When I, Olmo, told my mates back home that I was going to visit El Salvador, everyone thought I’d gone mad. Why would you go there, haven’t you read about the safety over there? These, among other questions I had to answer, still leaving them slightly confused. Of course I’d read the stories and heard things, but I was well convinced the country would certainly be fine to travel to and I was happy to go and explore the many beautiful things El Salvador is offering.
Is El Salvador a safe country?
To answer the question most people want to know right away: from my experience El Salvador certainly is a not country you should avoid due to its safety issues. There are – as basically any country on our planet – places where you should not go, but there are more than enough places where you can still go to, and want to go to. I do have some experiences in travelling and I am a male but I got well convinced that it’s safe for anyone. Spots like El Tunco are being visited by many solo-travellers, including females.
The transport I’ve used never felt unsafe. I have even commuted between El Tunco and the capital, San Salvador, by bus (the so-called chicken busses) which wasn’t a problem whatsoever. The situation on the road is, from my experiences, not any different than it is in any other country in the region, which are all widely visited by tourists.
I have only experienced the nightlife of El Tunco myself, which was very safe. I did also meet other travellers who had made their way to San Salvador to go clubbing, which was a great experience (although I’m not sure if I would do that myself). El Tunco is, however, one of the country’s hotspots, with people from the entire country visiting over the weekend to explore it’s nightlife.
Surfing in El Salvador
In May 2020, the World Surfing Games is the last official moment to qualify for the Olympics in Japan for later this year. The fact that this tournament takes place in El Salvador says enough. In 2019, the country also hosted the Latin Surfing Games and the World Cup for Stand-Up Paddling. You can read much more about surfing in El Salvador in an article we specially dedicated to this.
What is there to do in El Salvador?
What I liked a lot about the country is its size. El Salvador is only half the size of the Netherlands and has so much to offer. Besides a great coast-line, there are volcanoes to be found, you have Maya ruins, beautiful lakes and several other sights to visit. Also in terms of gastronomy there’s loads to look forward to.
A visit to the capital is certainly worth it. You can visit the large cathedral which is beautiful and will tell you a lot about Sñr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, one of the country’s heroes. Furthermore there are churches which are fascinating and unlike any other you have seen in your life and the national theatre may also be a sight you can enter. There are also many great food places to be found which you can enjoy while you mingle with the locals on one of the many squares the city has.
Because there is so much more to write about activities in El Salvador, we’ve also dedicated a separate article to it.
How did I like El Salvador?
How did I like El Salvador? The country has really left a positive memory. The food is fairly diverse, with papusas being the national dish (filled taco’s with cheese and literally anything you would like to combine it with). But there are also regular taco’s, fish, meats and many other things. Places like El Tunco are such international that they offer restaurants with food from all over the world. Furthermore, the surf is really great, with a wide variety of world-class spots and there are a million things to do, all located on spots which can be reached easily. And I haven’t felt unsafe, which is something I hear from basically anyone who has been lucky enough to visit El Salvador.