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San Salvador
San Salvador downtown


Nickname(s): San Sivar
San Salvador is located in El Salvador
San Salvador
Coordinates: 13°41′24.00″N 89°11′24.01″W / 13.69°N 89.1900028°W / 13.69; -89.1900028
Country  El Salvador
Department San Salvador
Established 1525
 - Mayor Norman Quijano
 - City 72.27 km2 (27.9 sq mi)
 - Metro 220 km2 (84.9 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 Metro 1,756,629

San Salvador is the capital and largest city of the nation of El Salvador. It is the third most populous city in Central America; after Guatemala City and Managua. The metro covers an area of 568 km² (220 sq mi) and is home to nearly 1.7 million people.[1] Home to one-half of El Salvador's wealth, the city's per capita GDP - PPP is approximately USD11,200, compared to a national average of USD5,260 (2002).The city has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil tribes. [2] The name of the capital city is the Spanish name of "Holy Savior."



The origins of the city can be traced to before the Spanish Conquest. It is near the present location of San Salvador that the Pipil groups, established their capital, Cuscatlán. Not much is known about this city, since it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule.

Under the orders of Pedro de Alvarado, Gonzalo de Alvarado and Diego de Holgiun were ordered to take the settlement they found and develop it. Diego de Holgiun became the first mayor of San Salvador after the town was founded on April 1, 1525. However, later in the sixteenth century, it was rebuilt and changed locations twice in 1528 and 1545. Originally founded in what is now the archaeological site Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas or the Acelhuate Valley, named so due to the intense seismic activity that characterizes it. The new site was chosen as it had more space and more fertile land, thanks to the pristine (though now extremely polluted) Acelhuate River. As the population of the country remained relatively small up until the early twentieth century, the city grew very slowly.

During the presidency of Dr. Rafael Zaldivar on January 1885, businessmen and the president's family built generously the Sara Zaldivar Asylum for Indigents and the Elderly. The president's wife was excited by the project and donated her property in Colonia Costa Rica in San Salvador.

In 1902, the new hospital San Salvador was built and was called Hospital Rosales after its benefactor Dr. Jose Rosales, a banker who gave his fortune to the hospital and to the Orphanage. The hospital was started by president Carlos Ezeta and finished during presidency of Tomas Regalado.

In 1905 president Pedro Jose Escalon started building the National Palace which was built from coffee exportation taxes.

In 1911, the Monument to the Liberty in San Salvador and the Teatro Nacional were built during president Dr. Manuel Enrique Araujo.

In 1917, an earthquake damaged the capital during the Carlos Melendez presidency.

On December 4, 1931, after a coup president Arturo Araujo was ousted by the military. As the Times Magazine says, the military were not paid their salary for some months and decided to revolt installing a Military Directorate. The Directorate named then Vice-president Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez as president and Araujo went to exile. Martinez regime lasted from Dec. 1931 to 1944.

In 1964, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) won the Mayor elections with Engineer Jose Napoleon Duarte, he was elected freely because the president Adalberto Rivera let democracy happen in mayoralties and the National Assembly elections. Jose Napoleon Duarte was Mayor in San Salvador from 1964 to 1970. He built the Pancho Lara park in Vista Hermosa neighborhood, renewed the Electricity System in the capital. He also started the Evening Adult Schools helping a lot of adult workers study during evenings and this helped a lot in getting new technicians.

In 1969, after the War in Honduras was over and many soldiers came back to the country there was a huge celebration in the National Stadium welcoming the national heroes. This story is in Jose Napoleon Duarte biography. Boulevard de los Heroes (Heroes Blvd) was named after the Salvadorean soldiers who fought in Honduras.

In 1986, a major earthquake destroyed many government buildings in the capital and other important structures such as the "El Siglo" Building, once a well-known department store within the city. The capital was still in ruins up to the end of the 1990s. Many homeless children lived inside the ruins. People would call them "Niños huelepega" (Children addicted to glue smelling).

In 1986, Mayor Morales Erlich decided to close some streets in downtown San Salvador for a Farmer's Market; this has resulted in major traffic jams affecting the downtown area ever since. Ing. Morales Ehrlich gave his explanation on Feb. 10, 2010 about his two terms as Mayor of San Salvador. (

El Salvador celebrated the Peace Accords on Thursday, January 16 1992, after the signing of those accords in Mexico, it was seen by TV on a national holiday. There were crowds of people celebrating this special event in downtown San Salvador in Plaza Gerardo Barrios and in La Libertad Park. It was the beginning of a new stage in the history of our country after actually 22 years of conflict between the radical movements of the Left, the death squads (the ultra-Right), and the Army. It was a time of glory and blessing for the people of El Salvador. The white doves of peace flew in the event.

In San Salvador are the tombs of many famous Salvadorean presidents: Matias Delgado and Manuel Jose Arce (La Merced Church), Francisco Morazan and Gerardo Barrios (Los Ilustres Cemetery), and Jose Napoleon Duarte (Jardines del Recuerdo Cemetery).


