"San Salvador - Capital of El Salvador" Top 5 Page for this destination San Salvador by MalenaN

San Salvador Travel Guide: 156 reviews and 420 photos

San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, is situated on the foothills of Vulcán San Salvador in the centre of the country. It is a big city with a population of 1.8 million, almost a third of the total population of El Salvador. The climate is tropical with the wet season stretching between May - October and the dry season between November - April. December - February are the coldest months.

In 1525 San Salvador was founded at a location 30 km northeast of were it is now situated, but only three years later it moved to the present location. After independence from Spain San Salvador became the capital of the Federal Republic of Central America and later of El Salvador as the federation fell apart.

Even if San Salvador is an old city there are not many old buildings left. The city is situated in an area of tectonic activity and earthquakes have destroyed the city, or parts of it, in 1854, 1873, 1986 and 2001 and at several other occasions. And there was an eruption of Vulcán San Salvador in 1917 and there has been floods. To this the civil war added sever damages, both when it comes to lives and infrastructure.

In San Salvador you can find ?different worlds?. There are modern parts with broad avenues and big shopping malls but there are also poor neighbourhoods. In the city centre you will find a bustling street life with a lot of traffic and vendors on the streets. There are several squares and parks and monumental buildings, the cathedral, the parliament and the theatre among others. This is an interesting part to visit for a tourist, but I would not walk around here alone after dark, even during daytime you should watch your belongings. The best museums in San Salvador you will find in the more modern and quieter parts of Zona Rosa and Colonia Escalón.

San Salvador has a reputation of violence and has got one of the highest murder rates in the world, but most of the violence is gang related and happens in some of the suburbs of San Salvador. So don?t let this stop you from visiting the capital of El Salvador! I found people to be very kind and helpful and I was also very happy to meet with VT-member conejita71 (Nancy) and her family who showed me around.

  • Last visit to San Salvador: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (17)

Comments (15)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    I was especially moved by your tip on the Tomb of Oscar A Romero. I never knew that more than 250 000 mourners came to his funeral, but then someone (who?) started shooting and several people were killed.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Malena, a very nice page on your time in San Salvador! Hotel Happy House sounds like a great place to stay and it was good you had local contacts too! Great shots of Vulcán San Salvador and the remains of Joya de Cerén.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    A very interesting page - I wouldn't have thought there was so much variety to San Salvador. I love the stained glass in the Iglesia El Rosario and your visits "off the beaten path" with Nancy sound very interesting

  • bct341's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Great Page, seems strange for me to travel around the world yet rarely venture "south"...hope to change that soon and travel there more often.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    a very interesting page and also a proof that visiting this country is possible as long as you avoid the wrong places! Joya de Cerén looks very interesting !

  • Jefie's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2009 at 6:31 AM

    Thanks for the nice intro to San Salvador, it's a place I've been curious about since I tasted my first pupusas!! Loved the Off the beaten path tips too :o)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    You presented great tips and pictures of the city & area. I remember the martyrdom of Oscar a Romero; what a tragedy. My last trip to Utah & Arizona parks was an adventure of my lifetime and remote in areas like Natural Bridges and Kanab-Vermilion Cliffs.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Thanks for the intro ... my son is heading for El Salvador soon and I'm finding VT helpful in getting acquainted w/ the entire region.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2009 at 12:22 AM

    Wonderful pics of San Salvador and now I wish I can see it too along with Guatemala, but I will just visit El Salvador next time....what are pupusas again? ---I just googled it, looks yummy!

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2009 at 1:24 AM

    Always great to meet locals - much more fun and they can bring you to places you wouldn never found yourself. Nice choice of cafés! Those crepes and juices look very tempting! Is pupasa same as arepa? Beautiful Iglesia El Rosario and interesting museums!

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