El Salvador Departments and Municipalities. Get to know them!

El Salvador Departments
El Salvador Departments.

El Salvador Departments. To better manage and govern the densely populated country, El Salvador is divided into 14 departments and 262 municipalities.

The country’s departments or states do not have a central government or governor, so the governing is left to each municipality. The municipalities are administrated by a mayor and general council, which are openly elected every three years.

The mayor and general council of each municipality are in charge of running it. They can create local mandates and create local tariffs to pay for festivities. All in all, El Salvador municipalities, are the first lie of governmental contact that the local population has.

San Salvador El Salvador Capital city
The San Salvador Historic District.

Ahuachapan

The department of Ahuachapan is the westernmost of the 14 departments in El Salvador; it borders with Guatemala to the north of the department.

Surfing in El Salvador x
Surfing in El Salvador

The department of Ahuachapan is known for its coffee production, astounding climate, colorful small towns, and much more.

The towns of Ahuachapan, Apaneca, and Tacuba are some of the most visited by local and foreign tourists in the country.

The following are the 12 municipalities in the department of Ahuachapan; each district offers different things to visitors and residents.

Municipality Mayor Population
Ahuachapan Juan Carlos Zepeda 125,544
Apaneca Dario Vielman 9,504
Atiquizaya Oliverio Zepeda 39,761
Concepcion de Ataco Oscar Gomez 12,649
El Refugio Darwin Regalado 11,522
Guaymango Domingo Mendoza 23,733
Jujutla Victor Martinez 32,519
San Francisco Menendez Adin Zetino 47,803
San Lorenzo Joel Corado 10,264
San Pedro Puxtla Jose Zaldaña 9,826
Tacuba Luis Milla 31,784
Turin Hilda Velasquez 10,219

Sonsonate

The department of Sonsonate is located in the western part of the country; the capital city of the state is Sonsonate.

The department was and continues to be the heart of the Pipil culture in the country. This department and its municipalities are home to several ancient traditions that locals continue to appreciate and teach to the new generations.

The department is well-known for the production of coffee, sugar cane, coconut, fruits, balsam trees, palm, tulle, and orchard plants.

Municipality Mayor Population
Sonsonate Rafael Edgardo Arevalo 80,817
Izalco Sergio Arias 86,085
Acajutla Isaac Benjamin Hernandez 58,252
Armenia Adrian Wilfredo Figueroa 41,519
Nahuizalco Hugo Ramos 59,245
Juayua Eduardo Armando Paula 23,530
San Julian Gabriel Omon Serrano 24,041
Sonzacate Marvin Omar Sanchez 27,344
San Antonio Del Monte Carmina Cuellar 28,697
Nahuilingo Rolando Coronado Agüero 12,047
Cuisnahuat Jimy Herber Orellana 13,729
Santa Catarina Masahuat Remberto Magdiel Ascensio 11,595
Caluco Nelson Cornejo 10,640
Santa Isabel Ishuatan Juan Jose Portillo 11,899
Salcoatitan Blanca Maribel Solano 5,667
Santo Domingo De Guzman Mauricio Alfonso Calderon 9,474

Santa Ana

The department of Santa Ana is located in the northwest part of the country; the capital city is Santa Ana, which is either the second or third largest in El Salvador.

The department of Santa Ana is well-known for being one of the most important to the country’s economy. Also, this department is famous for all the tourist attractions that possess; it has some of the best Maya ruins in El Salvador, it has the impressive Coatepeque Lake, the Santa Ana volcano, and many others.

Municipality Mayor Population
Santa Ana Gustavo Acevedo 251,095
Chalchuapa Jorge Moran 76,565
Metapan Israel Peraza 71,949
Coatepeque Hugo Centeno 36,101
El Congo Wilfredo Ramos 31,013
Texistepeque Dimas Aguilar 20,745
Candelaria la Frontera Beeddy Botto 23,151
San Sebastian Salitrillo Jaime Martinez 21,058
Santa Rosa Guachipilín Hugo Flores 4,694
Santiago de La Frontera Milagro Barrientos 6,150
El Porvenir Oscar Escobar 9,908
Masahuat ngel AguilarA 3,941
San Antonio Pajonal Walter Martinez 3,985

La Libertad

The department of La Libertad is one of the most popular and most densely populated in the country; this department is home to some of the best beaches in El Salvador.