The city's altitude average of 560 meters above sea level, gaining altitude toward 1000 meters above sea level at the foothills of the Quezaltepec, or San Salvador, volcano. In fact, the valley got its nickname from the Spaniards who called the area "El Valle de las Hamacas" (The Valley of the Hammocks) due to its constant seismic activity. Just East of the city, lies Lake Illopango, the largest volcanic lake in the nation.[2]


San Salvador is mainly hot, the coolest months being November through February. The temperature varies widely between midday and midnight, due to changing levels of humidity throughout the day. The highest reading ever recorded in San Salvador was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F), the lowest was 8.2 °C (46.8 °F). The highest dew point was 27 °C (81 °F) and the lowest −10 °C (14.0 °F). San Salvador has two seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season lasts from October through March, and the rainy From April through September.

Sometimes, when strong cold fronts affect El Salvador during the dry season, the dew point may fall to temperatures below 10°C, an event that would be too cold for most of the inhabitants, but this rarely has any effect due to the fact that humidity remains low, which means the dew point remains less relevant, therefore a 7°C-10°C dew point is actually felt as a 15°C-18°C temperature.

San Salvador from space, January 1997

City Skyline

Contrary to other cities, the financial center of San Salvador is not located downtown, but at the periphery, especially towards the northwestern sections of the city. Downtown or "Old" San Salvador possesses many historical buildings, including the National Palace, the National Theatre, the Plaza Libertad, and the Cathedral. Due to continous seismic activity, Downtown San Salvador has currently no major high rise buildings. However, improving building technologies are allowing the construction of taller earthquake-resistant buildings in San Salvador. In fact, many of the newest high-rise bulidings are appearing towards the western sectors of the city, especially around the areas of the Zona Rosa (or "Alive Zone"), San Benito, Escalón and Antiguo Cuscatlán. Buildings, such as El Pedregal, Terra Alta, Campestre 105, the Telefónica Towers, the World Trade Centre and many others are shaping the city scape of San Salvador.

21st Century Development

B Apartments.JPG
B Developmet 2.JPG

As time goes by San Salvador grows larger in population, this requires new facilities, San Salvador like many other Latin American cities have one big problem, they did not think that in the future they would have grown tremendously into great urban areas, this creates Traffic Problems, over populated sidewalk with pedestrian, crooked streets and more.

B Development.JPG

Approximately, the San Salvador metropolis is divided into 5 main Regions San Salvador, Apopa, Soyapango, Santa Tecla, and upper San Salvador, along of the newest office buildings, San Salvador has the Avante Tower in Santa Elena, along with many others stretching across the city. It is predicted that the San Salvador metro will reach 2 million in around 2015-201


Grupo TACA headquarters

Grupo TACA, the national airline of El Salvador and Costa Rica, other Central American countries, has its headquarters in San Salvador.[3] Unicomer Group has its headquarters in San Salvador.[4]


Approximately 89% of the population are mestizos (mix of indigenous and European ancestry), 9% are white, and the rest are indigenous and other small ethnic groups, including Chinese, Jewish and Arabs.


Road to San Salvador, Leaving from Apopa. Vertical road leads to Quezaltepeque. Volcano of San Salvador is seen in the distance.


San Salvador was first served by Ilopango International Airport, but in January 31, 1980, Ilopango was substituted by the bigger El Salvador International Airport which took all the International flights. In 2008 the airport served over six million people, far more than it is made to handle. Plans for a bigger more modern airport, are currently being planned.


Boulevard de Los Próceres

The city offers the widest boulevards in Central America and is served by a railroad that connects to other cities such as Soyapango and Apopa. The main language is Spanish. The railroads were closed down due to poor economic wealth.

Calle 1.JPG
Calle 4.JPG


San Salvador has some famous private Evangelical high schools such as: Colegio Bautista and Liceo Cristiano Juan Bueno. Also there are Catholic private high schools such as: Liceo Salvadoreño, Externado San Jose, Colegio La Asunción and other non-religious such as Escuela Americana, Escuela Alemana, Academia Británica Cuscatleca and García Flamenco.

San Salvador is home to many higher education institutions. The only public University in the country is Universidad de El Salvador. Other private universities, like Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas and Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, two of the best universities in Central America, are located in the capital city.


See also: Great San Salvador Earthquake

A landslide caused by one of the 2001 El Salvador earthquakes.

The city has suffered from severe earthquakes over the years, the most disastrous of which occurred in 1854. Also worthy of mentioning is the 1917 eruption of the San Salvador volcano, which resulted in three major earthquakes and damaged the city so extensively that the government was forced to move the capital to the present-day city of Santa Tecla, then named Nueva San Salvador. The most recent earthquake, in 2001, resulted in considerable damage, especially in Las Colinas suburb where a landslide destroyed homes and killed many people.

