El Salvador

San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, and the capital of the San Salvador department.It is the country's most populated municipality as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.Due to destruction caused by earthquakes, original Spanish colonial period structures are almost non-existent in the city; instead Gothic- and Modernist-style cathedrals have taken their place.

Info San Salvador


San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, and the capital of the San Salvador department.

It is the country's most populated municipality as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.

Due to destruction caused by earthquakes, original Spanish colonial period structures are almost non-existent in the city; instead Gothic- and Modernist-style cathedrals have taken their place. Architecturally, San Salvador's noteworthy structures have distinct Modern, Googie and Populuxe influences, similarly to those of Los Angeles, a city San Salvador is influenced by.

As a gamma global city, San Salvador is also an important financial center hub within Central America. The city is home to the Concejo de Ministros de El Salvador (Council of Ministries of El Salvador), La Asamblea Legislativa (The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador), the Corte Suprema de Justicia (The Supreme Court), and other governmental institutions, as well as the official residence of the president of the Republic.

San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano. It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people.

It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. 

POPULATION : City: 567,698 / Metro: 2,442,017
FOUNDED :  1525
TIME ZONE : Central Standard Time (UTC-6)
LANGUAGE : Spanish
RELIGION : Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8%
AREA : 72.25 km2 (27.9 sq mi) 
ELEVATION : 658 m (2,159 ft)
COORDINATES : 13°41′24″N 89°11′24″W
SEX RATIO : Male: 47.40%  
 Female: 52.60%
ETHNIC : mestizo 86%, white 12%, other 2%


San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano.

It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people. It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. The downtown area is filled with shops and modern buildings, but unfortunately earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the city's historic buildings.

The people of San Salvador are generally friendly, though as in any large city, less inclined to engage in conversations with strangers on the street as opposed to other parts of the country. The wealthy live in exclusive suburbs behind tall security walls or luxury condominium buildings. Wealthier areas such as San Benito, Colonia Escalon, Colonia San Francisco, Colonia Maquilishuat, Santa Elena (where the US embassy is located) and Ciudad Merliot have tree-lined avenues, the biggest malls in Central America, bars, clubs, gyms, restaurants, luxury hotels, modern high-rise buildings, plazas, boutiques, cafes, luxury salons, jewelry stores, etc. Some of these neighborhoods are located in the hills surrounding the city and have breathtaking views. A number of new gated housing communities complete with parks, swimming pools, fitness facilities and tight security are popular with middle class families. Most of the city's hotels can be found in these suburbs.

There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthy neighborhoods. Poorer areas are located in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's fringes.

San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm. Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.

Whilst not on most tourists' "to do" list in El Salvador, the capital provides a good base for exploring the rest of the country as it's a transportation hub, with most major roads running through it due to its central location. Spending a few days exporing this cosmopolitan and internationally-conscious city can be a rewarding experience. Whilst parts can seem like a maze of confusion, rich vs poor, modern vs dilapitaded, cars vs pedestrians, the city has played a major role in defining and shaping the rest of this small yet intruiging country, once at the forefront of the Cold War. To understand this polarized country, it is essential to understand its political, cultural and social headquarters.


Before the Spanish conquest, the Pipil people established their capital, Cuzcatlan, near the current location of San Salvador. Not much is known about Cuzcatlan, as it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule. Under the orders of conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, his associates Gonzalo de Alvarado and Diego de Holguín occupied the empty settlement and began to develop it. Diego de Holguín became the first mayor of San Salvador after the town was founded on April 1, 1525. The town changed location twice, in 1528 and 1545. Originally established in what is now the archaeological site of Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas, so named for the intense seismic activity that characterizes it. The new site was chosen because it had more space and more fertile land, thanks to the Acelhuate River. The population of the city remained relatively small until the early 20th century.

Before the Spanish conquest, the Pipil people established their capital, Cuzcatlan, near the current location of San Salvador. Not much is known about Cuzcatlan, as it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule. Under the orders of conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, his associates Gonzalo de Alvarado and Diego de Holguín occupied the empty settlement and began to develop it. Diego de Holguín became the first mayor of San Salvador after the town was founded on April 1, 1525. The town changed location twice, in 1528 and 1545. Originally established in what is now the archaeological site of Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas, so named for the intense seismic activity that characterizes it. The new site was chosen because it had more space and more fertile land, thanks to the Acelhuate River. The population of the city remained relatively small until the early 20th century.

n 1917, an earthquake during an eruption of the nearby San Salvador volcano (also known as Quetzaltepec) damaged the city, but it escaped additional damage because the lava flowed down the back side of the volcano. On December 2, 1931, president Arturo Araujo was ousted by a military coup d'état and replaced by a military directorate. The directorate named vice-president Maximiliano Hernández Martínez as president and Araujo went into exile. The Martínez regime lasted from December 4, 1931 to May 6, 1944.

