capital of El Salvador

For other places with the same name, see San Salvador (disambiguation).

San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, approximately in the center of the country in a valley near the base of the San Salvador volcano. The city has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil tribes.

BackgroundEdit

San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano. It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people. It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. The downtown area is filled with shops and modern buildings, but unfortunately earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the city's historic buildings.

 
The new National Cathedral, facing Plaza Barrios in the city centre

The people of San Salvador are generally friendly, though as in any large city, less inclined to engage in conversations with strangers on the street as opposed to other parts of the country. The wealthy live in exclusive suburbs behind tall security walls or luxury condominium buildings. Wealthier areas such as San Benito, Colonia Escalon, Colonia San Francisco, Colonia Maquilishuat, Santa Elena (where the US embassy is located) and Ciudad Merliot have tree-lined avenues, the biggest malls in Central America, bars, clubs, gyms, restaurants, luxury hotels, modern high-rise buildings, plazas, boutiques, cafes, luxury salons, jewelry stores, etc. Some of these neighborhoods are in the hills surrounding the city and have breathtaking views. A number of new gated housing communities complete with parks, swimming pools, fitness facilities and tight security are popular with middle class families. Most of the city's hotels can be found in these suburbs.

There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthy neighborhoods. Poorer areas are in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's fringes.

San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm. Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.

Whilst not on most tourists' "to do" list in El Salvador, the capital provides a good base for exploring the rest of the country as it's a transportation hub, with most major roads running through it due to its central location. Spending a few days exploring this cosmopolitan and internationally-conscious city can be a rewarding experience. Whilst parts can seem like a maze of confusion, rich vs poor, modern vs dilapitaded, cars vs pedestrians, the city has played a major role in defining and shaping the rest of this small yet intruiging country, once at the forefront of the Cold War. To understand this polarized country, it is essential to understand its political, cultural and social headquarters.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

  • 1 Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International_Airport (SAL IATA formerly named "Aeropuerto Internacional de Comalapa") (in Comalapa, 50km or a forty-five minutes' drive south of the capital city.). where visitors traveling by plane usually arrive    
    • Avianca Holdings (formerly Grupo Taca, Aviateca & Lacsa) is the national airline of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala & Colombia. Grupo Taca had formally completed their merger into Avianca Holdings as of May 2013 using the Avianca brand for the whole operation, thus expanding services to more places in South America and to Spain. Avianca inherited a fleet of new A319s, A320s, and A321s and the Embraer 190 series from Taca which are still in use throughout the Americas. However, they maintain a greater monopoly with the highest ticket prices, especially for travel within Central America and savvy buyers would do well to compare options using online aggregating services.

A US$32 departure tax must be paid upon departure. Depending on the airline, the full amount or part of the tax may already be included in the price of your ticket and the amount you must pay will vary from US$0 - US$32.

Other airlines that fly into San Salvador include:

From the airport Taxi Acacya, +503 2271 4937, +503 2222 1202. offers limited colectivo services up into several major hotels in San Salvador. At other times they offer a private taxi to a destination of the passenger's request.

There are no regular bus service to the airport per se. The closest thing is the #138 bus between Comalapa and San Salvador's Terminal Sur bus station just south of San Salvador. To get to the stop, for this bus, go across the parking lot in front of the airport terminal to the other building on the other side. Go through the building's breezeway (or open corridor) to the stop on the other side of the building. Bus makes multiple stops en-route along Hwy 5 and gets crowded.

By busEdit

The following are international first or deluxe class (pullman) buses that go into San Salvador and Guatemala City. There are other lines that also go to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and/or Costa Rica as well. TicaBus is the only company serving Panama City. They offer direct service to the said destination, without stopping and depart during the early morning hours to arrive in the afternoon hours thus making for safer travel. Their service usually include reserved seating, movies, on board restrooms and air conditioning. On more deluxe classes they can offer more space to allow the seats to recline further down and stewardess service for drinks and snacks. Most of these companies have their own terminal or an office or desk within a hotel in Colonia San Benito and/or El Centro.