During the 1980s, conflicts in El Salvador erupted into a civil war, and many people fled to the city since most of the fighting occurred outside of it (San Salvador itself was not directly affected by the war until the final offensive of 1989). Hurricanes, tsunamis, and landslides also pose a threat.


As in much of the country, Roman Catholicism plays a prominent role in San Salvador. The city's own festivities, also known as "La Fiesta de Agosto", center around Jesus Christ, the "Salvador del Mundo", after which the city was named. Famous Oscar Romero was the archbishop of San Salvador at the time of his assessination. The current archbishop of El Salvador is José Luis Escobar Alas.


San Salvador is a rich cultural city, with many places such as the historical centre or downtown, which enmarks some of the most beautiful architectures in town. One of the main historical places of the capital city is the National Theatre. Recently remodelled, it was originally built in 1866. The National Palace keeps its original front, and combines neoclassic, neogothics and renaissance architectural details on its structure.[3].

San Salvador also has other cultural places such as the El Salvador's Art Museum (Museo de Arte de El Salvador, MARTE), the National Museum David J. Guzmán, the Luis Poma's Theatre, and the museum for kids Tin Marin. [4], among others.


Gallery of San Salvador

Sister cities


  1. ^ "Resultados Oficiales de los Censos Nacionales VI de Población y V de Vivienda 2007", [1]
  2. ^ San Salvador, the Capital of El Salvador -
  3. ^ "Grupo Taca threatened by El Salvador's rating drop." Flight International. June 20, 2000. Retrieved on October 6, 2009.
  4. ^ "Prelude." (Select "English," then select the mail icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen) Unicomer Group. Retrieved on March 4, 2010.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

San Salvador [1] is the capital city of El Salvador,approximately in the center of the country in a valley near the base of the San Salvador volcano. The city has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil tribes.

coat-of-arms and flag of San Salvador
coat-of-arms and flag of San Salvador


San Salvador lies in the "Valle de las Hamacas" (literally "Valley of the hammocks", as it was called by the Pipil, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano. It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people. It is home to one-third of El Salvador's population and one-half of the country's wealth. The downtown area is filled with shops and modern buildings, but unfortunately earthquakes have damaged or destroyed many of the city's historic buildings.

The new National Cathedral, facing Plaza Barrios in the city centre
The new National Cathedral, facing Plaza Barrios in the city centre

The people of San Salvador are generally friendly, though as in any large city, less inclined to engage in conversations with strangers on the street as opposed to other parts of the country. The wealthy live in exclusive suburbs behind tall security walls or luxury condominium buildings. Wealthier areas such as San Benito, Colonia Escalon, Colonia San Francisco, Colonia Maquilishuat, Santa Elena (where the U.S. embassy is located) and Ciudad Merliot have tree-lined avenues, the biggest malls in Central America, bars, clubs, gyms, restaurants, luxury hotels, modern high-rise buildings, plazas, boutiques, cafes, luxury salons, jewelry stores, etc. Some of these neighborhoods are located in the hills surrounding the city and have breathtaking views. A number of new gated housing communities complete with parks, swimming pools, fitness facilities & tight security are popular with middle class families. Most of the city's hotels can be found in these suburbs.

There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthy neighborhoods. Poorer areas are located in the northern & eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's fringes.

San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm. Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.

Whilst not on most tourists' "to do" list in El Salvador, the capital provides a good base for exploring the rest of the country as it's a transportation hub, with most major roads running through it due to it's central location. Spending a few days exporing this cosmopolitan & internationally-conscious city can be a rewarding experience. Whilst parts can seem like a maze of confusion, rich vs poor, modern vs dilapitaded, cars vs pedestrians, the city has played a major role in defining and shaping the rest of this small yet intruiging country, once at the forefront of the Cold War. To understand this polarized country, it is essential to understand it's political, cultural and social headquarters.

Get in

Travelers arriving by air will fly into ANSEL Comalapa Airport, the biggest airport in Central America, which is located 45 minutes by highway from the city.

For budget travelers the local bus can take you from the airport into downtown San Salvador for 0,70USD. It is slower than the shuttles and can take up to an hour to get into town. To reach the local buses; cross the big parking lot. Then go through an open building to reach the road. There is a bus-stop.

NOTE: If driving to the city from Comalapa, please exercise extreme caution. There are many residents who walk this highway as well as cross it. With this said there are many accidents with vehicles speeding as well as people who are hit.

Micro Bus in San Salvador
Micro Bus in San Salvador

If driving, rental car agencies include Budget [2], Alamo [3], and Hertz [4]. Buses and taxis also provide good ways of getting around. Negotiating the cost of your taxi as soon as you step in is common practice and expected. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare. If you do not have exact change, taxi drivers conveniently won't be able to make change for you and will try to convince you to make the change a tip instead. Distances between sights make walking an unpopular option, as does the street layout in the city; San Salvador is not a square city, but has long avenues that are straight and streets that aren't. That said, in some areas walking is a great option, such as from Zona Rosa to Las Terrazas (Sheraton hotel) which are close together and within sight of one another. The Micro Buses have the reputation to drive fast and sometimes very dangerously. Take caution in using the Micro Buses as they are places where tourists are most likely to be robbed.