In 1964, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) candidate, José Napoleon Duarte, an engineer, was elected mayor; he served from 1964 to 1970. During his term he ordered construction of the Pancho Lara park in the Vista Hermosa neighborhood, renewed the electrical grid, and set up a system of schools for adult education. The 1960s to the 1980s were the golden age of San Salvador in all aspects of security, quality of life, and modernization.

The 1986 San Salvador earthquake destroyed many government buildings and other important structures, injuring and killing hundreds. Thousands of people were displaced by the disaster and many struggled to find shelter in the ruins.

In 1986, Mayor Morales Ehrlich closed streets in the downtown of the city to create a large pedestrian mall, which has resulted in chronic traffic congestion. Since 2009, Mayor Norman Quijano has worked for the redevelopment of parks and historic buildings in the Rescate del Centro Histórico, which involves the removal of street vendors. This has led to several riots in the area, but he has managed to place the vendors in new markets where they can operate their own stalls. The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed on January 16, 1992, ending 22 years of civil war. The signing is celebrated as a national holiday with people flooding downtown San Salvador in the Plaza Gerardo Barrios and in La Libertad Park.


San Salvador has a tropical wet and dry climate and enjoys warm weather all year round, with daily mean temperatures of 27 °C (81 °F) (80 °F). 

Its weather cools from the months of November through February due to seasonal winds of the dry season. During these months one can expect a daily mean of 24.5 °C (76.1 °F).

The hottest months of the year are April and May, during the transition from the dry season (October–April), to the rainy season (May–September). In April and May temperatures may reach 32 °C (89.6 °F).

Thunderstorms occur almost daily during the rainy season, mostly in the afternoon and through the night—by morning the sky clears and the days are usually sunny till the afternoon storms. San Salvador has a relatively benign climate; the temperature range is constant through the year, and it gets more than adequate rain. Occasional cold fronts can drop temperatures to a range of 10 to 15 °C (50 to 59 °F). The passage of cold fronts is facilitated by the volcanic range west of the city: air cools as it moves over the high altitudes of this region, then descends to the San Salvador Valley. Hail storms occur rarely, while tornadoes have never been recorded. Hurricanes pass over the city only occasionally.

Climate data for San Salvador

Record high °C (°F)38.3
Average high °C (°F)30.3
Daily mean °C (°F)22.2
Average low °C (°F)16.3
Record low °C (°F)7.2
Source #1: Hong Kong Observatory (average temperature)
Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (precipitation and sun)


The city is located in the Boquerón Volcano Valley, a region of high seismic activity. The city's average elevation is 659 metres (2,162 feet) above sea level, but ranges from a highest point of 1,186 metres (3,891 feet) above sea level to a lowest point of 596 m (1,955 ft) above sea level.

The municipality is surrounded by these natural features of the landscape: southward by the Cordillera del Balsamo (Balsam Mountain Range); westward by the Boquerón Volcano and Cerro El Picacho, the highest point in the municipality at 1,929 m (6,329 ft). El Boquerón Volcano was dormant since its last eruption in 1917, but has been active recently.

East of the municipality lies the San Jacinto Hill and the caldera of Lake Ilopango, the largest natural body of water in the country with an area of 72 square kilometres (28 square miles). The caldera is seismically active, but has not erupted since 1880.


San Salvador is not only the capital of El Salvador, but also disproportionately concentrates economic activity in the country. The metropolitan area accounts for only 3% of the national territory, yet 70% of public and private investment is made there. The economy of San Salvador, Antiguo Cuscatlán, and Santa Tecla is a mixed one composed mainly of services, private education, banking, business headquartering, and industrial manufacturing.

San Salvador, as well as the rest of the country, has used the U.S. dollar as its currency of exchange since 2001. This has been a boon to the Salvadoran economy as it encourages foreign investors to launch new companies in El Salvador, saving them the inconvenience of conversion to other currencies. San Salvador's economy is mostly based on the service and retail sector, rather than on industry or manufacturing.