Pullmantur, Sheraton Presidente San Salvador @ Ave De La Revolucion, Col. San Beneito, +503 2526-9900. They traverse to San Salvador from Guatemala City & Tegucigalpa
Trans Galgos Inter, 7a Avenida 19-44 Zona 1, Guatemala City, +502 2331-4279, +502 2361-1773. Once daily departures to Tapachula via Retaluleau and Coatepeque (up to $43 o.w.) on one route and to Guatemala City ($13 o.w.) on another. Passengers transfer in Guatemala City to get to Quetzaltenango/Xela.
Platinum Centroamerica (King Quality), (Centro) 19 Avenida Norte y 3era. Calle Poniente; (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo, Pasaje 1, Local 415,, +503 2281-1996, +503 2241-8704, +503 2241-8787. They serve San Salvador, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Managua and San Jose.
Comfort Lines, (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo Pasaje No. 1, 415; (Centro) 19 Ave. Norte y 3ra. Calle Poniente Esquina (ex Shell gas station), +503 2241-8713, +503 2241-8714, +503 2281-1996. Only between Guatemala City, San Salvador, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Managua. $25 o.w. or $50 rt.
Ticabus (Transportes Internationales Centromaericanos), (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo Local 301; (Hotel San Carlos) Calle Conception 121, +503 2243-1188. The next stops from San Salvador are in Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa and Managua. They travel to the major cities in all countries in Central America except Belize.
Transportes del Sol, Calle Circunvalación casa #149, San Benito (500 m from the Mexican embassy), +503 2133-7800. Goes to Guatemala (2x daily) and Nicaragua (3x daily). The 2am bus goes to Costa Rica via Nicaragua.

By carEdit

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.

Get aroundEdit

 
Old Micro Bus in San Salvador. These "micros" were replaced by new ones in 2010

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.

SeeEdit

BoulevardsEdit

San Salvador has wide avenues and boulevards, including the two widest boulevards in Central America: Boulevard de los Proceres and Boulevard de los Heroes. Other important boulevards include Alameda Roosevelt, Paseo General Escalon, Av. Jerusalem, Boulevard Constitucion and Av. Juan Pablo Segundo.

 
Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, also called Plaza Las Americas

MonumentsEdit

San Salvador has many beautiful monuments, some of them dating back to the early 20th century, while others are more modern. Some of the most important monuments include the National Palace, Plaza Gerardo Barrios, Plaza Morazan, Water Clock, Monument to the Sea, Atlacatl Monument and the Proceres Monuments (it has 10 monuments). One of the most recognizable monuments in El Salvador is the Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, or "Monument to the Saviour of The World".

  • 1 Metropolitan Cathedral Of San Salvador (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador), Calle Ruben Dario. Open 8AM-Noon, 2PM-5PM daily. Includes the tomb of Monsignor Oscar Romero (enter from right-side entrance),    
  • 2 National Palace (Palacio Nacional), Avenida Cuscatlan.    

BusinessEdit

Feria Internacional de El Salvador is the largest convention center in Central America. El Salvador is rated the third best place for investment in Latin America by Moody's. Some of the very wealthy business families in San Salvador and throughout El Salvador are Siman (owners of the largest department store chain in Central America), Poma (owners of Grupo Roble and Grupo Poma), Quiros (owners of Grupo Q in Central America), Kriete (owners of TACA Airlines), Dueñas (owners of La Gran Via), the family that owns Biggest, Pops, Nash and Mister Donut, and a lot of other important families. In addition, San Salvador is one of the only two cities in Central America that have a World Trade Center.

ParksEdit

San Salvador has a large urban park, the "Parque de los Pericos". There is another park called Parque Cuscatlan (close to downtown), which is very elegant, with lights, trees and paths. Popular with locals, the beautiful botanical gardens of La Laguna (close to the U.S. embassy) showcase much native fauna. Zoologico Nacional (The National Zoo), and Parque Saburo Hirao (with a collection of native plants) are in the SE part of the city by the old Presidential House.

 
A statue of the Aztec god Xipe Totec in the David J Guzman Museum

If you don't get a chance to visit smaller towns and villages outside the capital, a must see destination is Los Planes De Renderos. 1000 Meters above sea level, and it offers a spectacular view of San Salvador. This is a popular oasis for locals from the hectic city life. Check out the restaurants, and near-by parque Balboa, (Balboa Park) with lots of trees and green lawns, ideal for picnics. Indulge yourself eating the tasty salvadorean treat known as pupusas! Visit the nearby colonial town of Panchimalco, one of the few towns in the country with a large indigenous population. Another interesting spot not to be missed is the spectacular natural formation and viewing area known as Puerta del Diablo (devil's gate).

