Know Before You Go:
El Salvador is located in Central America and is bordered north and west by Guatemala, north and east by Honduras and south and west by the Pacific Ocean.
Approximately 6,122,515: 90 percent mestizo, 1 percent Amerindian, 9 percent white.
Spanish, but some groups still speak Náhuatl.
Tropical; on coast; temperate in the uplands. There are actually three climate zones, which vary according to the altitude above sea level.
GMT/UTC minus 6 hours (or US Central Standard Time). Daylight Savings Time is not observed.
Currency and credit cards
The Salvadoran colón and the U.S. dollar. Since January 2001 both of these currencies have been circulating, with the official exchange rate being 8.87 colones to a dollar. Major credit cards are accepted in most places. A value-added tax (IVA) of 10 percent is applied to all goods and services.
You can wire money through MoneyGram in any branch of Banco Agrícola, Banco Cuscatlán or ScotiaBank El Salvador.
Government: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Banks: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some open Saturdays.
Business: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
110V, 60 Hz
Entry and visa requirements
Tourists are required to have either a tourist visa issued from a Salvadoran Consulate there are 16 consulates in USA or a tourist card, passport valid for at least six months after departure and a return ticket. Visas are free to U.S. citizens. Tourist cards are US $10 and can be purchased at the point of entry. They are usually issued for 90 days.
There is a departure tax of around US $32.00 on international flights.
The duty free allowance is 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars; two liters alcoholic beverage; six units of perfume; and gifts to US $500.
Most restaurants add a 10 percent tip to the bill. Tip bellboys and chambermaids about US$0.50 per day per person; tour guides, US$5 per day per person.
Public telephones are everywhere and cost IS BASED ON THE COMPANY YOU ARE USING. THERE ARE CARDS TO CALL TO USA WITH A COST OF $ 0.10 CENTS A MINUTE. The international country code is 503; there are no internal area codes. The outgoing international code is OO.
Emergency, National Civil Police 121 and 911
International operator 119 and 120
El Salvador Trip – Pre-Planning
1. Immunizations – contact your personal doctor for information; malaria is not a problem in
the areas of El Salvador where we visit.
2. Suggested Personal Clothing:
We recommend to bring as little as possible.
Due to local customs and warm weather we suggest casual clothing normal for the US.
Comfortable, broken-in walking shoes are a must!
The days are hot, and sometimes wet; so light clothing – shorts, slacks, cotton T-shirts, sandals and/or running shoes are appropriate.
You may want to bring a sweater for the evenings and a light rain jacket just in case.
Keep jewelry to bare minimum.
Due to some unsanitary conditions in remote areas we suggest you bring tissues and wet hand wipes. Insect repellent and sunscreen.
3. Toiletries – the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have become very strict about what you can and cannot bring on board your international flight. Here is a link to their website for the current status:
4. Food & Water – do not drink or eat ANY items without first checking with the coordinator…we want your trip to be as safe and pleasant as possible. Bottled water is usually safe as is the food within the hotel.