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

Santa Ana El Salvador

Santa Ana, El Salvador, is the second-largest city in the country that plays a significant role in the nation’s tourism and economy. Some of the best tourist spots in the country are in the city or nearby. Furthermore, the retail and manufacturing industry of Santa Ana is of great importance to the Salvadoran economy.

The city of Santa Ana El Salvador is perfect for those looking for a town with a fascinating history, great local traditions, and plenty of activities. Additionally, the city has iconic buildings, a charming historic district, and excellent shopping.

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.

Santa Ana Cathedral
Santa Ana Cathedral. Photo by: Erickssonr.

Santa Ana is a popular tourist destination, particularly for those who want to learn about Salvadoran culture. Also, it is ideally located in the middle of the top tourist destinations in the country.

Is Santa Ana El Salvador safe to visit?

Yes, Santa Ana is deemed a safe city. However, that doesn’t mean that you can be careless and not worry about safety at all; at the end of the day, this is El Salvador. Santa Ana, just like many cities in the country and in Central America, has safe areas and areas considered unsafe.

The best advice that I can give anyone 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, please visit our page about safety in El Salvador. There, you will find useful information about security in El Salvador.

Top things to do in Santa Ana.

The top things to do in Santa Ana include a visit to the Santa Ana Cathedral, exploring the Santa naa theater, and stroll around.

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. Therefore, most people visiting the town use it as a base of operations. They spend time exploring the city and take day trips to other touristic spots nearby.

Visit the Santa Ana Cathedral.

One of the most visited iconic buildings in the city of Santa Ana is the Cathedral of Our Lady Saint Anne or La Catedral de Santa Ana in Spanish.

The Santa Ana Cathedral was built around 1575. Subsequently, it was destroyed by lighting at the end of the 19th century and then rebuilt from 1906 to 1959.

People visit this Cathedral for either religious purposes or to admire the incredible neo-gothic architectural design. When visiting the City of Santa Ana, you definitely need to stop and appreciate the beauty of the Cathedral; it’s a must!

Visit the Santa Ana Theather.

The Santa Ana theater is another iconic building that you should visit. This neoclassic French style theater was built in 1912 with funds collected by taxing coffee growers in the area. The theater’s entire architectural design is impressive.

When visiting the city of Santa Ana, you should look at the theater and its history, furthermore, see if there is a play showing that you might like.

Santa Ana at night
Santa Ana El Salvador

Stroll around the city of Santa Ana.

Strolling around the city is a great way to get to know the town and the local culture; you can visit museums, go shopping, visit the markets, and much more.

While strolling the city, you can stop at one of the local museums such as The Museum of human anatomy or the Western Regional Museum; they are small but have excellent displays.

Also, you can stroll into the local markets and experience the local culture; however, local markets are not for everyone. Some people don’t like the chaos that happens in the markets, while others think it is a charming cultural activity. If you are looking for formal shopping, visit Metrocentro, a large shopping mall located at the entrance of the city.

Walking throughout the city is the thing to do if you want to experience local culture at its best.

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

As I previously mentioned, Santa Ana is an ideal city to use as a base of operation; you can stay here and take day trips to popular touristic destinations that are nearby. These are the most suitable destinations to visit from Santa Ana.

Hike the Santa Ana or Izalco Volcano.

The Santa Ana and Izalco volcano are located within two hours of Santa Ana city. They are by far the most attractive volcanoes in the country when it comes to hiking to the summit.

From the volcano’s summit, you will get iconic views of the other two volcanos in Cerro Verde National Park, the surrounding areas, and the Coatepeque Lake.

Visiting these volcanoes is so popular that every tour company has hiking these volcanoes as a top thing to do in the country. Also, it’s impossible to hike both volcanoes on the same day, even though they are near each other.

Cerro Verde National Park
Cerro Verde National Park

Explore archaeological sites.

The top archaeological 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. To learn more about all archeological sites in El Salvador, visit our page, Mayan Ruins in El Salvador.

Visit Coatepeque Lake.

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

This extensive volcanic lake was once a sacred site for the ancient Maya civilization. Now, Coatepeque is a lake that is visited by a lot of local and foreign tourists.

Juayua and other towns in La Ruta de Las Flores.

The city of Juayua other towns in La Ruta de Las Fores are accessible from the City of Santa Ana.

Juayua is a famous town in La Ruta de Las Flores; this small city is well-known for its weekend food festivals. Even though the municipality 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 that can be done inside the city or nearby. 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.

The Santa Ana July festivities.

The Santa Ana July festivities are celebrated every year in the last two weeks of July. The celebrations are in honor of Our lady of Santa Ana, patron saint of the city.

These July festivities are among the top celebrations in the country. The activities held during these weeks are mainly religious. However, it also includes outdoor festivities, live music, and gastronomy, to name a few.

Accommodations 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. To view a list of available hostels and hotels in the city of Santa Ana, visit

Municipality Palace
Santa Ana Municipality Palace, photo by: Mario R. Duran

A short history of Santa Ana El Salvador.

According to Salvadoran historical records, the City of Santa Ana is of pre-Columbian origin. Evidence of Preclassic settlements was found in Santa Ana; these settlements were eliminated by the eruption of Lake Ilopango.

Between 1530 and 1540, the city was conquered by the Spanish. And in 1569, it was given the name of Santa Ana, La Grande.

Santa Ana received the title of town around 1812. However, it was not until 1824 that it received the title of city. Also, in 1824, Santa Ana became part of the department of Sonsonate. In 1835, it became the department’s head city or capital.

In 1855, the department of Santa Ana was created; subsequently, the city became its central city or capital.

The economy of Santa Ana El Salvador.

The City of Santa Ana is of high significance to the nation’s economy. Retail, manufacturing, and tourism are the three most important sectors in the city.

The retail industry is big in Santa Ana, especially in the southern part of the city; here, you will find restaurants, retail shops, hotels, banks, and local markets. Additionally, Metrocentro, a large shopping plaza, is located here, and so is Walmart.

Manufacturing is significant in the city of Santa Ana; there are many factories and assembly plants that produce goods for the country and for exporting.

The tourist industry plays a significant role in the local economy; Santa Ana is a hub for local and international tourists that spend time exploring the city and other nearby tourist spots.

Getting 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.

The city of Santa Ana El Salvador.

Santa Ana in El Salvador is a city with excellent traditions and history; for that reason, many people visit this city every year. The same traditions and history that attracts visitors also make it an excellent city to live in. Visit the city of Santa Ana; you will love it!

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