Welcome to San Salvador


After undergoing a major facelift, the city center has never looked better. The area around the cathedral has been paved, pedestrianized and planted with greenery, while new lighting has improved safety and made Plaza Barrios look pretty at night. During the day, dive into the teeming centro markets, where travelers are greeted with typical guanaco hospitality.

Though travelers rarely catch a glimpse of gang-related violence, there are a few neighborhoods east of town that should be avoided. Head instead to the nightspots of Zona Rosa and the shopping and cafe scene of Colonia Escalón.

Perhaps San Salvador’s greatest asset is its location within easy reach of the ocean and the mountains, making it an excellent base for day trips.


Top experiences in San Salvador

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We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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San Salvador activities

$89 Cultural & Theme Tours

Volcano, Lake, Ruins Tour: Cerro Vede, Caotepeque, San Andres

During this full day combo tour, you will visit the main highlights of El Salvador: The Volcanoes, Lake and Mayan Sites of the country. First, visit the volcanoes and lakes of El Salvador. Cataloged as the “2nd 8th Wonder of the World for 2013″: the “Lake and Volcano Complex” in El Salvador is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country as its bring together one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and a group of the most amazing volcanoes of El Salvador: The Izalco Volcano, The Santa Ana Volcano and Cerro Verde Volcano. Visit the Natural Protected Area of Cerro Verde and take a refreshing sightseeing tour through the eco trails of the park (45 minutes approximately). Cerro Verde is an inactive volcano located at an altitude of 2035 meters and length of 500 hectares of nature, it has a cloud forest in and around the crater with a temperature of between 12 and 18 degrees centigrade. From here you will enjoy panoramic views of Izalco Volcano better know as the “Lighthouse of the Pacific” because the boats were oriented with the red glow of the lava to reach the Acajutla port.The Santa Ana Volcano or “Ilamatepec Volcano” being the biggest volcano of the area, and the beauty of the nature in the surroundings of this National Park. It is a place where you will be surrounded by the wilderness or “dwarf forest”, where you can find pasture and some low-lying bushes, giant agaves, among others. The landscape is unique in Mesoamerica and it definitely worth the visit. Next, we will have a panoramic view of the volcanic lake "Coatepeque", cataloged amongst the most beautiful of the world. During the afternoon, discover this fascinating civilization through the visit of the “Joya de Ceren”: the famous archaeological site known as “The Pompeii of the Americas” and declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1993 for its valuable contribution to the daily life of the ancestors of the Mayan World. Then continue the tour and visit the ruins of “San Andrés”, a very important ceremonial and political center that has several structures used by the governors of that civilization. In this important sire, there are remains of an Indigo Mill that was buried by the eruption of El Playon in 1658. Definitely a whole different experience! What are you waiting for?

$42.99 Tours & Sightseeing

San Salvador Layover Tour: El Boqueron, Metropolitan Cathedral

Make the most of your San Salvador layover with an excursion through the city and to El Boquerón, the imposing volcano that looks over this Central American metropolis. Meet your private vehicle at the airport, with a knowledgeable local guide if you select that option, and zoom into the center of San Salvador, a city with a half-million inhabitants that is home to ornate churches and intriguing modern architecture. Tour the historic downtown, eying architectural wonders like El Rosario Church, the massive Metropolitan Cathedral, and the neoclassical National Theater, as well as the leafy Salvador del Mundo (‘Savior of the World’) Square. After your overview of downtown, head up 5,905 feet (1,800 m) to El Boquerón, the mouth of the volcano that is an icon of the city. Take about an hour to view the massive crater — it’s 3.1 miles (5 km) in diameter and 1,831 feet (558 m) deep — and a stroll on the pine tree–flanked trails.Decide when and where to stop for a snack or lunch (own expense); in addition to all the choices in town, there are options at the volcano.At the end of your private tour, you’re dropped off back at the airport with ample time to catch your connecting flight.