The department is famous for many reasons that include the proximity to San Salvador, the upscale neighborhoods, the shopping malls, the many beaches, and many others.

The capital city of La Libertad is home to upscale neighborhoods, restaurants, hotels, universities, and much more; therefore, this is an area that most people want to live in.

The department of La Libertad has some of the best places to live in El Salvador; in addition to fantastic places to visit as a tourist.

Municipality Mayor Population
Santa Tecla Henry Flores 127,294
Quezaltepeque Fermin Henriquez 65,573
Ciudad Arce Noe Rivera 72,051
San Juan Opico Roberto Alas 89,654
Colon Noe Rivera Leiva 120,088
La Libertad Adelio Ortiz 53,324
Antiguo Cuscatlan Zoila Milagro Navas 37,750
Comasagua Ever Valles 14,975
San Pablo Tacachico Mario Castillo 24,429
Jayaque Victor Ascencio 15,369
Huizucar Carlos Osorio 16,397
Tepecoyo Ana Gonzalez 16,865
Teotepeque Jose Tobar 13,930
Chiltiupan Tito Cartagena 13,107
Nuevo Cuscatlan Jose Dueñas 11,150
Tamanique Ever Salinas 14,964
Sacacoyo Mayra Zetino 18,328
San Jose VillaNueva 20,015
Zaragoza Cesar Godoy 29,679
Talnique Nelson Cabrera 9,181
San Matias Genaro Aguillon 9,023
Jicalapa José Menjivar 7,776

Chalatenango

The department of Chalatenango is located in the northwest part of El Salvador, near Honduras. Chalatenango is well-known for its mountain terrain and colder climate; here, you will find popular destinations like El Pital, La Palma, and San Ignacio.

Municipality Mayor Population
Chalatenango Alfredo Hernandez 24,958
Nueva Concepcion Raul Peña Landaverde 26,864
La Palma Maribel Escobar 11,198
Tejutla Rafael Antonio Tejada 13,533
La Reina Roberto Lemus 8,970
Arcatao 2,461
San Ignacio Ernesto Posada 9,049
Dulce Nombre de Maria Hugo Francis Clavel 4,168
Citala Luis Ochoa 5,368
Agua Caliente Edwin Cisneros 6,962
Concepcion Quezaltepeque Anibal Serrano 5,429
Nueva Trinidad Reynaldo Dubon Rivera 1,588
Las Vueltas Juan Núñez 1,301
Comalapa Anibal Leon 4,443
San Rafael Marta Villegas 3,701
San Jose Las Flores Buenaventura Tobar Alcacer 1,323
Ojos de Agua Franklin Marquez 3,472
Nombre de Jesus Gilberto Ortega 4,664
Potonico Jacinto Eleuterio Tobar 1,612
San Francisco Morazan Marvin Alexander Cardoza 3,236
Santa Rita Ismael Romero 4,809
La Laguna Nelson Santos 3,410
San Isidro Labrador Moris Amaya 1,235
San Antonio de La Cruz Moris Amaya 1,950
El Paraiso Alexis Escalante 11,331
San Miguel de Mercedes Milton Guadalupe Serrano 2,086
San Luis del Carmen Luis Alonso Recinos Erazo 1,103
San Jose Cancasque Juan Antonio Tobar 1,524
San Antonio Los Ranchos Isabel Abrego Recinos 988
El Carrizal Tulio Casco 2,244
San Fernando Carlos Josue Alvarez
Azacualpa Pablo Antonio Martínez 997
San Francisco Lempa Mario Colocho 1,008

San Salvador

The department of San Salvador and its municipalities is where the majority of Salvadoran’s live. In this department, you will find the nation’s capital San Salvador, which is the most populated municipality in the country.

The department of San Salvador and its municipalities are the most densely populated in the country. Furthermore, in this department, you will find most of the principal government buildings, in addition to the top universities, hospitals, and office buildings.

The municipality of San Salvador is the central hub for everything related to medical, health, government, and business.

