10 Best places to live in El Salvador. Where to live in El Salvador?

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Sep 21st, 2023
Best places to liv in El SalvadorSan Salvador El Salvador

The best places to live in El Salvador are San Salvador, La Libertad, Santa Ana, Santa Tecla, Antiguo Cuscatlan, Suchitoto, Juayua, El Tunco, Ahuachapan, and Chalatenango.

El Salvador has excellent living options. If you want urban city living, look at San Salvador, Santa Tecla, or Nuevo Cuscatlan. Also, you have the option of smaller cities with great history, such as Santa Ana or Ahuachapan.

If you want to live in a smaller city near great beaches, look at La Libertad or El Tunco. On the other hand, look at Juayua, Suchitoto, or Chalatenango if you want to live in a small town surrounded by nature.

10 of the Best Places to Live in El Salvador
City Department *Population
1 San Salvador San Salvador 335,982
2 La Libertad La Libertad 53,324
3 Santa Ana Santa Ana 251,095
4 Santa Tecla La Libertad 127,294
5 Antiguo Cuscatlan La Libertad 37,750
6 Suchitoto Cuscatlan 24,564
7 Juayua Sonsonate 23,530
8 El Tunco La Libertad 15,000
9 Ahuachapan Ahuachapan 125,544
10 Chalatenango Chalatenango 24,958
*The population numbers are estimations and might not be 100% accurate. The last Salvadoran census was in 2007.

1. San Salvador, the Nation’s Capital

San Salvador, the nation’s capital, is the best place in the country for urban living. The capital city has shopping malls, parks, tourist spots, museums, restaurants, universities, government buildings, embassies, and an impressive volcano nearby.

San Salvador is centrally located. It is 40 kilometers from the international airport and about 40 kilometers from some of the best beaches in the country.

Indeed, San Salvador is the perfect urban environment to live in; however, be prepared to pay higher prices for almost everything, from housing to even haircuts.

Two of the most sought-after communities to live in the capital city are San Benito and Colonia Escalon; they are top-notch communities. However, they are two of the most expensive residential areas in the city.

SEE ALSO: San Salvador, El Salvador Capital City, a great place to visit or call home!

Don’t get discouraged; the capital city has plenty of less expensive communities excellent for living.

To get a better idea of real estate prices in San Salvador, take a look at this website, Bienes Raíces en El Salvador; they have a vast selection of listed properties in this city.

San Salvador El Salvador
San Salvador, Capital city of El Salvador.

SEE ALSO: Living in El Salvador. Top reasons for moving to El Salvador.

2. The City of La Libertad: “Best Place to Live in El Salvador Near the Coast”

La Libertad is a beach town in the department of La Libertad; it is an excellent location for those looking to live near the coast. The city attracts surfers looking for waves and beachgoers looking for a relaxed area centrally located.

The town has a population of about 53,324; however, it might seem crowded because of all the tourists. Like any other beach town with attractive beaches, the city of La Libertad gets a lot of out-of-town visitors, especially on the weekends and national holidays.

If you like surfing, the town has one of the top surf spots in El Salvador, the Punta Roca break; this surf break has consistent waves for almost the entire year. Furthermore, the city of La Libertad is near El Tunco and El Sunzal, two of the top surf spots in Surf City El Salvador.

Non-surfers who live in this town have plenty of activities available to them; the waterfront boardwalk is excellent for hanging out with all its shops and restaurants.

La Libertad is one of the top destinations in the Surf City El Salvador project; therefore, the city infrastructure is improving, especially the coastal areas. The Chinese government built a theme park and is in the process of completing a new pier.

SEE ALSO: The best surf spots in El Salvador. Do you know them?.

In addition to all the top-of-the-line activities, La Libertad is centrally located, and the international airport and San Salvador are within 25 miles. The city of La Libertad is a great place to consider making your new home.

Best Places to Live in El Salvador
Sunset Park in La Libertad. Image by Sharon.

3. Santa Ana

The city of Santa Ana is one of the country’s biggest cities; it is the capital of the department of Santa Ana and the principal city in the western part of the country.

In Santa Ana, you get city life with top-of-the-line restaurants, shopping, touristic activities, and culture. However, the traffic and cost of living are way less than in other larger cities like San Salvador or Santa Tecla.

The city is rich in tradition and history; it has iconic buildings such as the Cathedral of Santa Ana, the National Theater, and the Municipal Palace.

Furthermore, near the city are some of the best tourist places in the country. National parks for ecotourism, volcanoes to hike, and archaeological sites to explore are not that far away.

SEE ALSO: Santa Ana El Salvador. A City with Excellent History and Traditions

City of Santa Ana El Salvador
City of Santa Ana El Salvador.

4. The City of Santa Tecla, Excellent Urban Place to Live in El Salvador

Santa Tecla is next to the capital, San Salvador, a city ideal for urban living. Santa Tecla is a beautiful city perfect for those who want an urban environment with excellent shopping, museums, restaurants, parks, and fantastic nightlife.

The city has numerous places for residents to spend time outdoors, such as El Boqueron National Park, La Laguna Botanical Garden, El Cafetalón, San Martin Park, and San Jose Park. These places have plenty of nature for people to enjoy.

Santa Tecla can be considered the most modern city in El Salvador; it has the most trendy hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants.

This city has excellent residential areas, but similar to the capital city of San Salvador, the cost of living in this city is one of the highest in the country.

SEE ALSO: Santa Tecla El Salvador. Previously known as Nueva San Salvador

5. Antiguo Cuscatlan, Beautiful City to Live in El Salvador

Antiguo Cuscatlan is a smaller city with fantastic shopping and great neighborhoods in La Libertad; it is right next to San Salvador and near Santa Tecla. Living in Antiguo Cuscatlan is expensive because of the location and upscale gated private neighborhoods.