As the nation's capital, San Salvador supports many commercial activities, including food and beverage production, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, the sale of automobiles, handicrafts, and construction materials, and appliance repair. Grupo TACA, a multinational consortium which includes the national airlines of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and other Central American countries, has its headquarters in San Salvador.Other companies with headquarters in San Salvador include the Unicomer Group, Almacenes Simán, Grupo Roble, Grupo Real, Excel Automotríz, and Grupo Q. Many international companies like Dell, Microsoft, Continental airlines, Hewlett-Packard, etc., have their regional headquarters in San Salvador. Banks in the cty include Banco Agrícola, Citibank, HSBC, Scotiabank, BAC-Credomatic, Banco Promérica, Banco Pro-Credit and the Mexican Banco Azteca.


The San Salvador Municipality is naturally delimited by the Acelhuate River on the east, the San Jacinto Hill on the south east, the lower highlands of the Balsam Range on the South, El Picacho Mountain and the Bicentennial Park on the West, and North by the San Antonio River. The municipality is further subdivided into districts governed by the municipal mayor (Norman Quijano as of 2012) and by a District board. There are seven districts in San Salvador, Districts 1-6 and the Historic Downtown.

The six districts:

  • District One - Historic Downtown, Colonia Layco, Colonia La Rabida, Colonia Manzano. (Population: 118,325)
  • District Two - Colonia Centro América, Colonia Miralvalle, Colonia Flor Blanca, Colonia Miramonte. (Population: 110,475)
  • District Three - Colonia Escalón, Colonia San Benito, Colonia La Mascota, Colonia Maquilishuat. (Population: 51,325)
  • District Four - Colonia San Francisco, Colonia La Cima (I-IV), Colonia La Floresta. (Population: 68,465)
  • District Five - Colonia Monserrat, Colonia Modelo, Centro Urbano Candelaria. (Population: 126,290)
  • District Six - Barrio San Esteban. (Population: 92,908)

Total Population in all Six Districts: 567,788

Prices in San Salvador



Milk1 liter$1.55
Tomatoes1 kg$1.56
Cheese0.5 kg$4.50
Apples1 kg$1.30
Oranges1 kg$1.30
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$1.10
Bottle of Wine1 bottle$11.00
Coca-Cola2 liters$1.65
Bread1 piece$0.90
Water1.5 l$1.00



Dinner (Low-range)for 2$25.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2$35.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2$45.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal$5.50
Water0.33 l$0.45
Cappuccino1 cup$2.60
Beer (Imported)0.33 l$2.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$1.30
Coca-Cola0.33 l$0.55
Coctail drink1 drink$6.00



Cinema2 tickets$9.00
Gym1 month$30.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut$6.00
Theatar2 tickets$15.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.$0.17
Pack of Marlboro1 pack$2.80



Antibiotics1 pack$
Tampons32 pieces$4.50
Deodorant50 ml.$3.60
Shampoo400 ml.$4.50
Toilet paper4 rolls$2.35
Toothpaste1 tube$2.00



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1$55.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1$42.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1$105.00
Leather shoes1$80.00



Gasoline1 liter$0.85
Taxi1 km$1.50
Local Transport1 ticket$0.25

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Visitors traveling by plane usually arrive at Comalapa International Airport (recently renamed after Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez) in Comalapa (IATA: SAL), located 50km or a forty-five minutes' drive south of the capital city.

  • Avianca is the national airline of El Salvador. Grupo Taca had formally completed their merger into Avianca Holdings as of May 2013 using the Avianca brand for the whole operation, thus expanding services to more places in South America and to Spain. Avianca inherited a fleet of new A319s, A320s, and A321s and the Embraer 190 series from Taca which are still in use throughout North, Central, and South America. However, they maintain a greater monopoly with the highest ticket prices, especially for travel within Central America and savvy buyers would do well to compare options using an online service such as
  • Veca a relative newcomer to the Central American airline industry owned by Sociedad Hasgar S.A. de C.V. as of 2014 as an answer to Avianca's monopoly in international flight within Central America. Currently they offer service from Guatemala City and San Jose with plans to further expand into Central, North and South America.

A US$32 departure tax must be paid upon departure. Depending on the airline, the full amount or part of the tax may already be included in the price of your ticket and the amount you must pay will vary from US$0 - US$32.