 
The David J Guzman Museum of Anthropology

MuseumsEdit

San - Salvador has many museums, the two most important are "Museo David J Guzman" and "Museo de Arte MARTE". David J Guzman National Museum of Anthropology contains a variety of Mayan and Pipil artifacts, while Museo de Arte MARTE displays an extensive collection of international art. Both are in the Zona Rosa district. There is also a children's museum, the Tin-Marin museum, where kids can experience the world in a fun way. The old national palace is being restored to house the "National Archives," and the "National Museum." Also a new display of early mammal fossils, including a giant sloth, mastodon and more than twenty other species is being set up in the "Museo de Historia Natural," or "Natural History Museum" situated in the SE section of Saburo Hirao park by the National Zoo. Close to the zoo is the "Museo Militar," or Military Museum which is housed in the old castle-like "El Zapote" barracks built in 1895. In the military museum you can find weapons and army uniforms from the 17th, 18th, and early 20th centuries, which were historically used by the Salvadoran army. Other highlights of this museum include the original copies of the 1992 peace accords and the Pope Mobile used when Pope John Paul II visited the country. Entrance is free and a guide service is provided at no charge.

TheatersEdit

 
The National Theatre (Teatro National) in downtown built in the early 1900s.

San Salvador has many theatres, including the beautiful Teatro Presidente (near Zona Rosa), where the symphony regularly performs expensive and inexpensive concerts, and the Teatro Nacional (downtown), which has been restored to its full splendor. Here you can step back and experience the grandeur once reserved for the city's elite in the early 1900s.

EntertainmentEdit

San Salvador has several entertainment venues. You can go to restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, or if you are traveling with kids you can go to the cinemas, bowling, bingo, arcades etc. Cinemas in San Salvador include

You can also play video games at World Games and El Mundo Feliz. Families may also want to visit Central America's largest toy store:

  • [formerly dead link] Jugueton San Salvador, +503 22481253. Boulevard de los proceres #2000. this a toy store similar to toys r´ us you will find all types of variety of toys and other fun crafts.
  • Also, you can go via cable car to an amusement park on top of Cerro San Jacinto mountain (no longer in use).

The trendiest night spot to visit is called Zona Rosa. Some of the best hotels are there, including the Sheraton Presidente and one of the most luxurious hotels in Central America, the Hilton Princess. Although Zona Rosa doesn't cover a large area (around 1sq mi), it's home to many exclusive, upscale bars and nightclubs (Los Alambiques, Code), and the best restaurants in town (Paradise, 503, A lo Nuestro). If you want to visit a nightclub without the probable inconvenience of not being let in, you should visit Las Terrazas (Stanza, Envy) at Multiplaza Mall.

LearnEdit

There are many private schools and universities, including many language schools.

BuyEdit

  • La Casita. Locations in both Centro comercial multiplaza, San Benito and Centro comercial Plaza San Benito.
  • Bookmarks [dead link], Centro Comercial Basilea [1], Zona Rosa (Next to the Hilton).
  • La Ceiba, Galerias, Col.Escalon Av. Paseo Gral.Escalon. There are Many other la ceiba stores in the city.
 
Multiplaza, one of the new malls in the country, San Salvador volcano is in the background

MallsEdit

Some of the shopping malls include: Loma Linda, Multiplaza [dead link], Las Fuentes, Galerias (elegant), Metrocentro (said to be the largest in Central America), El Paseo (expensive), Plazamundo [formerly dead link], Plaza Merliot, La Gran Via (a lifestyle center / "city walk"), Las Cascadas, Basilea [dead link] (unique), Plaza San Benito, Villas Españolas and many more. These malls have luxury boutiques, the latest in international fashion, specialty stores, large foodcourts (some even have 3 food courts) and many other amenities.

