Living in El Salvador. Top Reasons for Moving to El Salvador

By Eddie Vasquez  | Updated on Sep 1st, 2022
San Salvador
San Salvador Metropolitan Area.

Living in El Salvador is an excellent option; year after year, many people from different nations choose to make the smallest country in Central America their new home. Life in El Salvador is a unique and attractive experience worth exploring.

Moving to El Salvador is a good option mainly because of the excellent tropical weather, the low cost of living, the pacific ocean beaches, the unique culture, the friendly people, and safety. Also, the country uses US dollars, which helps with inflation, and the United States is less than four hours away by plane.

Many people discard living in El Salvador because of the bad reputation the country has around the world. Yes, El Salvador has a reputation for being violent and crime-ridden, a distinction that is hard to deny. However, lately, the country has made strides to become a safer country and a more attractive choice for living in Central America.

San Salvador El Salvador
El Salvador Capital City.

1. The Cost of Living. A Good Reason for Living in El Salvador

The cost of living is a good reason for moving to El Salvador. Life in El Salvador is less expensive than in other countries in Central America, with similar characteristics.

For instance, countries like Costa Rica and Panama, which are the favorite nations to move to in Central America, are more expensive than El Salvador. Costa Rica and Panama are more developed than El Salvador; therefore, living costs are higher.

Guatemala tends to have a similar cost of living as El Salvador. On the other hand, countries like Honduras and Nicaragua are somewhat less expensive than El Salvador. Since they don’t have the US dollar as their main legal currency, inflation in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua tends to fluctuate more.

Cost of Living Index in Central America’s largest cities
R City Index
1st Panama City, Panama 127
2nd San Jose, Costa Rica 118
3rd Guatemala City, Guatemala 105
4th San Salvador, El Salvador 100
5th San Pedro Sula, Honduras 89
6th Tegucigalpa, Honduras 83
7th Managua, Nicaragua 67

As you can see, San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital, is in the middle. It’s not the cheapest or the most expensive. Based on this information, we can conclude that living in El Salvador will cost less than living in most Central American nations.

So, what is the cost of living in El Salvador? It varies depending on what part of the country you live in and your lifestyle. The cost of living in El Salvador is comparable to the area you want to call home and the lifestyle you want to have.

In El Salvador, a family can live comfortably with $1,000 per month. Evidently, in more upscale areas of cities like San Salvador or Santa Tecla, you will need more than $1,000 per month.

If moving to El Salvador is an option you are considering. It will be up to you to decide how much influence the cost of living has on deciding to move or not move to El Salvador.

2. The Excellent Weather

The excellent climate is a reason many people chose to move to El Salvador. The country has tropical weather that can be enjoyed the entire year, even during the winter or rainy season.

The country has two seasons, dry or summer and wet or winter; the dry season is from November to April, and the wet season is from May to October.

A good thing about Life in El Salvador is that you can enjoy the same activities the entire year; it does not matter if it’s summer or winter. The activities might be slightly different in each season but still somewhat similar.

Living in El Salvador
Surfers at El Tunco beach. Photo by Edwin Nuñes

For example, you can go to the beach during the summer or winter; the only difference is that it could rain during the winter season; nevertheless, the weather will still be pleasant.

You can also visit one of the national parks during summer or winter, and the weather will always be enjoyable. Without a doubt, the Salvadoran tropical weather is a good reason for living in El Salvador or moving to El Salvador.

3. Year-round Activities

El Salvador has plenty of year-round activities to enjoy with friends or family, from the coastal area with its beautiful beaches to colorful mountains with small towns full of traditions and history.

It will not matter where in the country you decide to live; there will always be plenty of activities to do near you. It will be up to you to choose what you want to do every day.

For instance, you can go hiking in a natural park or volcano and enjoy nature at any time of the year. Also, you can go to the beach and enjoy the warm pacific waters, even during the winter months.

El Salvador is home to incredible natural parks, which are not hard to visit since the country is small. El Boqueron National Park and Bicentennial Park are near the capital. Additionally, Los Volcanoes National Park, one of the country’s best natural areas, is located about 40 miles from the capital.