The main entrance of the National Palace, seat of the government in the early 1900's, now a museum
The main entrance of the National Palace, seat of the government in the early 1900's, now a museum


San Salvador has wide avenues and boulevards, including the two widest boulevards in Central America: Boulevard de los Proceres and Boulevard de los Heroes. Other important boulevards include Alameda Roosevelt, Paseo General Escalon, Av. Jerusalem, Boulevard Constitucion and Av. Juan Pablo Segundo.

Monumento A el Salvador del Mundo, also called Plaza Las Americas
Monumento A el Salvador del Mundo, also called Plaza Las Americas


San Salvador has many beautiful monuments, some of them dating back to the early 20th century, while others are more modern. Some of the most important monuments include the National Palace, Plaza Gerardo Barrios, Plaza Morazan, Water Clock, Monument to the Sea, Atlacatl Monument and the Proceres Monuments (it has 10 monuments). One of the most recognizable monuments in El Salvador is the Monumento a El Salvador del Mundo, or "Monument to the Saviour of The World".


Feria Internacional de El Salvador is the largest convention center in Central America. El Salvador is rated third best place for investment in Latin America by Moody's. Some of the very wealthy business families in San Salvador & through out El Salvador are, Siman (owners of the largest department store chain in Central America), Poma (owners of Grupo Roble and Grupo Poma), Quiros (owners of Grupo Q in Central America), Kriete (owners of TACA Airlines), Dueñas (owners of La Gran Via), the family that owns Biggest, Pops, Nash and Mister Donut, and a lot of other important families. In addition, San Salvador is one of the only two cities in Central America that have a World Trade Center.


San Salvador has the large urban park, the "Parque de los Pericos". There is another park called Parque Cuscatlan (close to downtown), which is very elegant, with lights, trees and paths. Popular with locals, the beautiful botanical gardens of La Laguna (close to the the U.S. embassy) showcase much native fauna. Zoologico Nacional (The National Zoo), and Parque Saburo Hirao (with a collection of native plants) are in the SE part of the city by the old Presidential House.

A statue of the Aztec god Xipe Totec in the David J Guzman Museum
A statue of the Aztec god Xipe Totec in the David J Guzman Museum

If you don't get a chance to visit smaller towns & villages outside the capital, a must see destination is Los Planes De Renderos. 1000 Metres above sea level, the mountain offers a spectacular view of San Salvador, and is a popular oasis for locals from the hectic city. Check out the restaurants, walking tracks & parks ideal for picnics. Visit the nearby colonial town of Panchimalco , one of the few towns in the country with a large indigenous population.

The David J Guzman Museum of Anthropology
The David J Guzman Museum of Anthropology


San Salvador has many museums, the two most important are "Museo David J Guzman" and "Museo de Arte MARTE". David J Guzman National Museum of Anthropology[5] contains a variety of Mayan and Pipil artifacts, while Museo de Arte MARTE[6] displays an extensive collection of international art. Both are located in the Zona Rosa district. There is also a children's museum, the Tin-Marin [7] museum, where kids can experience the world in a fun way. The old national palace is being restored to house the "National Archives," and the "National Museum." Also a new display of early mammal fossils, including a giant sloth, mastodon and more than twenty other species is being set up in the "Museo de Historia Natural," or "Natural History Museum" situated in the SE section of Saburo Hirao park by the National Zoo. Close to the zoo is the "Museo Militar," or Military Museum which is housed in the old castle-like "El Zapote" barracks built in 1895. In the military museum you can find weapons and army uniforms from the 17th, 18th, and early 20th centuries, which were historically used by the Salvadoran army. Other highlights of this museum include the original copies of the 1992 peace accords and the Pope Mobile used when Pope John Paul II visited the country. Entrance is free and a guide service is provided at no charge.

View of MARTE museum's courtyard and Teatro Presidente in the background
View of MARTE museum's courtyard and Teatro Presidente in the background


San Salvador has numerous theatres, including the beautiful Teatro Presidente (located near Zona Rosa), where the symphony regularly performs expensive and inexpensive concerts, and the Teatro Nacional (downtown), which was recently restored to its full splendor. Here you can step back and experience the grandeur once reserved for the city's elite in the early 1900s.

The National Theatre (Teatro National) in downtown built in the early 1900's
The National Theatre (Teatro National) in downtown built in the early 1900's


There are plans for an aquarium to be built in El Salvador. This Aquarium will be built in El Parque de los Pericos, next to the Multiplaza mall.