The municipalities in this department are home to popular attractions such as Ilopango lake, the San Salvador Historic district, El Boqueron National Park, Los Planes de Renderos, museums, and much more.

Municipality Mayor Population
San Salvador Mario Duran 335,982
Ciudad Delgado Mario Vasquez 123,258
Mejicanos Saul Meléndez 135,556
Soyapango Nercy Montano 158,672
Cuscatancingo Fernando Rivera 75,650
San Marcos Cindy Andrade 60,358
Ilopango Jose Chicas 119,327
Nejapa Jorge Escamilla 36,479
Apopa Jennifer Juarez 155,466
San Martin Mauricio Arias 92,508
Panchimalco Jorge Mejia 53,256
Aguilares Wilfredo Peña 28,367
Tonacatepeque Alirio Sosa 103,213
Santo Tomas Fredy Ayala 30,996
Santiago Texacuangos Patricia Perez 22,626
El Paisnal Reina Chavez 17,516
Guazapa Hector Salguero 29,341
Ayutuxtepeque Alejandro Nochez 36,699
Rosario de Mora Juan Barrera 16,798

Cuscatlan

The department of Cuscatlan, with its 16 municipalities, is the smallest in the country. It is located in the middle of the country, next to the department of San Salvador.

According to historians, the department was created in 1835, its first capital city was the colorful town of Suchitoto. However, in 1861, the capital of the department changed to Cojutepeque.

The municipalities in the department are known for producing fruits, tobacco, sugar cane, and coffee, among other items. Also, the department’s capital Cojutepeque is famous for its chorizos or sausages.

Now, on the touristic side of this department and its municipalities, you will find popular attractions such as the colorful town of Suchitoto, the man-made Lake Suchitlan, the Guazapa volcano with its links to the civil war, and many others.

Municipality Mayor Population
Cojutepeque Marvin Romero 54,748
Suchitoto Denys Miranda 24,564
San Pedro Perulapan Lazaro Flores 56,159
San Jose Guayabal 10,069
Tenancingo Rosa Cartagena 7,503
San Rafael Cedros Nery Gonzalez 19,421
Candelaria Ricardo Flores 11,799
El Carmen Omar Pineda 17,616
Monte San Juan Felix Mendoza 13,065
San Cristobal Pedro Vasquez 10,186
Santa Cruz Michapa Jaime De Paz 13,682
San Bartolome Perulapia Ronald Ortiz 9,780
San Ramon 5,784
El Rosario Manuel Tejada 4,097
Oratorio de Concepcion Melvin Garcia 4,491
Santa Cruz Analquito Cristobal Hernandez 13,682

La Paz

The department of La Paz and its municipalities is located in the central region of the country; the capital city of the department is Zacatecoluca.

The economy of most of the municipalities is based on agriculture; it produces items such as coffee, cotton, sugar cane, Tabacco, and others.

In this department, you will find touristic spots such as La Costa del Sol, Los Blancos beach, Zunganera beach, among others. Additionally, the department shares part of Ilopango Lake and Chinchontepec volcano.

Municipality Mayor Population
Zacatecoluca Orsy Moreno 82,415
Santiago Nonualco Damaris Escobar 42,084
San Juan Nonualco Carlos Martinez 17,544
San Pedro Masahuat Carlos Ramos 28,963
Olocuilta Ronald Lopez 32,413
San Pedro Nonualco Juan Pablo Perez 11,820
San Francisco Chinameca Oscar Rojas 8,104
San Juan Talpa Juan Tamacas 8,169
El Rosario Ronald Tobar 20,145
San Rafael Obrajuelo Luis Hernandez 11,392
Santa María Ostuma Edwin Cordova 7,106
San Luis Talpa Juan Tamacas 29,525
San Antonio Masahuat Nelson Ortiz 4,680
San Miguel Tepezontes Juan Cortez 6,259
San Juan Tepezontes Francisco Candray 4,595
Tapalhuaca Jose Quezada 4,007
Cuyultitan Susana Amaya 5,951
Paraiso de Osorio Jose Campos 3,976
San Emigdio Carlos Garcia 3,564
Jerusalen Víctor Martinez 2,659
Mercedes La Ceiba 1,008
San Luis La Herradura Napoleon Iraheta 21,250

San Vicente

If you ask Salvadoran’s about what they know about the department of San Vicente and its municipalities, most of them will respond with the San Vicente volcano, the city of San Vicente, and the city of San Sebastian.

