El Salvador

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.

El Salvador Tours & Travel

Top deals in El Salvador

Departing Days Price AUD
13 Dec 2014 Explore El Salvador 8 $810

All our El Salvador trips

Explore El Salvador

8 days from
USD $760
CAD $780
AUD $810
EUR €660
GBP £485
NZD $960
ZAR R7,375
CHF FR810

Get an invigorating taste of El Salvador’s sultry, vibrant culture - from the lush nature reserves near Ahuachapan to...

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About El Salvador

At a glance

Trips Available: 2
Capital city: San Salvador (population 1.8 million)
Population: 6.2 million
Language: Spanish
Currency: USD
Time zone: (GMT-06:00) Central America
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)
Dialing code: +503

Best time to visit El Salvador

The coast can be hot all year round making it a haven for sun lovers. To cool down, head inland to higher altitudes where the climate is milder, but rarely cold. The dry season (November to April) is an ideal time to explore. For spectacular afternoon storms, come during the wet season (May to October).

Geography and environment

The home of the point break, El Salvador’s biggest natural attraction is its beaches. Drag yourself away from the waves of the Pacific and you’ll find volcanoes, lakes and cloud forest aplenty. El Salvador is bordered by Honduras and Guatemala.

Top Picks

Suchitoto

Top 5 Places in El Salvador

1. Cerro Verde National Park

This is volcano country. Take a hike through the cloud forest for incredible views of volcanic peaks.

2. Suchitoto

This sweet colonial town boasts colourful houses, cobbled streets and a relaxed old-world charm.

3. Lago Suchitlan

Not far from Suchitoto, this lake is a haven for thousands of migrating birds.

4. El Imposible National Park

Hike, camp and spot pumas in one of Central America’s most remote national parks.

5. Pacific Ocean

Even from the misty peaks of the north you can see the impressive breaks of the Pacific Ocean. Jump on a board or just enjoy the view from the beach.

FAQs on El Salvador

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
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Mar 28 Maundy Thursday
Mar 29 Good Friday
Mar 30 Holy Saturday
May 1 Labour Day
Aug 3 Fiesta de San Salvador
Aug 4 Fiestas Agostinas
Sep 15 Independence Day
Oct 12 Dia de la Raza
Nov 2 All Souls’ Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 31 New Year’s Eve

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/El-Salvador/public-holidays
EL SALVADOR:
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.

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

El Salvador Travel Tips

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.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
SalvadorJoan Didion
Land of Childhood Claudia Lars
One Day of Life Manlio Argueta