San Salvador has several entertainment venues. You can go to restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, or if you are traveling with kids you can go to the cinemas, bowling, bingo, arcades etc. Cinemas in San Salvador include

  • Cinemark Various locations throughout El Salvador, Ph:503 22294315, Merliot,[8].
  • Multicinema Various locations throughout El Salvador, Ph:503 22439269, Multiplaza [9].
  • Cinepolis, Galerías Escalón, [10].

You can also play video games at World Games and El Mundo Feliz. Families may also want to visit Central America's largest toy store:

  • Jugueton San Salvador. boulevard de los proceres #2000. Ph:503 22481253 [11] this a toy store similar to toys r´ us you will find all types of variety of toys and other fun crafts.
  • Also, you can go via cable car to an amusement park on top of Cerro San Jacinto mountain.

The trendiest night spot to visit is called Zona Rosa. Some of the best hotels are located there, including the Sheraton Presidente as well as one of the most luxurious hotels in Central America, the Hilton Princess. Although Zona Rosa doesn't cover a large area (around 1sq mi), it's home to many exclusive, upscale bars and nightclubs (Los Alambiques, Code), and the best restaurants in town (Paradise, 503, A lo Nuestro). If you want to visit a nightclub without the probable inconvenience of not being let in, you should visit Las Terrazas (Stanza, Envy) at Multiplaza Mall or La Gran Vía (Llenya, El Alebrije), a life style center.


There are many private schools and universities, including numerous language schools. Some of the best private schools are

  • Colegio Español Padre Arrupe (Colegio Arrupe), Calle padre Salazar-Simpson Finca el Espíritu Santo. Soyapango Ph:(503)2516-6899 [12]
  • Colegio Externado San Jose (Externado San Jose), 33 Av. Norte, Final Pasaje San José, Residencial Decapolis. Ph:503 2261-4000, .
  • Liceo Salvadoreño Col. Flor Blanca, ph:503 2260 9888- 503 2260 7459. [13]
  • The American School (Escuela Americana), San Benito, ph:503 2257-8336, [14].
  • The British Academy (Academia Britanica Cuscatleca) in front of CA1 Santa Tecla. Ph:(503) 2241 4400, [15].
  • The Panamerican School (Escuela Panamericana), Colonia Escalón, ph:503 2209-6000, [16].
  • The German School (Deutsche Schule) Jardines de Guadalupe. Ph: 503 22438120, [17].
  • The French School (Lycée Français St Exupéry) Next to the British Academy , [18].
  • The International School of San Salvador Calle La Reforma. Ph: (503) 224-1330, [19]

A list of El Salvador's Universities and their websites can be found here: [20].

  • La Casita. Locations in both Centro comercial multiplaza, San Benito and Centro comercial Plaza San Benito.
  • Bookmarks [21], Centro Comercial Basilea [22], Zona Rosa (Next to the Hilton).
  • La Ceiba, Galerias, Col.Escalon Av. Paseo Gral.Escalon. There are Many other la ceiba stores in the city.
Multiplaza, one of the new malls in the country, San Salvador volcano is in the background
Multiplaza, one of the new malls in the country, San Salvador volcano is in the background


Some of the shopping malls include: Loma Linda, Multiplaza [23], Las Fuentes, Galerias [24] (elegant), Metrocentro (said to be the largest in Central America), El Paseo (expensive), Plazamundo [25], Plaza Merliot [26], La Gran Via [27] (a lifestyle center / "city walk"), Las Cascadas, Basilea [28] (unique), Plaza San Benito, Villas Españolas and many more. These malls have luxury boutiques, the latest in international fashion, specialty stores, large foodcourts (some even have 3 food courts) and many other amenities.

Inside Multiplaza Mall
Inside Multiplaza Mall

Local Crafts

For local arts & crafts, visit the Ilopango markets east of the city. Test your bargaining skills & take home some unique, handmade goods. For cheap souvenirs such as hammocks and other local crafts try the Mercado Cuartel. A good hammock can be yours for under 15USD, depending on bargaining skills.


There are many gas stations, including Texaco, Shell, Puma, Petrotec, Esso and others all over the city. No need to step out of the car.

Department stores

San Salvador and some Mexican cities are the only cities in Latin America with Sanborns (restaurant and store chain) and Dorians (or Sears). Other department stores include Siman [29], Carrion and Almacenes Europa.

  • Super Selectos. Everywhere in the city.
  • Hiperpaiz, Blvd. Los heroes and Las cascadas hipermall Antiguo cuscatlan. A Wal-Mart company.
  • DeTodo. Everywhere in the city.
  • La despensa de Don Juan. Everywhere in the city.
  • Pricesmart (Costco in the U.S.A.), Blvd. De los Heroes and Santa Elena.


The restaurant scene in San Salvador is influenced by many different cultures. Food options include Italian [30], Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, Chilean, American, Peruvian, Mexican, Spanish, Middle Eastern, German, Chinese, Argentinian and others. Local food options include Tipicos Margot where one can purchase the famous Salvadoran Pupusas. Perhaps the biggest indictment against the quality of the San Salvador restaurant scene however is the sheer number of chain restaurants referenced in this article.