Other airlines that fly into San Salvador include:

  • Aeromexico Connect (Mexico City).
  • American Airlines (Miami and Dallas)
  • Avianca Peru (Lima)
  • Copa (Panama City)
  • Delta (Atlanta)
  • Iberia (Madrid)
  • Spirit Airlines (from Fort Lauderdale)
  • United (Houston and Newark)

From the airport Taxi Acacya,  +503 2271 4937 or 2222 1202. offers limited colectivo services up into several major hotels in San Salavdor. At other times they offer a private taxi to a destination of the passenger's request.

There are no regular bus service to the airport per se. The closest thing is the #138 bus between Comalapa and San Slavador's Terminal Sur bus station just south of San Salvador. To get to the stop, for this bus, go across the parking lot in front of the airport terminal to the other building on the other side. Go through the building's breezeway (or open corridor) to the stop located on the other side of the building. Bus makes multiple stops en-route along Hwy 5 and gets crowded.


Transportation - Get In

By Bus

The following are international first or deluxe class (pullman) buses that go into San Salvador and Guatemala City. There are other lines that also go to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and/or Costa Rica as well. TicaBus is the only company serving Panama City. They offer direct service to the said destination, without stopping and depart during the morning hours to arrive in the afternoon hours thus making them safer to travel in. Their service usually include reserved seating, movies, on board restrooms and air conditioning. On more deluxe classes they can offer more space to allow the the seats to recline further down and stewardess service for drinks and snacks. Most of these companies have their own terminal or an office or desk within a hotel in Colonia San Benito and/or El Centro.

PullmanturSheraton Presidente San Salvador @ Ave De La Revolucion, Col. San Beneito,  +503 2526-9900. They serve San Salvador, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Managua and San Jose.
Trans Galgos Inter7a Avenida 19-44 Zona 1, Guatemala City+502 2331-4279 or 2361-1773. Once daily departures to Tapachula via Retaluleau and Coatepeque (up to $43 o.w.) on one route and to Guatemala City ($13 o.w.) on another. Passengers transfer in Guatemala City to get to Quetzaltenango/Xela.
Platinum Centroamerica (King Quality), (Centro) 19 Avenida Norte y 3era. Calle Poniente; (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo, Pasaje 1, Local 415,,  +503 2281-1996, 2241-8704 or 2241-8787. They serve San Salvador, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Managua and San Jose.
Comfort Lines(San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo Pasaje No. 1, 415; (Centro) 19 Ave. Norte y 3ra. Calle Poniente Esquina (ex Shell gas station)+503 22418713/14 and 2281-1996. Only between Guatemala City, San Salvador, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Managua. $25 o.w. or $50 rt.
Ticabus (Transportes Internationales Centromaericanos), (San Benito) Boulevard del Hipódromo Local 301; (Hotel San Carlos) Calle Conception 121,  +503 2243-1188. The next stops from San Salvador are in Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa and Managua. They travel to the major cities in all countries in Central America except Belize.
Transportes del SolAv La Revolución No 159-A, San Benito,  +503 2133-7800.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

If you drive to San Salvador from Comalapa, please exercise extreme caution. There are many residents who walk this highway as well as cross it. There are many accidents with vehicles speeding as well as people who are hit.

Transportation - Get Around

If driving, rental car agencies include Budget [www], Alamo [www], and Hertz [www]. Buses and taxis also provide good ways of getting around. Negotiating the cost of your taxi, Before you step in, is common practice and expected. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare. If you do not have exact change, taxi drivers will try to convince you to make the change a tip instead. Distances between sights make walking an unpopular option, as does the street layout in the city; San Salvador is not a square city but has long avenues that are straight and streets that are not. That said, in some areas walking is a great option, such as from Zona Rosa to Las Terrazas (Sheraton hotel) which are close together and within sight of one another.






  • La Casita. Locations in both Centro comercial multiplaza, San Benito and Centro comercial Plaza San Benito.
  • Bookmarks , Centro Comercial Basilea [www], Zona Rosa (Next to the Hilton).
  • La Ceiba, Galerias, Col.Escalon Av. Paseo Gral.Escalon. There are Many other la ceiba stores in the city.


Some of the shopping malls include: Loma Linda, Multiplaza , Las Fuentes, Galerias (elegant), Metrocentro (said to be the largest in Central America), El Paseo (expensive), Plazamundo , Plaza Merliot, La Gran Via (a lifestyle center / "city walk"), Las Cascadas,Basilea (unique), Plaza San Benito, Villas Españolas and many more. These malls have luxury boutiques, the latest in international fashion, specialty stores, large foodcourts (some even have 3 food courts) and many other amenities.