In Antiguo Cuscatlan, you will find three of the best universities in the country: Jose Matias Delgado University, Universidad Centro Americana Jose Simeon Cañas (UCA), and Albert Einstein University.

Antiguo Cuscatlan has plenty of activities for all residents. Outdoors lovers can explore the Bicentennial Park (Parque Bicentenario), with its beautiful green spaces ideal for picnics, jogging, or simply enjoying the outdoors.

Furthermore, the well-known La Gran Via shopping center is in this city; the shopping center features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

With its beautiful surroundings, diverse recreational offerings, and central location, Antiguo Cuscatlan is an excellent spot to live in; it will cost more, but it’s worth paying the extra expense to live here.

Antiguo Cuscatlan El Salvador
Antiguo Cuscatlan El Salvador.

6. Suchitoto: Excellent Small Town to Live in El Salvador

Suchitoto is a top touristic destination in El Salvador; but it is also a great place to call home. This small town located about an hour from the capital is ideal if you are looking for a small city living.

The local community is welcoming to newcomers, especially foreigners. As a newcomer, you will not have difficulty making friendships with locals or foreigners already living in town.

Suchitooto is a town with colorful traditions that date back to colonial times. This town has colorful celebrations throughout the year for residents to enjoy. Furthermore, the city is near Lake Suchitlan, one of the best and most beautiful lakes in the country.

Living in this town may not be for everyone; the cost of living is low, but employment opportunities are rare and pay the Salvadoran minimum wage.

It is difficult to say how much money you will need to live here. Individual lifestyles and the type of property you want to rent or buy will dictate the monthly living cost. Before moving to Suchitoto, spend a few days or weeks in town and see if it’s for you.

SEE ALSO: Visit Suchitoto El Salvador. Extraordinary colonial town.

Suchitoto El Salvador
Suchitoto El Salvador. Photo by @wsalamanca

7. Juayua, an Excellent Small Town in El Salvador to Live In

If you are looking for small-town living, Juayua is an excellent option to consider. This small town west of San Salvador, surrounded by mountains and a refreshing climate, is perfect for small-town living.

Identically to Suchitoto, the cost of living here is less, but making a living is complicated as jobs, which are difficult to find, pay the Salvadoran minimum wage.

Life in Juayua is small-town living; there are no nightclubs or movie theaters. However, this small town is one of the most visited by local and foreign tourists.

Juayua is near other touristic towns like Nahuizalco, Ataco, and Ahuachapan. It is also near some great eco-tourism spots like Cerro Verde National Park with its volcanoes and the marvelous Coatepeque Caldera.

SEE ALSO: Juayua El Salvador. Great colonial town in Sonsonate.

Lastly, for coffee lovers, some of the best coffee plantations in the country are near the town of Juayua. Just like Suchitoto, before moving in, spend a few days or weeks in town and see if life in Juayua is for you.

City of Juayua
City of Juayua El Salvador.

8. El Tunco. A Surf Town to Call Home in El Salvador

If you want to live in a small surfing town that is quiet during the weekdays but gets crazy with parties on the weekends, then El Tunco is your town! This small coastal village is known for its stunning black sand beaches and world-class surfing.

The village or small town of El Tunco, without a doubt, is a surfer’s paradise. People from many countries frequently visit this surf town and stay for weeks or months.

People who live here, during the weekdays, are surrounded by local and foreign surfers enjoying the impressive waves. However, during the weekends, the town gets crowded with locals from the nearby cities looking to party.

El Tunco Village is just 42 kilometers southwest of the capital city, San Salvador, and 8 kilometers from the town of La Libertad. Also, the international airport is only 40 kilometers away.

El Tunco is a great place to call home; the cost of living is less, and there are plenty of surf spots nearby. Furthermore, some of the best beaches in the country are within 20 miles.

SEE ALSO: El Tunco Beach El Salvador, One of the Best Surf Spots in the Country.

9. Ahuachapan

Ahuachapan is a smaller town in the western part of the country near the Guatemalan border. The city itself has great traditions and history going back to colonial times. Furthermore, smaller tourist towns like Apaneca, Nahuizalco, and Ataco are nearby.

The town’s beauty and outdoor activities make it a must-consider location for those looking for a place to live in El Salvador.

SEE ALSO: Ahuachapan El Salvador: Exploring Ahuachapan’s Natural Wonders “Waterfalls, Volcanoes, and More”

Where to live in El Salvador
City of Ahuachapan El Salvador.

10. The City of Chalatenango

Chalatenango is the principal city of the department of Chalatenango; it is near Honduras, about 80 kilometers from the capital city of San Salvador.

This city is ideal for those looking for small-town life; the city has a great climate, full of local traditions.

Chalatenango is for those looking to live in a small town near nature. If you want to know more about the city and the department of Chalatenango, visit the following website, Chalatenango.sv.

The Best Places to Live in El Salvador

In El Salvador, you can find places to live that will match all of your needs, or at least most of them.

The ten cities listed above are some of the best places to live in El Salvador. However, they are not the only ones. El Salvador has plenty of other excellent small towns scattered all over the country to consider as your future home.

The cost of living in El Salvador is a factor that affects the best places to live in; larger and popular cities will have a higher cost of living.

In conclusion, El Salvador offers an array of appealing places to call home, each with its unique charm. Whether you prefer the cultural richness of San Salvador, the tranquility of beachside towns, or the scenic beauty of mountainous regions, El Salvador has something for everyone, making it a diverse and inviting country to live in.