El Salvador has a pretty negative reputation in the media, but it’s a reputation that is perhaps a little more complex than you might initially imagine. Many people say that El Salvador is dangerous; it has a high murder rate per capita, for example, and it has problems with gang warfare and other violent crime. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story of El Salvador, which is a country that can be incredibly welcoming and warm if you go to the right places. Here’s how you can prepare for a trip to El Salvador if you’re planning to visit soon.
Get some funding together
You will find that El Salvador is one of the cheapest places you can visit (in terms of cost, of course; there’s plenty of wonderful stuff to see that will give you a high-quality holiday). However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to gather funding together if you want to go. Since El Salvador is such a low-cost country, however, you should be able to scrape by even if you simply apply for £1000 loans. This amount should get you accommodation for a few days, as well as access to some of the bigger tourist sites in El Salvador.
Pick the right hotel
If you’re staying in San Salvador, you will find that there are hotel chains there for you to stay in, so if you prefer familiarity and comfort over adventure, you won’t need to worry. However, the further out you move from the capital, the more you’ll notice locally-owned hotels that don’t quite adhere to the same standards; they might be more interesting and adventurous, but they aren’t quite as well-maintained as the chains. Make sure you’re staying in the venue that matches your particular preference when it comes to holidaying abroad.
Just like with any holiday, you need to make sure you pack right if you’re going to travel to El Salvador. First, you’re going to need whatever documentation your country requires you to have in order to travel. If you’re in the USA, you don’t need a special visa to travel to El Salvador, but other countries might vary, so make sure you know what you’re doing in this regard. It’s also important to ensure that you have the right luggage and suitcases when you travel; the importance of choosing the best travel wallets to venture out with can’t be overstated either.
Make sure you plan your travel right
In many places around the world, there aren’t any direct flights to El Salvador, so you’ll probably need to fly to the USA first. Make sure you’ve planned your travel routes adequately because the last thing you want is to get lost along the way. Once you actually arrive in the country, you’ll want to start planning routes to see all the major tourist attractions, too, so make sure that you’ve got your itinerary mapped out. There’s nothing worse than trying to fit in all of your sightseeing and then realising you don’t have enough time to see everything.
Stay outside San Salvador if you want things cheaper
El Salvador’s official currency is the US dollar; it’s been that way since 2004, when the colónes currency was officially phased out. If you’re in the capital of San Salvador, you’ll find that a dollar pretty much goes just as far as it would in the USA, but if you start moving out into the sticks, everything will cost much less. This can be more wild and untamed territory, so it may feel a little more dangerous, but if you’re a seasoned traveller, that may be the kind of feeling you’re after. If you want to spend a little less, think about staying outside San Salvador.
Visit El Tunco, especially if you’re a surfer
Everyone in El Salvador knows that Tunco – known to those outside the country as El Tunco – is the premier place in the country for surfing. If you’re an avid surfer or even a beginner looking to catch your first waves, then you’ll definitely want to make a stop at El Tunco. The town itself is gorgeous, too, especially at sundown; there are few views as breathtaking as that of El Tunco when the sun is setting. If you’ve never surfed before, don’t worry; there are plenty of teachers in El Tunco who can help you to learn. The nightlife here is legendary, too.
Check out the Santa Ana volcano
The view from the top of the Santa Ana volcano is absolutely breathtaking and must be seen to be believed. Once you scale the summit, you’ll be able to look down into the crater lake, which shimmers blue against a beautiful boundary of greenery. This is all in the Cerro Verde park, which is an El Salvador national park, meaning that you’ll find some incredible views here. If you love to appreciate nature, then the Santa Ana volcano is a must-visit, so make sure you add this to your itinerary if you’re an outdoorsy type who loves to explore.
Try the Santa Ana cathedral
As you might have guessed, we’re huge fans of Santa Ana here. San Salvador may be a somewhat expensive city to stay in, but Santa Ana has its own attractions, including the absolutely stunning cathedral. The surrounding square also has some great places to eat, so you can sit and appreciate the building’s incredible architecture while you eat some of the world’s most underrated pizza. El Salvador is a strongly Catholic country, and nowhere is that more apparent than in this incredibly carefully-constructed monument to Christianity.