El Salvador Travel Guide: Country & Destination Information for Visiting

Updated: 2019-05-12.

Republic of El Salvador • República de El Salvador

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but it is the most densely populated. It has a border with Guatemala to its northwest and Honduras to its east, and it has a maritime border in its south with Nicaragua, across the Gulf of Fonseca.

Similar to many Central and South American countries, it has a bad reputation often for being infested with crime like gang violence, yet that is far from reality. Sure, El Salvador may have been a dangerous place to visit, decades ago, but it is now a locale just waiting to be discovered. If you check it out now, you will still have much to explore that hasn’t yet been seen by most travelers, though it will soon, surely.

The capital city, San Salvador, is a progressive destination that stimulates all the senses. Try some of the local cuisine and pick up some goods from the street vendors. San Miguel is another of the country’s largest cities, full of beautiful Spanish colonial architecture and festive markets. And Santa Ana, with its beautiful Gothic cathedral and colonial buildings, offers a nice base in the western portion of the country.

The highest point in El Salvador is Cerro El Pital, at 2,730 m (8,957 ft).

flag of El Salvador

El Salvador Travel Information & Key Points

General points to know about the country of El Salvador – demographics, important ages, phone numbers, key statistics, and more, whether you’re traveling there or not.

Capital: San Salvador (& largest city)

Population: 6.4 million (2019 estimate)

Language(s)Spanish

President: Salvador Sánchez Cerén

Vice President: Óscar Ortiz

CurrencyUS Dollars $ (USD)

Area: 21,041 km2 (8,124 mi2)

Dialing Code: +503

Time Zone: Central Standard Time “CST” (UTC-6)
•   DST/Summer Time: N/A

Demonym: Salvadoran (what is a demonym?)

Endonym: El Salvador (their name for their country)

Emergency Number: 911

Drinking Age: 18

Smoking Age: None (but purchase age of 18)

Age of Consent: 18

Drives on the: Right

Electricity & Adapter: 115 V, 60 Hz, Plug Types A / B (define)

ISO Country Code: SV