El Salvador Travel Information

Photo El Salvador is located on the west coast of Central America. It is bound by Honduras to the north, Guatemala to the northwest, the Gulf of Fonseca to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The country is divided by the Coastal and Cordillera Apeneca Mountain Ranges running east to west. Additionally, the country is divided into three topographical regions. El Salvador has a tropical climate that is characterized by warm temperatures during the day and cool nights, except for the coastal plain. There are two distinct seasons, a dry season from November to April with light rainfall and a wet season from May to November when heavy rainfall occurs.

The principal ethnic majority are the Mestizos who are of mixed Spanish and Amerindian descent and account for 90% of the population. Amerindians account for 5% while another 5% are Whites mainly Spanish. The two major Amerindian groups are the Pipil and Lenca. Other ethnic alien groups include the Lebanese, Swiss, Turks, Syrians, Germans and Chinese.

Unlike its neighbors, El Salvador is not geared to independent travelers. What it does offer is a whole new experience of watching a country strive to redefine itself. Organizations from the US, Europe and Australia are helping to rebuild El Salvador through programs devoted to education, agricultural reform, reforestation, human rights and health care. Participating in these developments and talking to the locals about their experiences and hopes is one of the most productive ways to visit.

El Salvador has a 320km (200-mile) Pacific Coast with resort hotels, unspoiled beaches, fishing villages and pine views. The best resorts tend to be found along the Costa del Sol, easily accessible via a modern highway.
The food market in San Salvador is one of the largest in Latin America and its stalls sell all manner of produce. Restaurants serve a variety of international cuisines including Mexican, French and Chinese.
San Salvador has a few nightclubs and cocktail lounges with dinner and dancing, some of which require membership. Cinemas (some showing English films with subtitles) are very popular.

Important: Travel to El Salvador may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's El Salvador visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of El Salvador
Capital city: San Salvador
Area: 21,041 sq km
Population: 6,090,646
Ethnic groups: mestizo 90%, white 9%, Amerindian 1%
Languages: Spanish
Religions: Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Carlos Mauricio FUNES Cartagena
Head of Government: President Carlos Mauricio FUNES Cartagena
GDP: 44.58 billion
GDP per captia: 7,500
Annual growth rate: 1.4%
Inflation: 5.1%
Agriculture: coffee, sugar, corn, rice, beans, oilseed, cotton, sorghum
Major industries: food processing, beverages, petroleum, chemicals, fertilizer, textiles, furniture, light metals
Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Trade Partners - exports: US 45.1%, Guatemala 13.3%, Honduras 8.6%, Nicaragua 5.2%, Germany 4.1%
Trade Partners - imports: US 39%, Guatemala 9.8%, Mexico 7.7%, China 5.2%