  • Burger King
  • McDonald's
  • Wendy's
  • Biggest
  • Pollo Campero
  • Pollo Campestre
  • Pollo Tip-Top
  • KFC
  • Subway
  • Quiznos
  • Pollo Tropical
  • Pizza Hut
  • Domino's
  • Little Caesar's
  • NASH
  • Típicos Margoth

When you are in El Salvador you won't have to worry about not finding a place to eat there is food everywhere you go.

  • Tony Romas, Blvd. el Hipódromo, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Ph: (503) 2-298-5050, Fax:(503)2-298-5964, [31]. American casual. There are 3 more Tony roma's in the city.
  • La Panetière, San Benito, Zona Rosa Ph: (503) 2-263-8792, Fax: (503) 2-264-1759. There are many other La Panetière in all San Salvador.
  • Punto Literario. In El Museo de Arte Marte col. San Benito. Zona Rosa.
  • Sal y pimienta, Tercera calle poniente #3877 entre 73 y 75 av. Norte Col. Escalon, Ph: (503) 2-298-1766, Fax: (503) 2-245-0998.
  • Restaurante Chileno Hey, 97 av Nte. calle Pte. #4509, Col. Escalon. Ph/Fax: 503-22637281
  • Restaurante Basilea, Blvd. El Hipódromo 2-502, col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Ph: 503-22236818 Fax:503-22790056
  • Pasquale, Paseo Gral. Escalón, Col. Escalón frente a Galerías shopping center. Ph:503-2263-1693 Fax: 503-22635445. Italian food.
  • Tre fratelli, Blvd. El Hipódromo #307, Zona Rosa Ph/fax: 503-2224-2951 Italian Food.
  • Al Pomodoro, Paseo Gral. Escalón #3952 Ph: (503) 2514-4455 or 2257-2545 [32] Italian food.
  • Diva, Blv. El Hipódromo, centro comercial San Benito, Zona Rosa PH:503-22790814 Fax:503-2223-6026
  • Dynasty, Frente a Blv. el Hipódromo y Av. Las mangolias Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Ph: 503-22639955 Fax:503-22638615. Chinese food.
  • Sushi-Itto. Zona Rosa Ph:503-22241900 Fax:503-22982676
  • Chili's, Paseo Gral. Escalón #4220 col. escalon Ph: 503-2637556 Fax:503-22638352
  • Café Café, calle el tanque #13099 av. Norte y 7a calle poniente Bi. Col. Escalon, Ph: (503) 226-32413, Fax: (503) 226-34024, [33]. Peruan food.
  • Pueblo Viejo, Blvd. Los Heroes, MetroSur 2 nivel. Ph/Fax:503-22611256
  • Tequila y Botanas Hotel Real Intercontinental , Blvd. de Los heroes Ph:503-22113333 fax:22114444 Mexican food.
  • Los Balcones, km 40.5 autopista al aeropuerto Ph:503-23660000 fax:...01
  • Tanoshii sushi bar, Centro Comercial El Paseo, Col. Escalón, Paseo Gral. Escalon. and Tanoshii Hotel Real Intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes Ph: (503) 221-13333, Fax: 221-14444, [34]. Japanese food.
  • Royal, Col. Escalón in front of Pops escalón. Chinese Food.
  • Sanborns rastaurant and store, Multiplaza, mexican food.
  • Rj, multiplaza. Peruan food
  • Inka Grill, Blvd. El Hipódromo, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Peruan food.
  • Voi-la, Av. Masferrer infront of Texaco. French food.
  • Restaurante Club Campestre, Av. masferrer , Col Escalón 550 mts arriba de Redondel Masferrer. Buffet and à la carte. Ph:503-22633555.
  • Diva Bistro Multiplaza.
  • San Martín Multiplaza and El Paseo. Bakery.
  • El Rincon de mi Tía Multiplaza. Café and restaurant.
  • Olivos Multiplaza and Hilton princess Hotel at Zona Rosa. Salads and Sandwiches.
  • Benihana La Gran Via - International Japanese Steak House
  • Bennigans La Gran Via - International - Irish
  • Señor Tenedor, Av.Olimpica #3544 plaza Jardin, Ph: 2-298-1766, Fax: (503) 2-245-0998.
  • La Media Cancha, Steakhouse Restaurant and Sports Bar with TV's for watching sport - 79 Avenida Sur #48, Zona Rosa
  • Basilea, Centro Comercial Basilea, Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa, Ph: (503) 2223-6818 [35]. International food.
  • 168ChineseRestaurant, 89Av. Nte y 9a calle poniente #4612 Col. Escalon, Ph: (503) 2264-1168, 2264-6168, [36]. Chinese food.
  • Cuatro Restaurante Bistró, Calle Padres Aguilar No. 4, Colonia Escalón, Ph: (503) 2263-4593 [37]. Spanish Fusion and Tapas.
  • 503, Blvd. del Hipódromo, Zona Rosa. Upscale, international cuisine and sushi lounge. Ph: (503) 2223-4770.
  • A lo Nuestro, Calle la Reforma #225-A Col. San Benito, Zona Rosa Ph:503-22235116 Fax:503-22791920
  • La Pampa Argentina, In Zona Rosa, in Col. Escalon 1000mts arriba del redondel masferrer, in Santa Elena Boulevard Orden de Malta, and Boulevard. Constitución Col. Escalón Ph: 2-2786057.
  • Los Ranchos, Calle La Mascota #232 Interseccion Pje. A y Pje #3 Col.La Mascota, Zona Rosa.
  • Angus, La Gran Vía
  • Hacienda de los Miranda, Jardines de Guadalupe frente a CA1, La Libertad Ph:503-22431108, Fax: 503-22434841. Buffet and à la carte. [38]
  • Finisterre, Col. La Mascota Pje. A#30 Ph/Fax: 503-22637691
  • Escorial, Hotel Real intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes Ph:503-22113333 Fax:503-21144444, [39] or [40]
  • Las Orquideas, Hotel Terraza 85Av. Sur y calle Padres Aguilar Ph:503-22630044 Fax: 503-22632828
  • El Mirador, Hotel Radisson Col. Escalón. Buffet and à la carte.
  • Hunan, Upmarket Chinese Restaurant specialising in Szechuan, Pekin & Shanghai in elegant surroundings - Paseo General Escalón y 99 Avenida Norte. Plaza Villavicencio
  • Paradise, Blvd. El Hipódromo, Zona Rosa. Ph: 503-2223-4832 fax: 503-22244201 [41]
  • Faisca Do Brasil, Authentic Brazilian 'Rodizio' style dining in luxurious surroundings. Hotel Real intercontinental Blvd. de los Heroes Ph:503-22113333.
  • Fire Of Brazil, Brazilian Steakhouse - Churrascaria. Modern Restaurant and Bar with indoor and outdoor dining. World Trade Centre, San Salvador [42]