The San Vicente volcano or Chinchontepec is one of the most majestic volcanoes in the country; the cities of San Vicente and San Sebastian are small towns with plenty of character and touristic appeal.

Also, the department of San Vicente and its municipalities played a significant role during the 1980s armed conflict; there was a military base with a helicopter landing area at the summit of the San Vicente volcano.

Municipality Mayor Political
Party
San Vicente Jose Barrientos NI
Tecoluca Nicolás García NI
San Sebastian Nicolás García NI
Apastepeque Samuel Carrillo NI-CD
San Esteban Catarina Lilian Portillo FMLN
San Ildefonso Carlos Soriano ARENA
Santa Clara Elba López ARENA
San Lorenzo Juan Carlos Aguilera NI
Verapaz Santos Campos GANA
Guadalupe José Renderos NI
Santo Domingo Yoni Fuentes GANA
San Cayetano Istepeque Raúl Mejía ARENA
Tepetitan Wilian Portillo FMLN

Cabañas

The department of Cabañas is located in the north-central part of the country. It has a total of nine districts, with the principal municipality being Sensuntepeque.

The department and its municipalities are classified as one of the poorest in the country. Over 55% of the population in Cabañas are classified as being impoverished.

The department is mainly involved in agricultural production; however, the city of Ilobasco is known for its pottery industry.

Municipality Mayor PP
Sensuntepeque Chepito Alfaro GANA
Ilobasco Antonio Serrano NI
Victoria Irma Morales NI
San Isidro Gustavo Andrade NI-CD
Jutiapa Adrián Castellanos ARENA
Tejutepeque Amadeo Alvarado NI
Dolores
Cinquera Carlos Mendoza NO
Guacotecti Jamileth Rodríguez PCN

Usulutan

The department of Usulutan is one of the largest in the country; it is located in the eastern part of the country. The principal municipality in the department is Usulutan.

The department was created in 1865, and it has a total of 23 municipalities. The locations that get the most tourist in the department are Alegria with its lagoon and the Usulutan volcano.

Municipality Mayor PP
Usulutan Luis Ayala NI
Jiquilisco Roberto Misael Pérez GANA
Berlin Andrés Elías Monterrosa NI
Santiago de Maria Nelson Gómez NI
Jucuapa Selvin Martínez NI
Santa Elena Joaquín Parada NI
Jucuaran José Álvaro Rodríguez NI
San Agustin Carlos Alberto Gamez FMLN
Ozatlan José Alexander Batres ARENA
Estanzuelas Salvador Quintanilla NI
Mercedes Umaña Juan Pineda NI
Alegria Armando Evimilex Meléndez NI
Concepcion Batres Benjamín Machuca ARENA
San Francisco Javier Enan Gualberto Mejía FMLN
Puerto El Triunfo Juver Portillo NI
Tecapan Williams Ponce NI
San Dionisio Agustín Zelaya NI
Ereguayquín Yohalmo Márquez FMLN
Santa María Roberto Navas PCN
Nueva Granada Isaac Guevara NI
El Triunfo Sara Zelaya NI
San Buenaventura Juan Hernández NI
California Gustavo Aguirre FMLN

San Miguel

The department of San Miguel is home to the municipality of San Miguel, which in turn, is home to the second or third largest town in the country, the city of San Miguel.

The principal attractions in the department and its municipalities are the El Cuco beach, the city of San Miguel, the Chaparrastique volcano, and the city of Ciudad Barrios, which is the birthplace of Saint Oscar Romero.

In addition to the principal attractions, the department is known for the San Miguel Carnival, which takes place in November in the city of San Miguel.

