San Salvador

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. The country has offer 25 volcanoes, 14 lakes, and three large cities: Santa Ana, San Miguel, and San Salvador – the capital and biggest city. That being said, you can imagine the many beautiful sights and activities that you can plan for your trip. The country is big on eco-tourism, so expect many eco-friendly adventures. El Salvador counts with many secluded beaches and forests like Bosque El Imposible, a well-maintained national park in the west. Moreover, you can visit Montecristo Cloud Forest, Isla de Méndez if you want to go fishing, Isla de Olmega, Isla El Cajete in Sonsonate, Isla San Sebastian, Conchagua, Conchaguita, Isla Conejo, Isla Teopan, and Isla Meanguera.

SAFETY INDEX

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Is San Salvador a Safe or Dangerous City?

Like in any other major city, there are certain areas that are best to avoid. The historic downtown of San Salvador is considered dangerous; there have been reports of criminals hiding in crowds and attacking without warning. Other districts that should be avoided are Soyapango, Apopa, Nejapa, Ilopango Mejicanos and Tutunichapa as gangs that specialize in mugging, extortion and murder mainly operate in these areas. The safest areas to stay when visiting the city are the neighborhoods of Escalón San Benito, and Santa Elena. International hotels in these districts are usually safe options. San Salvador, along with other major cities, has a high crime rate; however, you can still enjoy this beautiful city and what it has to offer as long as you take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Standard safety precautions are recommended in San Salvador. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behavior as you would in any other country. Watch out for petty crime in tourist areas and protect your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

Muggings have happened in urban areas such as San Salvador. People walking alone are often the targets, especially at night. In case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. Credit card skimming is also common.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public buses are often unsafe due to poor vehicle maintenance, and passengers are often robbed. Make sure you book a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible as there have been reports of traveler being robbed and assaulted by taxi drivers. Make sure your set a fare in advance.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

El Salvador is located in an active seismic zone. The rainy season may cause floods and landslides, especially in the lower Lempa River area. The Hurricane season runs from June to November. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

There is no recent history of terrorism in El Salvador. However, they should not be ruled out, so remain vigilant for suspicious activity.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many women travel safely without any issues. However, there have been reports of sexual assault throughout the country. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Remain extra vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.

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