If you need to buy something, there are a lot of supermarkets in this city. Some are international, which come from Guatemala, the USA and other countries that are interested in bringing supermarkets to San Salvador. The supermarkets contain products such as food, clothing, candies, tools, shampoos, toys, cosmetics, soaps, etc. Some of the supermarkets are:


San Salvador is well-known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars can be found in the Zona Rosa, Basilea Mall, La Terraza (Sheraton Hotel), Las Terrazas (Multiplaza Mall), Boulevard de Los Heroes, Temptation Plaza, and the bars and restaurants area in La Gran Via (Mall and night lifestyle center). These places have many bars, discos, restaurants, DJ centers and boutiques.

Visit the laid back bohemian bars (university crowd) around Calle San Antonio Abad to meet interesting locals or head to the Zona Rosa/Multiplaza Mall area to dance the night away with the city's style-conscious upper class youth.

  • wine-o (the wine outlet), Blvd. del Hipodromo #575, San Benito, San Salvador, +503 2263-5576, [43]. 9AM-10PM. the place for excellente value wine with the best selection $9.  edit
  • La Luna Casa Y Arte' [44] - Art Gallery/Restaurant/Bar, popular with artists, art exhibitions, poetry, live acts, reggae nights, jazz nights etc, check out their website for extensive list of events.
  • Los Rinconcitos, Zona Rosa.
  • Code(Mario's), Zona Rosa.
  • Zanzibar [45], Zona Rosa. Great live party music on Saturday afternoons and Acoustic Thursdays quality faves. Centro Comercial Basilea.
  • La Taberna, Beer House 79 Av. Norte. Col. Escalon
  • Tabú, Zona Rosa. Next to Code
  • Stanza, Las terrazas (multiplaza).
  • Bliss, Las terrazas (multiplaza).
  • MaiThai, Las Terrazas (multiplaza).
  • Envy, Las Terrazas (Multiplaza).
  • El Alebrije, La Gran Vía.
  • Llenya, La Gran Vía.
  • Republik, La Gran Vía.
  • Dolce Fiero, Popular with younger Salvadorans
  • Malibu Santa Elena, Boulevard Orden de malta, Santa Elena.
  • El Arpa, San Salvador - Popular with expats, Avenida "A" 137, Col. San José
  • La Ventana, Colonia Escalon. This is not a club, more of a lounge/coffee spot with food available, and a full bar. Owned by a German who now resides in El Salvador.
  • Scape (Gay),Centro Comercial Juan Pablo Segundo, Local 311A, Prolongacion Juan Pablo Segundo, San Salvador.
  • Millenium (Gay), 50 meters south of Scape.

For the latest information on gigs, raves,dance parties, international acts & concerts in San Salvador check here: [46](Spanish). Larger events & conventions are generally held in the Feria Internacional [47].

