Santa Ana El Salvador. A city with excellent traditions and history.

Santa Ana El Salvador, a top touristic destination for those looking to learn about Salvadoran culture; furthermore, it is also a fantastic city to call home. Santa Ana is the second-largest city in the country, it has a significant role in the nation’s economy, and some of the best touristic spots in the country are nearby.

Why is Santa Ana in El Salvador so popular?

Because of everything, the city has a fascinating history with great local traditions, iconic buildings, an outstanding historic district, excellent shopping, friendly people, and fast access to some of the best touristic spots in the country.

With everything that the city offers, there is no wonder why Santa Ana is an attractive city to visit and a great place to live in.

Is Santa Ana a safe city?

Yes, Santa Ana is a safe city. But, that doesn’t mean that you should be careless and not worry about safety at all. Santa Ana, just like other cities in the country and in Central America, it has safe areas and bad areas.

The best advice that I can give you when visiting the city is to use common sense and plan ahead. You should outline the following, where you are going to stay, how you are going to move around, and what you plan to do and see.

Being safe in Santa Ana or El Salvador is all about using common sense, planning ahead, and following safety recommendations.

If you want more information about safety in El Salvador; read “Is El Salvador safe to visit?” It will give you information about safety in El Salvador.

What are the top things to do in Santa Ana?

The city of Santa Ana is a great city to visit; but in all honesty, the activities in the city can be done in a day or two.

Most people visiting the city, use it as a base of operations; they spend time exploring the city and take day trips to other touristic spots nearby. These are some of the best things to do in Santa Ana.

Visit the Santa Ana Cathedral.

The Cathedral of Our Lady Saint Anne, or La Catedral de la Señora Santa Ana, is a neo-gothic cathedral with an incredible architectural design. The Cathedral was built around 1575, destroyed by lighting at the beginning of the 19th century, and then rebuilt from 1906 to 1959. Visiting the cathedral is a must, if you visit the city of Santa Ana.

Visit the Santa Ana Theather.

The Santa Ana theater is another iconic building in the city that you should visit. This neoclassic French style theater was built in 1912, with funds collected by taxing coffee growers in the area.

The interior and exterior of the theatre are impressive, for that reason alone many people visit it every year. Also, check their box office for information, the theater might have a performance on while you are visiting.

Stroll around the city of Santa Ana in El Salvador.

Strolling around the city is a great way to get to know the city and the local culture.

While strolling the city, you can stop at one of the local museums like The Museum of human anatomy or the Western Regional Museum.

Stroll into the local markets, however, this is not for everyone; some people don’t like the chaos that happens in the markets while others think is a charming cultural activity.

If you are looking for formal shopping, visit Metrocentro, the only shopping mall in the city.

Things to do outside the city of Santa Ana in El Salvador.

As I mentioned early, Santa Ana is an ideal city to use as a base of operation and take day trips to other popular touristic destinations. These are the best destinations to visit from the city of Santa Ana.

  • Hike the Santa Ana or Izalco Volcano.

    These two volcanoes are within two hours of the Santa Ana city, they are by far the most popular when it comes to hiking to the summit.

    From the volcano’s summit, you will get iconic views of the other two volcanos, the surrounding areas, and the Coatepeque Lake. Every tour company has hiking these volcanoes as a top thing to do in the country.

    Additionally, it’s impossible to hike both volcanoes on the same day. If you can, explore them on separate days. Even though the volcanoes are near each other, they have different scenic views.

  • Explore archeological sites.

    The top archeological sites in the country are near the city of Santa Ana. Sites like San Andres, Joya de Ceren, Tazumal, and Casa Blanca are within two hours of the city.

  • Visit Coatepeque Lake.

    Coatepeque Lake is another fantastic touristic destination in the country that is near the city of Santa Ana.

    This large lake was once a sacred site for the ancient Maya civilization; but now, is a lake that is visited by a lot of local and foreign tourists.

  • Visit Juayua.

    Juayua is a popular town in La Ruta de Las Flores; this small city is well-known for its weekend food festivals. Even though the city of Juayua is in a different department; it’s easy to get to from Santa Ana. Some visitors or locals take day trips to Juayua and enjoy what the small town has to offer, especially on the weekends.

The city of Santa Ana has plenty of activities; so, there is no wonder why this city is popular with tourists. Stay in Santa Ana and explore all the touristic activities that the city offers. Then take day trips and explore the touristic spots near the city.

Where to stay at in Santa Ana?

The city of Santa Ana is in a large urban location; therefore, finding the right accommodations will not be difficult. The vast majority of hotels or hostels will be small family-owned places.

I will not be recommending any specific hotel in this city, but, you can use online services to find a hotel or hostel that fits your needs.

How to get to Santa Ana?

Santa Ana is located in the western part of the country closer to the Guatemalan border. It’s about 70 miles from the international airport and 40 miles from San Salvador.

There are many ways to get to Santa Ana, your starting point will be the deciding factor on which route to take. And the mode of transportation will be a factor in how long it will take you to get there.

Obviously, I recommend you to either drive or take a shuttle to Santa Ana. Yes, public transportation is an option and is the cheapest, but it will be the longest and tedious to get you there.

Contact the hotel or hostel that you are staying at, see if they offer free transportation or if they recommend another form of transportation.


Santa Ana in El Salvador is a city with wonderful traditions and history, for that reason many people visit this city every year. Obviously, the activities in or around the city are the top factor in the cities popularity. Nevertheless, visit the city of Santa Ana, you will love it!