 
Inside Multiplaza Mall

Local craftsEdit

For local arts and crafts, visit the Ilopango markets east of the city. Test your bargaining skills and take home some unique, handmade goods. For cheap souvenirs such as hammocks and other local crafts try the Mercado Cuartel. A good hammock can be yours for under $15 US, depending on bargaining skills.

Department storesEdit

San Salvador and some Mexican cities are the only cities in Latin America with Sanborns (restaurant and store chain) and Dorians (or Sears). Other department stores include Siman, Carrion and Almacenes Europa.

Supermarkets and other retail storesEdit

  • Super Selectos. Everywhere in the city.
  • Hiperpaiz, Blvd. Los heroes and Las cascadas hipermall Antiguo cuscatlan. A Wal-Mart company.
  • DeTodo. Everywhere in the city.
  • La despensa de Don Juan. Everywhere in the city.
  • Pricesmart (Costco in the U.S.A.), Blvd. De los Heroes and Santa Elena.

EatEdit

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 referenced in this article.

BudgetEdit

When you are in El Salvador you won't have to worry about finding a place to eat, there is food everywhere you go.

Mid-rangeEdit

  • La Panetière, +503 2-263-8792, fax: +503 2-264-1759. San Benito, Zona Rosa. There are many other La Panetière in all San Salvador.
  • Punto Literario. In El Museo de Arte Marte col. San Benito. Zona Rosa.
  • Sal y pimienta, +503 2-298-1766, fax: +503 2-245-0998. Tercera calle poniente #3877 entre 73 y 75 av. Norte Col. Escalon.
  • Restaurante Chileno Hey, +503 22637281. 97 av Nte. calle Pte. #4509, Col. Escalon.
  • Restaurante Basilea, +503 22236818, fax: +503 22790056. Blvd. El Hipódromo 2-502, col. San Benito, Zona Rosa
  • Pasquale, +503 2263-1693, fax: +503 22635445. Paseo Gral. Escalón, Col. Escalón frente a Galerías shopping center. Italian food.
  • Tre fratelli, Blvd. El Hipódromo #307, Zona Rosa, +503 2224-2951. Italian Food.
  • Al Pomodoro, Paseo Gral. Escalón #3952, +503 2514-4455, +503 2257-2545. Italian food.
  • Diva, +503 22790814, fax: +503 2223-6026. Blv. El Hipódromo, centro comercial San Benito, Zona Rosa
  • Dynasty, +503 22639955, fax: +503 22638615. Frente a Blv. el Hipódromo y Av. Las mangolias Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa. Chinese food.
  • Sushi-Itto, +503 22241900, fax: +503 22982676. Zona Rosa
  • Chili's, +503 2637556, fax: +503 22638352. Paseo Gral. Escalón #4220 col. escalon
  • [dead link] Café Café, +503 226-32413, fax: +503 226-34024. Calle el tanque #13099 av. Norte y 7a calle poniente Bi. Col. Escalon. Peruan food.
  • Pueblo Viejo, +503 22611256. Blvd. Los Heroes, MetroSur 2 nivel.
  • Tequila y Botanas, +503 22113333, fax: +503 22114444. Hotel Real Intercontinental, Blvd. de Los heroes Mexican food.
  • Los Balcones, +503 23660000. Km 40.5 autopista al aeropuerto fax:.01
  • [dead link] Tanoshii sushi bar, +503 221-13333, fax: +503 221-14444. Centro Comercial El Paseo, Col. Escalón, Paseo Gral. Escalon. and Tanoshii Hotel Real Intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes. Japanese food.
  • Royal, Col. Escalón in front of Pops escalón. Chinese food.
  • Sanborns rastaurant and store, Multiplaza, Mexican food.
  • Rj, multiplaza. Peruan food
  • Inka Grill, Blvd. El Hipódromo, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Peruan food.
  • Voi-la, Av. Masferrer infront of Texaco. French food.
  • Restaurante Club Campestre, +503 22633555. Av. masferrer, Col Escalón 550 M from de Redondel Masferrer. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Diva Bistro Multiplaza.
  • San Martín Multiplaza and El Paseo. Bakery.
  • El Rincon de mi Tía Multiplaza. Café and restaurant.
  • Olivos Multiplaza and Hilton princess Hotel at Zona Rosa. Salads and Sandwiches.
  • Benihana La Gran Via - International Japanese steak house
  • Bennigans La Gran Via - International - Irish
  • Señor Tenedor, +503 2-298-1766, fax: +503 2-245-0998. Av.Olimpica #3544 plaza Jardin.
  • La Media Cancha, Steakhouse restaurant and sports bar with TVs for watching sport - 79 Avenida Sur #48, Zona Rosa
  • 168ChineseRestaurant, +503 2264-1168, +503 2264-6168. 89Av. Nte y 9a calle poniente #4612 Col. Escalon. Chinese food.
  • [dead link] Cuatro Restaurante Bistró, +503 2263-4593. Calle Padres Aguilar No. 4, Colonia Escalón. Spanish Fusion and Tapas.