$94 Day Trips & Excursions

Full Day Tour: Colonial Route and Volcanoes of El Salvador, Cerro Verde and the Flowers Route

On this full day tour, you will visit the Volcanoes, Lake and The Flower´s Route Colonial style towns of El Salvador.First, visit the volcanoes and lakes of El Salvador. Cataloged as the “2nd 8th Wonder of the World for 2013″: the “Lake and Volcano Complex” in El Salvador is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country as its bring together one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and a group of the most amazing volcanoes of El Salvador: The Izalco Volcano, The Santa Ana Volcano and Cerro Verde Volcano. Visit the Natural Protected Area of Cerro Verde and take a refreshing sightseeing tour through the eco trails of the park (45 minutes approximately).Cerro Verde is an inactive volcano located at an altitude of 2035 meters and length of 500 hectares of nature, it has a cloud forest in and around the crater with a temperature of between 12 and 18 degrees centigrade. From here you will enjoy panoramic views of Izalco Volcano better know as the “Lighthouse of the Pacific” because the boats were oriented with the red glow of the lava to reach the Acajutla port, the Santa Ana Volcano or “Ilamatepec Volcano” being the biggest volcano of the area, and the beauty of the nature in the surroundings of this National Park. It is a place where you will be surrounded by the wilderness or “dwarf forest”, where you can find pasture and some low-lying bushes, giant agaves, among others. The landscape is unique in Mesoamerica and it definitely worth the visit.During the afternoon, visit The Flower´s Route, of the most popular tourist destinations and named for its abundance of flowers on the picturesque road, colorful villages, coffee, natural beauty, crafts, cuisine, festivals, mild weather. Discover the colonial style towns with beautiful mountainous vegetation: Nahuizalco where you can enjoy a guided tour by the community and Ataco, one of the greatest coffee making towns. Observe the elaboration of handicrafts of the zone and make shopping in the local stores. At Nahuizalco you will take a guided walk through the local community in order to visit the city and the lifestyle of town as a true local. Ataco is famous for its beautiful and colorful walls.

$41 Cultural & Theme Tours

El Salvador Mayan Ruins and Joya de Ceren Archaeological Tour

Upon hotel pickup in San Salvador, meet your friendly guide who accompanies you on either a morning or afternoon half-day tour, or a full-day tour (depending on option selected upon booking).

$56.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Laguna Verde Dune Buggy Adventure from San Salvador

After hotel pickup in San Salvador by private vehicle, enjoy a 90-minute drive into the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range. Begin your dune buggy tour in Apaneca, a town of 8,500 people that boasts narrow streets and colorful houses. Hop in your dune buggy and follow the leader in the first buggy (or the guide, if you upgrade to a guided excursion). Make your way through the lush landscape to Laguna Verde, a gorgeous lagoon with a glassy surface that cleanly reflects the verdant surroundings. Spend about 15 minutes here and take some time to stroll around the lagoon. The next part of the 2.5-hour adventure is the most scenic. Reach the Laguna de las Ninfas, the Lagoon of the Nymphs, named for the abundant water lilies floating on this lagoon, which is set in a volcanic crater. On the way back to Apaneca, ride along the Ruta de las Flores, or Flowers Route, a popular road that stretches between towns. It’s also nicknamed the ‘coffee road’ thanks to the coffee farms and ample amount of coffee beans for sale in nearby towns. Your tour ends with return to your hotel by private vehicle unless you've selected the optional full-day tour (see Itinerary for more details).

$11.99 Transfers & Ground Transport

San Salvador Airport to Hotels Private Arrival Transfer

Upon your arrival at Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport, your experienced and friendly driver will greet you with a personalized sign. Sit back and relax as you are transported by private air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel in one of the following zones: San Salvador, La Libertad or Usulután.This service is available from early morning until evening, seven days a week. When making a booking, you will need to provide your flight and hotel details. Your transfer will be confirmed instantly, and you will be given a travel voucher to present to the driver.Price is per person, based on 9 adults per vehicle.