Local Crafts

For local arts and crafts, visit the Ilopango markets east of the city. Test your bargaining skills and take home some unique, handmade goods. For cheap souvenirs such as hammocks and other local crafts try the Mercado Cuartel. A good hammock can be yours for under $15 US, depending on bargaining skills.


There are many gas stations, including Texaco, Shell, Puma, Petrotec, Esso and others all over the city. Many offer full-service.

Department stores

San Salvador and some Mexican cities are the only cities in Latin America with Sanborns (restaurant and store chain) and Dorians (or Sears). Other department stores include Siman, Carrion and Almacenes Europa.

Supermarkets and Other Retail Stores

  • Super Selectos. Everywhere in the city.
  • Hiperpaiz, Blvd. Los heroes and Las cascadas hipermall Antiguo cuscatlan. A Wal-Mart company.
  • DeTodo. Everywhere in the city.
  • La despensa de Don Juan. Everywhere in the city.
  • Pricesmart (Costco in the U.S.A.), Blvd. De los Heroes and Santa Elena.


The restaurant scene in San Salvador is influenced by many different cultures. Food options include Italian, Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, Chilean, American, Peruvian, Mexican, Spanish, Middle Eastern, German, Chinese, Argentinian and others. Local food options include Tipicos Margot where one can purchase the famous Salvadoran Pupusas. Perhaps the biggest indictment against the quality of the San Salvador restaurant scene however is the sheer number of chain restaurants referenced in this article.


  • Mr. Donut
  • Burger King
  • McDonald's
  • Wendy's
  • Biggest
  • Pollo Campero
  • Pollo Campestre
  • Pollo Tip-Top
  • KFC
  • Subway
  • Quiznos
  • Pollo Tropical
  • Pizza Hut
  • Domino's
  • Little Caesar's
  • NASH
  • Típicos Margoth

When you are in El Salvador you won't have to worry about finding a place to eat, there is food everywhere you go.

Mid range

  • Tony Romas,   +503 2-298-5050fax: +503 2-298-5964. Blvd. el Hipódromo, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa. American casual. There are 3 more Tony roma's in the city.
  • La Panetière,   +503 2-263-8792fax: +503 2-264-1759. San Benito, Zona Rosa. There are many other La Panetière in all San Salvador.
  • Punto Literario. In El Museo de Arte Marte col. San Benito. Zona Rosa.
  • Sal y pimienta,   +503 2-298-1766fax: +503 2-245-0998. Tercera calle poniente #3877 entre 73 y 75 av. Norte Col. Escalon.
  • Restaurante Chileno Hey,   +503 22637281. 97 av Nte. calle Pte. #4509, Col. Escalon.
  • Restaurante Basilea,   +503 22236818fax: +503 22790056. Blvd. El Hipódromo 2-502, col. San Benito, Zona Rosa
  • Pasquale,   +503 2263-1693fax: +503 22635445. Paseo Gral. Escalón, Col. Escalón frente a Galerías shopping center. Italian food.
  • Tre fratelliBlvd. El Hipódromo #307, Zona Rosa,   +503 2224-2951.Italian Food.
  • Al PomodoroPaseo Gral. Escalón #3952,   +503 2514-4455, +503 2257-2545. Italian food.
  • Diva,   +503 22790814fax: +503 2223-6026. Blv. El Hipódromo, centro comercial San Benito, Zona Rosa
  • Dynasty+503 22639955fax: +503 22638615. Frente a Blv. el Hipódromo y Av. Las mangolias Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa. Chinese food.
  • Sushi-Itto+503 22241900fax: +503 22982676. Zona Rosa
  • Chili's+503 2637556fax: +503 22638352. Paseo Gral. Escalón #4220 col. escalon
  • Café Café,   +503 226-32413fax: +503 226-34024. Calle el tanque #13099 av. Norte y 7a calle poniente Bi. Col. Escalon. Peruan food.
  • Pueblo Viejo  +503 22611256. Blvd. Los Heroes, MetroSur 2 nivel.
  • Tequila y Botanas,   +503 22113333fax: +503 22114444. Hotel Real Intercontinental, Blvd. de Los heroes Mexican food.
  • Los Balcones,   +503 23660000. Km 40.5 autopista al aeropuerto fax:.01
  • Tanoshii sushi bar,   +503 221-13333fax: +503 221-14444. Centro Comercial El Paseo, Col. Escalón, Paseo Gral. Escalon. and Tanoshii Hotel Real Intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes. Japanese food.
  • Royal, Col. Escalón in front of Pops escalón. Chinese Food.
  • Sanborns rastaurant and store, Multiplaza, mexican food.
  • Rj, multiplaza. Peruan food
  • Inka Grill, Blvd. El Hipódromo, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Peruan food.
  • Voi-la, Av. Masferrer infront of Texaco. French food.
  • Restaurante Club Campestre,   +503 22633555. Av. masferrer, Col Escalón 550 mts arriba de Redondel Masferrer. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Diva Bistro Multiplaza.
  • San Martín Multiplaza and El Paseo. Bakery.
  • El Rincon de mi Tía Multiplaza. Café and restaurant.
  • Olivos Multiplaza and Hilton princess Hotel at Zona Rosa. Salads and Sandwiches.
  • Benihana La Gran Via - International Japanese Steak House
  • Bennigans La Gran Via - International - Irish
  • Señor Tenedor,   +503 2-298-1766fax: +503 2-245-0998. Av.Olimpica #3544 plaza Jardin.
  • La Media Cancha, Steakhouse Restaurant and Sports Bar with TV's for watching sport - 79 Avenida Sur #48, Zona Rosa
  • Basilea,   +503 2223-6818. Centro Comercial Basilea, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa. International food.
  • 168ChineseRestaurant,   +503 2264-1168, +503 2264-6168. 89Av. Nte y 9a calle poniente #4612 Col. Escalon. Chinese food.
  • Cuatro Restaurante Bistró,   +503 2263-4593. Calle Padres Aguilar No. 4, Colonia Escalón. Spanish Fusion and Tapas.