SplurgeEdit

  • 503, +503 2223-4770. Blvd. del Hipódromo, Zona Rosa. Upscale, international cuisine and sushi lounge.
  • A lo Nuestro, +503 22235116, fax: +503 22791920. Calle la Reforma #225-A Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa
  • La Pampa Argentina, +503 2-2786057. In Zona Rosa, in Col. Escalon 1000 m from Redondel Masferrer, in Santa Elena Boulevard Orden de Malta, and Boulevard. Constitución Col. Escalón.
  • Los Ranchos, Calle La Mascota #232 Interseccion Pje. A y Pje #3 Col.La Mascota, Zona Rosa.
  • Angus, La Gran Vía
  • [dead link] Hacienda de los Miranda, +503 22431108, fax: +503 22434841. Jardines de Guadalupe frente a CA1, La Libertad. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Finisterre, +503 22637691. Col. La Mascota Pje. A#30
  • Las Orquideas, +503 22630044, fax: +503 22632828. Hotel Terraza 85Av. Sur y calle Padres Aguilar
  • El Mirador, Hotel Radisson Col. Escalón. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Hunan, Upmarket Chinese restaurant specialising in Szechuan and Shanghai in elegant surroundings - Paseo General Escalón y 99 Avenida Norte. Plaza Villavicencio
  • [dead link] Paradise, +503 2223-4832, fax: +503 22244201. Blvd. El Hipódromo, Zona Rosa.
  • Faisca Do Brasil, +503 22113333. Authentic Brazilian 'rodizio' style dining in luxurious surroundings. Hotel Real intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes.
  • http://www.fireofbrazil.com/ Fire Of Brazil], Brazilian Steakhouse - Churrascaria. Modern Restaurant and Bar with indoor and outdoor dining. Plaza Futura, San Salvador
  • Jeques. Middle Eastern Cuisine. Plaza Futura. Calle el Mirador, Colonia Escalón, San Salvador

If you need to buy something, there are a lot of supermarkets in this city. Some are international, which come from Guatemala, the USA and other countries that are interested in bringing supermarkets to San Salvador.

DrinkEdit

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 laidback 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.

  • [dead link] wine-o (the wine outlet), Blvd. del Hipodromo #575, San Benito, +503 2263-5576. 9AM-10PM. The place for excellent value wine with the best selection. $9.

Bars and clubsEdit

  • La Luna Casa Y Arte]' - Art gallery, restaurant and bar, popular with artists, art exhibitions, poetry, live acts, reggae nights, and jazz nights. Check out their website for extensive list of events.
  • Los Rinconcitos, Zona Rosa.
  • Code(Mario's), Zona Rosa.
  • [dead link] Zanzibar. Zona Rosa. Great live party music on Saturday afternoons and Acoustic Thursdays quality faves. Centro Comercial Basilea.
  • La Taberna, Beer House 79 Av. Norte. Col. Escalon
  • Tabú, Zona Rosa. Next to Code
  • Stanza, Las terrazas (multiplaza).
  • Bliss, Las terrazas (multiplaza).
  • MaiThai, Las Terrazas (multiplaza).
  • Envy, Las Terrazas (Multiplaza).
  • Dolce Fiero, Popular with younger Salvadorans
  • Malibu Santa Elena, Boulevard Orden de malta, Santa Elena.
  • El Arpa, San Salvador - Popular with expats, Avenida "A" 137, Col. San José
  • La Ventana, Colonia Escalon. This is not a club, more of a lounge/coffee spot with food available, and a full bar. Owned by a German who now resides in El Salvador.
  • Scape (Gay),Centro Comercial Juan Pablo Segundo, Local 311A, Prolongacion Juan Pablo Segundo, San Salvador.
  • Millenium (Gay), 50 m south of Scape.