El Salvador has excellent beaches all over the coastal territory; they are ideal for all kinds of visitors. Some of these beaches are perfect for relaxation and family activities, and some are excellent for surfing.

As you can imagine, finding something to do in El Salvador is not an issue. Many people move to El Salvador because of everything available to do at any time of the year.

Living in El Salvador
View from Hotel de Montaña Cerro Verde.

4. The Great Customs and Traditions

Living in El Salvador will expose you to fantastic customs and traditions, some of which date back to colonial times. These customs and traditions are celebrated either nationally or locally throughout the year.

At a national level, I can mention the following festivities, Easter week, the day of the cross, the August festivities, independence day, all soul’s day, national pupusa day, and Christmas.

Locally, each city or municipality has its festivities or traditions; they go on for a few days to a few weeks; for example, the Panchimalco flowers and palms festival, the San Miguel Carnival, and the patron saint festivities of each municipality.

Almost all the festivities involve religion in one way or another. It’s a fact that religion, especially Catholicism, has played a pivotal role in the nation’s history since colonial times.

You can always enjoy the festivities, even if you are not into religion. Each celebration has activities for nonreligious people, like carnivals, live music, local food, etc.

Independence day parade
Independence day parade.

5. Friendly People

Salvadorans are one of the warmest and friendliest people in Central America; yes, that is correct. You don’t need to only take my word for it. You can search online and see what visitors and residents say about the Salvadoran people.

Generally, tourists who have visited the country say pleasant things about the people. Also, foreigners who have lived and left the country don’t mention the Salvadoran people as the reason for moving out.

Because of what is in the news regularly, the country is displayed as violent and crime-ridden; some people may think all Salvadorans are violent, but that is further from the truth.

The vast majority of Salvadorans are family and community-oriented people; they go out of their way to introduce themselves and offer help to anyone moving into the community, mostly foreigners. Living around friendly people is a good reason for moving to El Salvador.

6. Safety. Living in El Salvador now is safe

Over the last 20 years, El Salvador has been one of the most dangerous countries worldwide. The good news is now, that is not the case anymore. The current administration has worked hard to reduce the country’s crime and violence.

El Salvador has become safer; for example, since 2006, San Salvador has been one of the top five most dangerous cities in the world. As of 2020, San Salvador is not among the top 50 most dangerous cities worldwide.

Also, the 2022 homicide rate in El Salvador is one of the lowest in Latin America; it is more proof that El Salvador is not as dangerous as it used to be.

Other INFO about Living in El Salvador

If you are looking to live in the most extensive urban environment in El Salvador, then living in San Salvador, the nation’s capital is a good option. San Salvador is the largest city and the country and the center for everything related to culture, business, education, and government.

If you are looking to live in the most extensive urban environment in El Salvador, then living in San Salvador, the nation’s capital is a good option. San Salvador is the largest city and the country and the center for everything related to culture, business, education, and government.

Living in El Salvador is about how you want to live and what you want to do; there is no one way to describe what it is like living in El Salvador. For example, I know people who love living near the ocean. Their daily routine includes surfing, exploring the country, and hitting the bars for happy hour.

On the other hand, I know a couple who lives in Juayua, a small colorful town up in the mountain. They enjoy the slow pace of life and the weather. Their daily routine includes enjoying the community, drinking locally produced coffee in the afternoon, and relax the mountainous climate.

By the way, I also know people who live and work in the urban parts of San Salvador and Santa Tecla. Their life in El Salvador involves the daily hustle of city work, which includes heavy traffic.

You can live in an urban environment like San Salvador, at the beach in towns like El Tunco, or in a small town such as Apaneca or Juayua.

Life in El Salvador
San Salvador, El Salvador Capital.
Living in El Salvador
Sunset at El Salvador coastal area.

Moving to El Salvador. Choosing to Live in El Salvador

Now, for those of you, who are thinking about moving to El Salvador, I hope the reasons I mentioned in this article help you when making that decision. Remember, El Salvador has some issues, but it’s a great country to call home; many people have chosen to move to El Salvador and are happy with their decisions.