  • 503,   +503 2223-4770. Blvd. del Hipódromo, Zona Rosa. Upscale, international cuisine and sushi lounge.
  • A lo Nuestro,   +503 22235116fax: +503 22791920. Calle la Reforma #225-A Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa
  • La Pampa Argentina,   +503 2-2786057. In Zona Rosa, in Col. Escalon 1000mts arriba del redondel masferrer, in Santa Elena Boulevard Orden de Malta, and Boulevard. Constitución Col. Escalón.
  • Los Ranchos, Calle La Mascota #232 Interseccion Pje. A y Pje #3 Col.La Mascota, Zona Rosa.
  • Angus, La Gran Vía
  • Hacienda de los Miranda,   +503 22431108fax: +503 22434841.Jardines de Guadalupe frente a CA1, La Libertad. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Finisterre+503 22637691. Col. La Mascota Pje. A#30
  • Escorial, Hotel Real intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes Ph:+503 22113333 Fax:+503 21144444, [www] or [www]
  • Las Orquideas,  +503 22630044fax: +503 22632828. Hotel Terraza 85Av. Sur y calle Padres Aguilar
  • El Mirador, Hotel Radisson Col. Escalón. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Hunan, Upmarket Chinese Restaurant specialising in Szechuan and Shanghai in elegant surroundings - Paseo General Escalón y 99 Avenida Norte. Plaza Villavicencio
  • Paradise,  +503 2223-4832fax: +503 22244201. Blvd. El Hipódromo, Zona Rosa.
  • Faisca Do Brasil,  +503 22113333. Authentic Brazilian 'Rodizio' style dining in luxurious surroundings. Hotel Real intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes.
  • Fire Of Brazil, Brazilian Steakhouse - Churrascaria. Modern Restaurant and Bar with indoor and outdoor dining. Plaza Futura, San Salvador
  • Jeques. Middle Eastern Cuisine. Plaza Futura. Calle el Mirador, Colonia Escalón, San Salvador

If you need to buy something, there are a lot of supermarkets in this city. Some are international, which come from Guatemala, the USA and other countries that are interested in bringing supermarkets to San Salvador. The supermarkets contain products such as food, clothing, candies, tools, shampoos, toys, cosmetics, soaps, etc.

Sights & Landmarks


San Salvador has wide avenues and boulevards, including the two widest boulevards in Central America: Boulevard de los Proceres and Boulevard de los Heroes. Other important boulevards include Alameda Roosevelt,Paseo General Escalon, Av. Jerusalem, Boulevard Constitucion and Av. Juan Pablo Segundo.