For the latest information on gigs, raves,dance parties, international acts and concerts in San Salvador check here: [2](Spanish). Larger events and conventions are generally held in the Feria Internacional [3].

SleepEdit

BudgetEdit

  • Hostal Esencia Nativa, +503 2301-4322, +503 7737-8879, . Surf lessons, laundry service, English spoken. Rooms with A/C and private bath available. Doubles from $15.
  • International Guest House, 35 Avenida Norte 9. Breakfast, internet, laundry, safety box. $16-26.
  • Mariscal Hotel & Suites, Paseo Escalón 3658. air-conditioned rooms and suites from $65 including breakfast.
  • Hotel Tazumal House. The, 35 Avenida Norte, Casa 3. A/C, cable TV, free internet use. From $10 to $40.
  • [dead link] Ximenas Guest House, Calle San Salvador 202, +503 2260-2481, +503 7981-4517 (Cell), . A small guesthouse open for over 25 years in a quiet residential area in the Blvd. de Los Heros district. It is within walking distance to malls, banks, pharmacies, post offices, coffee shops, bars and restaurants. The building is well-lit with a tranquil, homey atmosphere with a common area with cable TV, as well as a roof-top terrace with sparse vegetation. Services available include book exchange, modest cafe/restaurant, laundry service, safe deposit lockers, luggage storage and free tourist information. Wireless internet is also available, but there is a small one-time charge to obtain the access code. Computers are also available for $2/hr. Dorms $7, $9 w/hot shower, privates $18-35, varying by AC, number of beds, hot water, TV.

Mid-rangeEdit

The staff of all the hotels speak English and Spanish, but there are also others who speak other languages. All the hotels include room service.

  • Ramada Inn, +503 2263-0033, fax: +503 2263-4099. 85 Ave. Sur y Calle Juan José Cañas, Col. Escalón San Salvador. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-stars.
  • Quality Real Hotel Aeropuerto San Salvador, +503 2366-0000, fax: +503 2366-0001. Check-in: Noon, check-out: 4PM. KM 40.5 Carretera Al Aeropuerto de El Salvador. Just 3 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the sandy beaches of Costa del Sol. In house restaurant. Room service, business center, bar and pool.
  • Hotel Happy House, Avenida Los Sisimiles, #2951, Colonia Miramontes, fax: +503 22 60 15 68, . Hotel includes air conditioning, double bed rooms and free wireless internet access. 3-stars
  • Siesta Casino-Hotel, Final Boulevard Los Proceres, +503 2-283-0100, fax: +503 2-283-0125, . The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-Stars.
  • Holiday Inn, Urbanización y Boulevard Santa Elena a 400 m de la Embajada Americana., +503 2-241-4000, fax: +503 2-241-4070, +503 2-241-4067. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-Stars.
  • Terraza Hotel, 85 Ave. Sur y Calle Padres Aguilar Colonia Escalón, +503 2263-0044, fax: +503 2263-3223, . The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4 stars.
  • Hotel Alicante, Col. La Sultana Calle las Rosas ·1, +503 2243-0889, +503 2243-5838. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 3 stars. $56.
  • Hotel Casa Berlin, Avenida El Espino Lote No 62-64, Santa Elena, Madreselva, Antiguo Cuscatlán., +503 2243-8877, fax: +503 2243-8872. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. The staff speaks Spanish, English and German. 3-Stars.
  • [dead link] Hotel Capital, Autopista Sur, Boulevard La Sultana y Pasaje Monelca., +503 2247-7100, fax: +503 2243-8018. Air conditioned, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
  • Hotel Good Luck, Avenida Los Sisimiles Pje. #5 casa 2943, Colonia Miramonte, +503 2260-1666, +503 2260-1655. Air conditioner, Chinese restaurant, private parking, free internet, excellent location, only two block from Metrocentro and many other amenities at very low price.
  • Hotel Grecia Inn, Avenida Sisimiles 2922, Colonia Miramonte (50 m from Hotel Real Intercontinental, across from Metrocentro), +503 2261-0555, +503 2261-0566, +503 2261-0577. Air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. The staff speaks English, Spanish and Greek. 4 stars.
  • Hotel Mediterraneo Plaza, 15 Calle Pte. No. 4319, Col. Escalón, +503 2263-4592, fax: +503 2263-4612. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
  • Hotel Mirador Plaza, Calle El Mirador y 95 Ave. Norte Col. Escalón, +503 2244-6000, fax: +503 2244-6099. Air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
  • Novo Aparthotel, Final 61 Ave. Nte. Col. Escalon, +503 2260-2288, fax: +503 2260-5053. Air conditioned, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4 stars.
  • Hotel Merliot, Col. Jardines de cuscatlan, Polígono G, No. 24, Av. L-A, Ciudad Merliot., +503 2278-4417. Our comfortable and elegant single, double and triple, with breakfast included (6AM-10AM) have cable TV, telephone, free wireless Internet, private bath with hot water, closet, executive desk, air conditioning.
  • Courtyard San Salvador, Esquina Calle 2 y calle 3, Centro de Estilo de Vida La Gran Via, +503 2249 3000.

