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.
The department of Ahuachapan is the westernmost of the 14 departments in El Salvador; it borders with Guatemala to the north of the department.
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.
|Ahuachapan||Juan Carlos Zepeda||125,544|
|Concepcion de Ataco||Oscar Gomez||12,649|
|El Refugio||Darwin Regalado||11,522|
|San Francisco Menendez||Adin Zetino||47,803|
|San Lorenzo||Joel Corado||10,264|
|San Pedro Puxtla||Jose Zaldaña||9,826|
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.
|Sonsonate||Rafael Edgardo Arevalo||80,817|
|Acajutla||Isaac Benjamin Hernandez||58,252|
|Armenia||Adrian Wilfredo Figueroa||41,519|
|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|
|Santa Isabel Ishuatan||Juan Jose Portillo||11,899|
|Salcoatitan||Blanca Maribel Solano||5,667|
|Santo Domingo De Guzman||Mauricio Alfonso Calderon||9,474|
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.
|Santa Ana||Gustavo Acevedo||251,095|
|El Congo||Wilfredo Ramos||31,013|
|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|
|San Antonio Pajonal||Walter Martinez||3,985|
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.
|Santa Tecla||Henry Flores||127,294|
|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|
|San Pablo Tacachico||Mario Castillo||24,429|
|Nuevo Cuscatlan||Jose Dueñas||11,150|
|San Jose VillaNueva||—||20,015|
|San Matias||Genaro Aguillon||9,023|
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.
|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|
|San Ignacio||Ernesto Posada||9,049|
|Dulce Nombre de Maria||Hugo Francis Clavel||4,168|
|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|
|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|
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.
|San Salvador||Mario Duran||335,982|
|Ciudad Delgado||Mario Vasquez||123,258|
|San Marcos||Cindy Andrade||60,358|
|San Martin||Mauricio Arias||92,508|
|Santo Tomas||Fredy Ayala||30,996|
|Santiago Texacuangos||Patricia Perez||22,626|
|El Paisnal||Reina Chavez||17,516|
|Rosario de Mora||Juan Barrera||16,798|
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.
|San Pedro Perulapan||Lazaro Flores||56,159|
|San Jose Guayabal||—||10,069|
|San Rafael Cedros||Nery Gonzalez||19,421|
|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|
|El Rosario||Manuel Tejada||4,097|
|Oratorio de Concepcion||Melvin Garcia||4,491|
|Santa Cruz Analquito||Cristobal Hernandez||13,682|
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.
|Santiago Nonualco||Damaris Escobar||42,084|
|San Juan Nonualco||Carlos Martinez||17,544|
|San Pedro Masahuat||Carlos Ramos||28,963|
|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|
|Paraiso de Osorio||Jose Campos||3,976|
|San Emigdio||Carlos Garcia||3,564|
|Mercedes La Ceiba||—||1,008|
|San Luis La Herradura||Napoleon Iraheta||21,250|
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.
|San Vicente||Jose Barrientos||NI|
|San Sebastian||Nicolás García||NI|
|San Esteban Catarina||Lilian Portillo||FMLN|
|San Ildefonso||Carlos Soriano||ARENA|
|Santa Clara||Elba López||ARENA|
|San Lorenzo||Juan Carlos Aguilera||NI|
|Santo Domingo||Yoni Fuentes||GANA|
|San Cayetano Istepeque||Raúl Mejía||ARENA|
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.
|San Isidro||Gustavo Andrade||NI-CD|
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.
|Jiquilisco||Roberto Misael Pérez||GANA|
|Berlin||Andrés Elías Monterrosa||NI|
|Santiago de Maria||Nelson Gómez||NI|
|Santa Elena||Joaquín Parada||NI|
|Jucuaran||José Álvaro Rodríguez||NI|
|San Agustin||Carlos Alberto Gamez||FMLN|
|Ozatlan||José Alexander Batres||ARENA|
|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|
|San Dionisio||Agustín Zelaya||NI|
|Santa María||Roberto Navas||PCN|
|Nueva Granada||Isaac Guevara||NI|
|El Triunfo||Sara Zelaya||NI|
|San Buenaventura||Juan Hernández||NI|
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.
|San Miguel||Wilfredo Salgado||NI-GANA|
|El Transito||Héctor Rivera||NI|
|Ciudad Barrios||José Acosta||NI|
|Sesori||Edgar Rutilio Serrano||NI|
|San Rafael Oriente||Reynaldo Villegas||FMLN|
|San Jorge||Melvin Nativi||ARENA|
|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|
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.
|San Francisco Gotera||Alfredo González||NI|
|El Divisadero||Angel Benitez||FMLN|
|San Simon||Isai Fuentes||ARENA|
|Delicias de Concepcion||David Villela||ARENA|
|San Carlos||Walter Romero||GANA|
|El Rosario||Loida Claros||GANA|
|San Fernando||Rolando Escobar||ARENA|
|San Isidro||Carlos Coca||VAMOS|
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.
|La Union||Oscar Parada||NI|
|Santa Rosa de Lima||Ronny Lazo||ARENA|
|San Alejo||Orlando Castro||GANA|
|El Carmen||Verónica Guevara||NI|
|El Sauce||Enrique Villatoro||FMLN|
|Nueva Esparta||Melva Meléndez||NI|
|Concepcion de Oriente||Hugo García||NI-CD|
|San Jose||Mario Cruz||GANA|
|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