San Salvador has many beautiful monuments, some of them dating back to the early 20th century, while others are more modern. Some of the most important monuments include the National Palace, Plaza Gerardo Barrios, Plaza Morazan, Water Clock, Monument to the Sea, Atlacatl Monument and the Proceres Monuments (it has 10 monuments). One of the most recognizable monuments in El Salvador is the Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, or "Monument to the Saviour of The World".

The Metropolitan Cathedral has the tomb of Monsignor Oscar Romero (enter from right-side entrance), open from 8 AM to 12 PM, 2 PM to 4:45 PM daily.


Feria Internacional de El Salvador is the largest convention center in Central America. El Salvador is rated the third best place for investment in Latin America by Moody's. Some of the very wealthy business families in San Salvador and throughout El Salvador are Siman (owners of the largest department store chain in Central America), Poma (owners of Grupo Roble and Grupo Poma), Quiros (owners of Grupo Q in Central America), Kriete (owners of TACA Airlines), Dueñas (owners of La Gran Via), the family that owns Biggest, Pops, Nash and Mister Donut, and a lot of other important families. In addition, San Salvador is one of the only two cities in Central America that have a World Trade Center.


San Salvador has a large urban park, the "Parque de los Pericos". There is another park called Parque Cuscatlan (close to downtown), which is very elegant, with lights, trees and paths. Popular with locals, the beautiful botanical gardens of La Laguna (close to the U.S. embassy) showcase much native fauna. Zoologico Nacional (The National Zoo), and Parque Saburo Hirao (with a collection of native plants) are in the SE part of the city by the old Presidential House.

If you don't get a chance to visit smaller towns and villages outside the capital, a must see destination is Los Planes De Renderos. 1000 Meters above sea level, and it offers a spectacular view of San Salvador. This is a popular oasis for locals from the hectic city life. Check out the restaurants, and near-by parque Balboa, (Balboa Park) with lots of trees and green lawns, ideal for picnics. Indulge yourself eating the tasty salvadorean treat known as pupusas! Visit the nearby colonial town of Panchimalco, one of the few towns in the country with a large indigenous population. Another interesting spot not to be missed is the spectacular natural formation and viewing area known as Puerta del Diablo (devil's gate).


San Salvador has numerous theatres, including the beautiful Teatro Presidente (located near Zona Rosa), where the symphony regularly performs expensive and inexpensive concerts, and the Teatro Nacional (downtown), which was recently restored to its full splendor. Here you can step back and experience the grandeur once reserved for the city's elite in the early 1900s.


San Salvador has several entertainment venues. You can go to restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, or if you are traveling with kids you can go to the cinemas, bowling, bingo, arcades etc. Cinemas in San Salvador include

  • Cinemark,  +503 22294315.Various locations throughout El Salvador, Merliot.
  • Multicinema,  +503 22439269. Various locations throughout El Salvador, Multiplaza.
  • Cinepolis. Galerías Escalón.

You can also play video games at World Games and El Mundo Feliz. Families may also want to visit Central America's largest toy store:

  • Jugueton San Salvador,  +503 22481253. Boulevard de los proceres #2000. this a toy store similar to toys r´ us you will find all types of variety of toys and other fun crafts.
  • Also, you can go via cable car to an amusement park on top of Cerro San Jacinto mountain (no longer in use).

The trendiest night spot to visit is called Zona Rosa. Some of the best hotels are located there, including the Sheraton Presidente as well as one of the most luxurious hotels in Central America, the Hilton Princess. Although Zona Rosa doesn't cover a large area (around 1sq mi), it's home to many exclusive, upscale bars and nightclubs (Los Alambiques, Code), and the best restaurants in town (Paradise, 503, A lo Nuestro). If you want to visit a nightclub without the probable inconvenience of not being let in, you should visit Las Terrazas (Stanza, Envy) at Multiplaza Mall.

Museums & Galleries

San - Salvador has many museums, the two most important are "Museo David J Guzman" and "Museo de Arte MARTE". David J Guzman National Museum of Anthropology contains a variety of Mayan and Pipil artifacts, while Museo de Arte MARTE displays an extensive collection of international art. Both are located in the Zona Rosa district. There is also a children's museum, the Tin-Marin museum, where kids can experience the world in a fun way. The old national palace is being restored to house the "National Archives," and the "National Museum." Also a new display of early mammal fossils, including a giant sloth, mastodon and more than twenty other species is being set up in the "Museo de Historia Natural," or "Natural History Museum" situated in the SE section of Saburo Hirao park by the National Zoo. Close to the zoo is the "Museo Militar," or Military Museum which is housed in the old castle-like "El Zapote" barracks built in 1895. In the military museum you can find weapons and army uniforms from the 17th, 18th, and early 20th centuries, which were historically used by the Salvadoran army. Other highlights of this museum include the original copies of the 1992 peace accords and the Pope Mobile used when Pope John Paul II visited the country. Entrance is free and a guide service is provided at no charge.