SplurgeEdit

  • 1 InterContinental San Salvador-Metrocentro Mall, Boulevard de Los Héroes, +503 2211 3333, fax: +503 2211 4444. The InterContinental San Salvador Hotel has 228 rooms, 6 suites and 2 Club InterContinental floors. It has 13 conference rooms, 3 restaurants, gym, spa, pool and business center. $100-450.
  • 2 Crowne Plaza Hotel, 89 Avenida Norte (In Colonia Escalón neighboorhood), +503 2-257-0700, fax: +503 2-257-0710. Rooms from $139 per person, per night.
  • 3 Sheraton Presidente, Avenida De La Revolucion (in San Benito neighboorhood, in front of El Chulon), +503 2-283-4000. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.

Stay safeEdit

San Salvador has had a history of violence. San Salvador was considered the most dangerous city in the world in 1992. Today, El Salvador experiences some of the highest homicide rates in the world, and it is considered an epicenter of the gang crisis, along with Guatemala and Honduras. Crime rates in general are high. Most tourists will experience few problems in the city as they are not specifically targeted. Most murders are committed by gang members against members of other gangs.

To stay safe:

  • Don't walk on streets that look abandoned and dark.
  • Use only licensed taxis or rent a car. If you are adventurous, watch your valuables and put away jewelry when using the public buses. Most major hotels have taxis that they have approved as safe and legitimate. If unsure about a taxi, call your hotel and they can generally have a safe taxi dispatched to your location.
  • At best, walk in tourist areas.

You are not likely to have a problem in the malls or inside major stores or museums, and most public buildings are full of security guards, alarms, fire extinguishers, etc.

There is a lot of gang violence in El Salvador, but in San Salvador the downtown areas, the malls, the Zona Rosa, most tourist attractions, and the upmarket neighborhoods are generally safe. Doing your homework and avoiding gangland areas will ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable experience.

No matter how adventurous you may feel, it is strongly advisable to stay away from the city's poorer districts of Soyapango, Barrio Mejico and Apopa and its surroundings on the east and north sides of the city.

CopeEdit

Health servicesEdit

San Salvador is a city full of pharmacies. Hospital services are also very good and facilities include Hospital de Diagnostico in Villavicencio Plaza.

BanksEdit

Finding a bank is not a problem within the city. Banks include HSBC, Citibank, Banco Agricola, BanTpym, Banco Centromericano, Scotiabank, Procredit and others.

EmbassiesEdit

Go nextEdit

You can get out of Comalapa International Airport or rent a plane for a moderate fee in Ilopango Airport to give you a ride to other of the countries important cities. The rent a plane service is available to go to Santa Ana, San Miguel and La Union (on Tamarindo, near the Gulf of Fonseca where you can board a ferry to take you to the other Islands).

If you are looking for an excursion out of the city, check the classified section of the newspaper El Diario de Hoy ("Asesores de Viaje y Excursiones" heading) for any reasonably priced tours that may be departing soon.

This city travel guide to San Salvador is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.