Having just returned from this lovely country, I am wrought with questions.Why aren’t people going to El Salvador? Why are Western tourists afraid to travel to El Salvador? Is it the word”El” that scares you? Does the Spanish word for “the” have a negative connotation? Like El Chapo? What are you afraid of? Organised crime? That exists everywhere and it’s very unlikely you will run into those issues while travelling in El Salvador, unless you’re shopping for kilos of heroine. I am fortunate to now have quite a few friends who live in this spectacularly underrated country and after much discussion with them, I discovered they have spent decades living here without ever running into an issue with organised crime. Of course there are areas of the city that should be avoided…but again, that exists everywhere.
El Salvador is a hidden gem. To be honest I’m a bit apprehensive to share my experience with all of you, because part of me wants to keep it to myself. Fortunately for you, the other part of me has won out; this is a place that needs to be visited and needs to be given a lot more credit and attention as a travel destination. I imagine El Salvador is similar to Costa Rica, only smaller, cleaner and less crowded; the only other tourists I saw were at the airport on my way out of the country. Not to mention the roads are in great condition (I don’t think I experienced a single dirt road in El Salvador) and locals are friendly and welcoming.
Spend a couple of days in San Salvador exploring the city, visiting the different landmarks, museums and ruins (and the random towel warehouse; you won’t regret it). Do some shopping and eat some pupusas. After that, head to El Tunco. The beaches are stunning and quite possibly the nicest I have ever stepped foot on. The black volcanic sand is soft, but not dusty, and almost always wet…which is a huge bonus because that means it doesn’t fly around in the wind and mysteriously climb up your legs as you take a nice walk along the beach. The water is warm and soft and absolutely therapeutic. If you’re a surfer, this is a great place to check out! There are lots of options for accommodations and I was lucky enough to take a short tour of Casa De Mar at Sunzal. Here are my own photos…
I sincerely hope more people will consider El Salvador as a viable travel option, because it can be inexpensive to get there and once you arrive, food and services are budget-friendly. I only scratched the surface of this incredible place and I’m already thinking about when I can return.
Please leave your questions and comments, as I want to encourage as many people as possible to visit El Salvador.