San Salvador is well-known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars can be found in the Zona Rosa, Basilea Mall, La Terraza (Sheraton Hotel), Las Terrazas (Multiplaza Mall), Boulevard de Los Heroes, Temptation Plaza, and the bars and restaurants area in La Gran Via (Mall and night lifestyle center). These places have many bars, discos, restaurants, DJ centers and boutiques.

Visit the laid back bohemian bars (university crowd) around Calle San Antonio Abad to meet interesting locals or head to the Zona Rosa/Multiplaza Mall area to dance the night away with the city's style-conscious upper class youth.

  • wine-o (the wine outlet), Blvd. del Hipodromo #575, San Benito, San Salvador,   +503 2263-5576. 9AM-10PM. the place for excellente value wine with the best selection $9.

Bars and Clubs

  • La Luna Casa Y Arte]' - Art Gallery/Restaurant/Bar, popular with artists, art exhibitions, poetry, live acts, reggae nights, jazz nights etc, check out their website for extensive list of events.
  • Los Rinconcitos, Zona Rosa.
  • Code(Mario's), Zona Rosa.
  • Zanzibar. Zona Rosa. Great live party music on Saturday afternoons and Acoustic Thursdays quality faves. Centro Comercial Basilea.
  • La Taberna, Beer House 79 Av. Norte. Col. Escalon
  • Tabú, Zona Rosa. Next to Code
  • Stanza, Las terrazas (multiplaza).
  • Bliss, Las terrazas (multiplaza).
  • MaiThai, Las Terrazas (multiplaza).
  • Envy, Las Terrazas (Multiplaza).
  • Dolce Fiero, Popular with younger Salvadorans
  • Malibu Santa Elena, Boulevard Orden de malta, Santa Elena.
  • El Arpa, San Salvador - Popular with expats, Avenida "A" 137, Col. San José
  • La Ventana, Colonia Escalon. This is not a club, more of a lounge/coffee spot with food available, and a full bar. Owned by a German who now resides in El Salvador.
  • Scape (Gay),Centro Comercial Juan Pablo Segundo, Local 311A, Prolongacion Juan Pablo Segundo, San Salvador.
  • Millenium (Gay), 50 meters south of Scape.

For the latest information on gigs, raves,dance parties, international actsand concerts in San Salvador check here: [www](Spanish). Larger events and conventions are generally held in the Feria Internacional [www].

Safety in San Salvador

Stay Safe

San Salvador has had a history of violence. San Salvador was considered the most dangerous city in the world in 1992. Since the end of the civil war in 1992 San Salvador has seen a significant reduction in crime rates. Today El Salvador in general, experience some of the highest homicide rates in the world, it is also considered an epicenter of the gang crisis, along with Guatemala and Honduras. Crime rates in general have been steadily growing throughout the years. Most tourists will experience few problems in the city as they are not specifically targeted. However, most murders are committed by, and upon, gang members.

To stay safe, there is some advice:

  • Don't walk on streets that look abandoned and dark.
  • Use only licensed taxis or rent a car. If you are adventurous, watch your valuables and put away jewelry when using the public buses. Most major hotels have taxis that they have approved as safe and legitimate. If unsure about a taxi, call your hotel and they can generally have a safe taxi dispatched to your location.
  • At best, walk in tourist areas.

You wil have no problem in the malls or inside major stores or museums, and most public buildings are full of security guards, alarms, fire extinguishers, etc

There is much gang violence in El Salvador, but in san salvador the downtown areas, the malls, the Zona Rosa, most tourist attractions, and the upmarket neighborhoods are generally safe. Doing your homework and avoiding gangland areas will ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable experience.

No matter how adventurous you may feel, it is strongly advisable to stay away from the city's poorer districts of Soyapango, Barrio Mejico and Apopa and its surroundings on the east and north sides of the city.

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Safety (Walking alone - day)

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Safety (Walking alone - night)


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