Good things come in small packages and nowhere more so than El Salvador.
The volcanoes, cloud forests and quiet colonial towns will capture your imagination, while the surf coast will unleash your inner grommet.
Top El Salvador travel deals
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Our El Salvador trips
17 Days From $1,544
29 Days From $2,624
32 Days From $4,035
10 Days From $1,348
58 Days From $5,092
44 Days From $4,036
46 Days From $3,968
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22 Days From $2,868
65 Days From $10,942
207 Days From $22,500
El Salvador tour reviews
Our El Salvador trips score an average of 4.58 out of 5 based on 12 reviews in the last year.
El Salvador Explorer, November 2016
Before I went to El Salvador, I nervous about my trip, given the country's bad reputation for gang violence and crime. I wanted to see the country for myself, which is why I booked the trip, but I was also very apprehensive before I went. I was prepared to feel unsafe at times and to maybe even suffer a bit of petty crime myself, but in fact, on the tour it was the total opposite. I never felt unsafe once, and I completely fell in love with El Salvador. The tour goes to some of the most charming and beautiful villages and towns I've ever seen, and everyone I met was extremely helpful and friendly. I would return to El Salvador in a heartbeat, and I owe it to this trip completely changing my perspective of a country that I realized has been totally misrepresented.
Review submitted 30 Nov 2016
El Salvador Explorer, November 2016
El Salvador has an unfortunate reputation, but this is far from what I experienced and you should not let it put you off travelling there. The local people are friendly and tourists still appear to be a novelty in some places. This trip is a great way to see a relatively unspoilt (by tourism) part of central America. I feel it may have been tricky logistically without an organised tour
Review submitted 28 Nov 2016
Articles on El Salvador
El Salvador travel highlights
Cordillera de Apaneca
Spot pumas and boars in the Cordillera de Apaneca
El Imposible National Park
Camp in the rugged El Imposible National Park
Colonial town of Suchitoto
Explore the beautiful colonial town of Suchitoto
El Salvador holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit El Salvador
Geography and environment
Top 5 Places in El Salvador
Health and Safety
El Salvador travel FAQs
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Not required
Whilst for most nationalities a visa is not required, you may be required to purchase a tourist card on arrival, costing approximately US$10. If you do require a visa, please obtain this in advance from your local embassy or consulate.
A service charge will be included in restaurant bills. A small tip for hotel staff may be expected.
Internet cafes are available in most places but Wi-Fi is only just becoming available.
Reception is good in most urban areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone
It's likely that you’ll encounter different types of toilets while travelling in El Salvador. Western-style flushable toilets are commonly found in high-end resorts, hotels and restaurants, while squat toilets are common in rural areas and homes. Be prepared by carrying your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.
Bottle of soft drink = $0.80
Beer in a bar or restaurant = $1.50
Simple lunch = $3
Three-course meal = $15
Short taxi ride = $6
Drinking tap water in El Salvador isn’t recommended. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are widely accepted.
There’s good access to ATMs in nearly all towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 13 Apr Holy Thursday
- 14 Apr Good Friday
- 15 Apr Easter Saturday
- 1 May Labor Day
- 17 Jun Father's Day *
- 6 Aug Feast of San Salvador
- 15 Sep Independence Day
- 2 Nov All Souls' Day
- 25 Dec Christmas Day
*Subject to change
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in El Salvador go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/el-salvador/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for El Salvador
1. Be considerate of El Salvador’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.