El Salvador

Old Sep 18, 14, 10:38 am
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El Salvador

Just returned from a trip to El Salvador in May - would love to share info if anyone is planning a trip there.
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Old Sep 18, 14, 9:57 pm
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I've been wanting to go for a while, tell me all about it!
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Old Nov 24, 14, 10:37 am
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I would love to hear about your trip. I am hoping to backpack most of Central America next year and have been looking for recommendations for El Salvador.
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Old Nov 25, 14, 6:56 pm
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I also would love to hear your trip report...

Hello,

Other than a 14 hour stop-over a couple years ago, were I learned there's no really close hotels within driving distance to the airport but the one I found served cold beer and great ceviche, I know nothing about travelling there.

Please port some information here as I would love to read it!

Regards,
DirtyDan
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Old Dec 16, 14, 5:41 pm
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Yes, please do as I was thinking about renting a house on the coast to ring in the 10 year with the wife.
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Old Feb 10, 15, 9:36 am
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el salvador travel - late post

sorry, I did not respond earlier - have been ill.

San Salvador airport is outside the city which is great if you don't want to visit the city. There are a couple of hotels near by - the Quality Inn is a few miles and right on the highway. We did see a more upscale hotel in the vicinity, but I can't remember the name.

The most important thing I can say is - do not drive at night - at least on your first trip. While the roads are in decent condition, there is very poor signage and if you miss your turn, it may be 10 miles before you can find a place to get back on the other side of the highway. In addition, there is a lot of construction going on due to past storm damage, including temporary bridges. There are no shoulders on most roads, people walk right on the road at night with their animals. Residents are not required to have insurance (although you are) and they drive without lights on and pass where ever they can find a smidgen of pavement.

That being said, the roads go through some beautiful parts of the country. We felt extremely safe while we were there - during the day. There are armed guards at grocery stores, gas stations, banks etc - and they are there to keep the peace. We saw no violence at all - but again, we did not go to sketchy areas and did not walk at night.

Do not bring traveler's checks unless you are staying at a large chain hotel or have located a bank where you already have an account. Bank of Scotia is big down there - but we tried to cash checks there and they would not cash them. Our landlord told us that the country doesn't like them.

We stayed in La Libertad at a rental home on the beach. The beach south of town is gorgeous, miles of accessible white sand. The area has some good restaurants - some expensive, some really cheap. There is a great street market in town where you can find fruits and vegetables that I have never seen before.

We also drove the Ruta de los Flores which is gorgeous and drove north and south from La Libertad along the beach - the only negative was the surfing beach at El Tunco. A huge commercial area has been built up, the river is terribly polluted and everything is expensive.

San Salvador itself is huge. We did a couple of museums but did not go to the market. We did go to the volcano north of town and a couple of ruins east of Sonsonate which we enjoyed.

There is also some great hiking near La Libertad - although a lot of places require that you have a guide - some free, some paid.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to post - I'll try to respond sooner.
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Old Feb 19, 15, 6:29 pm
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Great to hear about your trip!

Would you recommend staying in La Libertad or San Salvador? I only have 2 nights to explore the country coming up in April. I will not be renting a car and right now I was planning on staying in San Salvador and doing a day tour with a guide to one the nearby volcanoes, el impossible, or the ruins. Would mainly like to hike.
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Old Mar 4, 15, 9:15 am
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definitely san salvador - it takes too long to get anywhere from la libertad and some of the volcanoes are within an hour of the city.
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Old Mar 11, 15, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by momfiend View Post
definitely san salvador - it takes too long to get anywhere from la libertad and some of the volcanoes are within an hour of the city.
Great thanks! I am going to plan a hike up Santa Ana Volcano
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Old Apr 6, 15, 9:20 am
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I was in San Salvador for 5 nights; partly a familiar affair and partly vacation. This was my second visit (first one was for 2 days about 3 years ago)
We stayed in San Salvador at the Hilton hotel Princess. You can see my excellent review on flyertalk and tripadvisor.
I would be very careful with driving anywhere. Signage is actually not bad but roads are bad and services very poor. Lots of dangerous areas in San Salvador and would NOT drive at night without somebody who really knows the area.

La libertad is nice; on the coast, nice restaurants. Just reviewed Beto's on tripadvisor. I really enjoyed a side trip on the road of the flowers (not too many flowers though) but the views are great. Plan a stop in the small town of Ataco.

By the way, I used the services of Mr. Francisco Rivas; he has a van for 12 people and an SUV for 4 people. Prices were very reasonable and he drives really well, speaks some English and is very polite, helpful and protective. I would be very careful with hiring a car/taxi without knowing who you are driving off with. The hotel can help you get somebody reliable.

Mr. Rivas' email is: [email protected] and his phone is: 011-503-7703-3278. I have NO financial interest in his business but I AM a very satisfied customer. He also picks up and brings back to the airport at a great price.
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Old Apr 14, 15, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by keisari View Post
I would be very careful with driving anywhere. Signage is actually not bad but roads are bad and services very poor. Lots of dangerous areas in San Salvador and would NOT drive at night without somebody who really knows the area.
I agree that there are dangerous areas so beware but I found the roads to be very good. Granted I didn't do driving in El Salvador but the condition was much better than the parts I drove in Costa Rica.

My 2 night stay was at the Courtyard San Salvador and the people their were absolutely amazing. Great service, most workers spoke English and I knew enough Spanish to fill in the blanks. Also the breakfast was delicious and suggest booking a rate with the breakfast included. The hotel is located in a good part of town next to the mall which has a lot of typical American shops and restaurants.

We did a full day tour to hike the Santa Ana Volcano and it was beautiful! The tour service was Maya Triangle and our guide was Jose who was awesome! A local who is very passionate about his country and traveling, he also spoke English very well. Highly recommended. The hike itself was one of the best I have done. You could see half the country from the top including surrounding volcanoes and the Pacific Ocean.

Overall, I was really impressed by the hospitality of everyone I met and that alone is reason enough for me to come back. I would like to travel back and visit the beaches and more areas. I have more info and pictures from my hike on my blog. http://mytraveltools.com/2015/04/el-...a-ana-volcano/

Last edited by bgriz18; May 13, 15 at 6:21 pm
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Old Apr 16, 15, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by momfiend View Post
Just returned from a trip to El Salvador in May - would love to share info if anyone is planning a trip there.
Hi!

I'm planning to spend 3 to 4 week in the capital city.

As an American, what vaccinations should I get prior to departure from the U.S.?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 19, 15, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by AppleApe View Post
Hi!

I'm planning to spend 3 to 4 week in the capital city.

As an American, what vaccinations should I get prior to departure from the U.S.?

Thanks!
No vaccinations are required to enter El Salvador if you come from North, Central or South America (or Europe for that matter); not sure if you would need something specific coming from other parts of the world.

Having said that the CDC website recommends certain vaccinations due to increase risk.
Check out this web page

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinat...ne/el-salvador
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Old Apr 19, 15, 9:40 pm
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Due to weird fare rules, I had 2 1-day stopovers in El Salvador a few years ago. We rented a car and drove around. Signage wasn't great, but the roads were in pretty good condition. We were concerned about safety, but the country seemed generally OK. That said, I've never seen a country with more guns. Like you'd enter a restaurant and the host would be packing! And guys with rifles would guard buildings. So the experience was "interesting," but I wouldn't rush back.
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Old Apr 22, 15, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
That said, I've never seen a country with more guns.
That's my main recollection of my three day visit about ten years ago as well.
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