosa||Hotel||-|
|Hostal Dona Marta||Bulevar venezuela, 1-b Urbanizacion Venezuela, Pje. Maracaibo||HOTEL||-|
|Casa Palancapa||Frente a La Gruta, Barrio Concepcion, Suchitoto, C||GUESTHOUSE||-|
There are many private schools and universities, including numerous language schools.
Internet cafes are available in pretty much every town and charge around US$1-2 per hour. There is almost always wifi (usually free of charge) in hostels, mostly in midrange and luxury hotels (but less so in budget hotels and guesthouses), but connection speeds and reliability varies dramatically. Be aware that many high-end hotels charge between $3 and $10 per day for internet use although some will let you log on and print an airline boarding pass free of charge.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international country code for El Salvador is 503. The general emergency number is 911.
To place a call within El Salvador, simply dial the eight-digit number beginning with 2 for landlines and 7 for cellphones.
The main companies are Movistar, Tigo, Digicel, and Claro, with Tigo reputedly giving the best overall reception. When using your own cell phone, the roaming can cost anywhere between $1 and $4 a minute and internet charges are extremely high as well. It's better to buy a local SIM card, which can be bought for about US$25-30 and have much lower rates. Especially when you are in the country for a longer time and wish to use internet and make a call regularly, this might be a better option.
Pay-as-you-go phones can be purchased in the airport, the cheapest of which cost $60. Make sure to ask if the phone can take international calls and how much this costs, as packages vary and can be restrictively expensive. Look out for promotions such as free incoming calls and cheap international calls for US$0.10 a minute with certain networks.
Correos de El Salvador is the country's postal service. Most towns in El Salvador have post offices marked by a blue sign reading correos. Post offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm in larger cities, and 7:00am to noon and 2:00 to 5:00pm in small towns. To mail a standard letter or a postcard from El Salvador to the United States costs around US$0.70 and US$1 to Europe and Australia. It might take anywhere from a week to the USA to a few weeks further afield. If you'd like to send a package, it might be better to use an international company like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx, as they are fast, reliable and not overly expensive.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in San Salvador searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in San Salvador and areas nearby.
Ask jorsiegrist a question about San Salvador
Hey there, I'm from Argentina and now I'm living in San Salvador. I came here about 5 months and now I'm studying Tourism .So if you're planning to come here to visit do not hesitate asking me. I can recomend you some places, beaches... anything you'd like to know.
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