El Salvador, South America - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

Welcome to El Salvador

Plenty of breathtaking sightseeing opportunities await the traveller coming into this most lush of Central American nations. It is one of the most volcanic places on Earth, which has ensured fertile soil and a thriving wilderness in its small 8,124 square miles (21,040km²).

Interspersed between the forest, mountains and 21 volcanoes are the best preserved remains of the Mayan civilisation. A highlight is Joya de Cerén, all that remains of a Mayan site buried under volcanic ash 1,400 years ago and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The San Andrés region and the ruins of Tazumal are other vestiges of this ancient civilisation.

Getting around the small country is easily achieved by bus or taxi. The longest journey is between San Salvador to La Palma and lasts a meagre four hours, making internal flights redundant. San Salvador and San Sebastian are the main attractions. The latter is a popular picturesque beachside resort village, a town of quaint Romanesque sights and simple beauty. San Salvador, by contrast, is the hub of a rapidly industrialising country, it is densely populated and crime-ridden. Still, visitors can enjoy a wide range of sights in the city; colonial cathedrals and buildings including the Catedral Metropolitana, St Ignatius Loyola and the Spanish façade. Atop San Jacinto Mountain one can enjoy a panoramic vista of the city as well as an amusement park and cable car rides.


The people are warm, welcoming and friendly, however etiquette in El Salvador can be formal in address. Always use the formal pronoun ' usted' with strangers and acquaintances, and use titles of respect. Greetings are common in shops and in passing on the street, and it is considered rude not to return a greeting. El Salvador culture is patriarchal and women traditionally show respect to men. It is considered rude to put your feet up on a chair or table, or to yawn without covering your mouth.

Duty Free

Visitors to El Salvador may import the following goods: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars, two litres of alcohol, six units of perfume, gifts valued up to US$500.

Passport Visa

All foreign visitors to El Salvador must hold return or onward tickets, and the required travel documentation for their next destination. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter El Salvador, if arriving within 10 days of leaving or transiting through the following countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea Republic, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Venezuela. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

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