Municipality Mayor PP
San Miguel Wilfredo Salgado NI-GANA
Chinameca José Mejicanos NI
El Transito Héctor Rivera NI
Ciudad Barrios José Acosta NI
Chirilagua Antonio Vásquez FMLN
Sesori Edgar Rutilio Serrano NI
San Rafael Oriente Reynaldo Villegas FMLN
Moncagua Adilio Torres NI
Lolotique Juan Hernández NI
San Jorge Melvin Nativi ARENA
Chapeltique Carlos Méndez PDC
San Gerardo Luis Quinteros PDC
Carolina Israel Nolasco Pineda NI
Quelepa Francis Noel Argueta NI-CD
San Luis de La Reina Carlos Alfredo Portillo NI
Nuevo Eden de San Juan Isabel Ordóñez Vásquez FMLN
Nueva Guadalupe Carlos Armando Espinoza NI
Uluazapa Carlos Ernesto Campos GANA
Comacaran Enris Antonio Arias FMLN
San Antonio del Mosco Osmín Martínez NI

Morazan

The department of Morazan is located in the eastern part of the country, near the border with Honduras.

Morazan is well-known for its mountainous terrain, pleasant weather, and eco-touristic activities. This department and its municipalities offer plenty of activities for those looking to get away from larger cities.

Another reason this department and its municipalities are well-known is because of the civil war of the 1980s. Morazan was one of the main guerilla strongholds in the country; this department was where many of the most bloody fights happened.

Also, this department is home to El Mozote, where one of the cruelest atrocities happened. According to historians, at El Mozote, the Salvadoran army massacred about 1000 locals that included women, men, and even infant children.

You can know more about the area and the civil war by visiting one of the following two web pages, Perquin Morazan, or The Peace Route in El Salvador.

Municipality Mayor PP
San Francisco Gotera Alfredo González NI
Jocoro Roberto Martínez NI
Corinto Abilio Villatoro NI
Sociedad Yimy Hernández GANA
Cacaopera José Argueta ARENA
Guatajiagua Mauricio Benítez NI
El Divisadero Angel Benitez FMLN
Jocoaitique Edwin Sánchez FMLN
Osicala Cedrick Vásquez PCN
Chilanga Pedro Vásquez GANA
Meanguera Jaime Vigil NI
Torola Gloria Barahona GANA
San Simon Isai Fuentes ARENA
Delicias de Concepcion David Villela ARENA
Joateca Esmeralda Pereira GANA
Arambala Julio Pereira NI
Lolotiquillo Francisco Lazo GANA
Yamabal Adonay Gómez ARENA
Yoloaiquin José Díaz NI
San Carlos Walter Romero GANA
El Rosario Loida Claros GANA
Perquin José Argueta NI
Sensembra Miguel González NI
Gualococti Rolando Escobar FMLN
San Fernando Rolando Escobar ARENA
San Isidro Carlos Coca VAMOS

La Union

The department of La Union is in the eastern part of the country; it is the easternmost of the Salvadoran departments, which ends at the Gulf of Fonseca.

The economy of La Union is mostly agricultural; nevertheless, it has the modern Port of La Union, that according to President Nayib Bukele, will serve as a point of economic and tourist development for the region.

Among the principal points for tourists are the beaches of El Tamarindo, Playas Negras, and Playitas. Furthermore, there is the Conchagua volcano, with its fantastic natural beauty and amazing views of the Gulf of Fonseca.

Lastly, La Union is home to the Gulf of Fonseca, a fantastic bay shared with Honduras and Nicaragua.

Municipality Mayor PP
La Union Oscar Parada NI
Santa Rosa de Lima Ronny Lazo ARENA
Pasaquina Aparicio Villatoro NI
San Alejo Orlando Castro GANA
Anamoros José Benitez NI
El Carmen Verónica Guevara NI
Conchagua Emelic Quezada NI
El Sauce Enrique Villatoro FMLN
Lislique Jaime Rivera NI
Yucuayquin Rosa Ramírez FMLN
Nueva Esparta Melva Meléndez NI
Poloros Rubén Martínez NI-CD
Bolivar Víctor García GANA
Concepcion de Oriente Hugo García NI-CD
Intipuca Elenilson Leonzo PCN
San Jose Mario Cruz GANA
Yayantique Joaquín Méndez NI-CD
Meanguera del Golfo Wilmer Canales NI

El Salvador Departments and Municipalities.

Just to recap, El Salvador Departments are divided into 14 regions, and the country has a total of 262 municipalities.

If you need more information about each municipality, you can visit the Salvadoran Institute for Municipal Development or ISDEM.