  • Hostal Esencia Nativa, el Zonte beach mail to 2301-4322 or 7737-8879 dobles rooms from $7.5 per person per night, room with A/C and private bath available, surf lessons, laundry, english speakers.
  • International Guest House, 35 Avenida Norte No. 9, Breakfast, internet, laundry, safety box. From $16-$26.
  • La casa de Ivonne, 2910, Calle Sisimiles, Colonia Miramonte, Ph: (503) 2262-7346 or call from USA direct at (514) Shared rooms from $6 per night, private rooms $12 per night including breakfast, private bathroom available , Internet, Cable television in the living room, access to kitchen, laundry service available, inside parking available for an extra $1,00. It is located at one block from the shopping mall Metrocentro where you can find everything including Cinemas. All the major buses pass at one block from the house. Spanish and English spoken.
  • Laguna Verde Guest House The domo shaped house is located at the border of an ancient, deep, secondary crater with vertical walls, the "Cuajusto" extinct crater in Apaneca town (1 hour from San Salvador). From here you can catch some impressive panoramic views and do hikes to the nearby Laguna Verde, Black Forest and other natural beauties. Ph (503) 2262-0879,(503) 7859-2865,(503) 2260-2481. [www.apanecasguesthouse.netfirms. com], Dormitory rooms from $7 to $10 per night.
  • Mariscal Hotel & Suites, Paseo Escalón 3658 (comfortable), from $28
  • Tazumal Guesthouse, 35 Avenida Norte, Casa 3. Aircon, cable TV, free internet use. From $10 to $40.
  • Ximenas Guest House, Calle San Salvador #202, Ph: (503) 2260-2481,cel: 7981-4517, [48]. Dormitory rooms from $7 (cold water) to $9 (hot water) per night, single rooms from $16 to $30 per night, doubles from $23 to $35 per night, and triples are $38 per night.+ add 13% sales tax. Private rooms feature hot showers, cable TV and ceiling fan, some have A/C. The common TV room has cable TV, book exchange,and internet service.(wireless throughout the hotel) Restaurant serve meals around the clock, try the fruit salad with home made yogurt and granola. Has laundry service,roof terrace, safe deposit lockers, luggage storage and free tourist information. Ximena's has been a favorite for international travelers for over 25 years. Its located in a safe and quiet residencial area just one block off the main street; Blvd. de Los Heroes and is a perfect base while exploring El Salvador. Malls, banks, pharmacies, post offices, coffee shops, bars and restaurants are all within walking distance and safe even after dark.

Mid range

The staff of all the hotels speak English and Spanish, but there are also others who speak other languages. All the hotels include room service.

  • Real Comfort inn, Calle el Carmen y Prolongacion Juan Pablo, (503) 2237-7000, Fax: (503) 2237-7001, [49]. 4-Stars Located in the heart of the business district close to important residential areas. Special in-room amenities for long stay guests include mini fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker. Check in time:1:00 PM Check out time is 12:00 PM. Take Prolongacion Juan Pablo II north until you reach 75th Avenue where you will turn left. Advance on 75th Avenue and then turn left again onto Calle El Carmen.
  • Ramada Inn, 85 Ave. Sur y Calle Juan José Cañas, Col. Escalón San Salvador, Ph: (503) 2263-0033, Fax: (503) 2263-4099. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-stars.
  • Quality Real Hotel Aeropuerto San Salvador, KM 40.5 Carretera Al Aeropuerto de El Salvador, (503) 2366-0000, Fax: (503) 2366-0001, [50]. Just 3 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the sandy beaches of Costa del Sol. In house restaurant. Room service, business center, bar and pool. Check in time is 12:00 PM, check out time is 4:00 PM.
  • Hotel Happy House, Avenida Los Sisimiles, #2951, Colonia Miramontes, Phone and Fax (503) 22 60 15 68. Hotel includes air conditioning, double bed rooms and free wireless internet access. [51], [52]. 3-stars
  • Siesta Casino-Hotel, Hotel Siesta Final Boulevard Los Proceres, Ph: (503) 2-283-0100, Fax: (503) 2-283-0125,, [53]. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-Stars.
  • Holiday Inn, Urbanización y Boulevard Santa Elena a 400 mts. de la Embajada Americana, Ph: (503) 2-241-4000, Fax: (503) 2-241-4070 or (503) 2-241-4067, [54]. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-Stars.
  • Terraza Hotel, 85 Ave. Sur y Calle Padres Aguilar Colonia Escalón, Ph: (503 )2263-0044, Fax: (503) 2263-3223,, [55]. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4 stars.
  • Hotel Alameda, 43 Ave. Sur y Alameda Roosevelt #2305, Ph: (503) 2267-0800 / 2267-0801, Fax: (503) 2260-3011, [56]. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 3-Stars.
  • Hotel Alicante, Col La Sultana, calle las rosas y ave los Laureles #1, Ph:(503) 2243-0889 / 2243-5838, []. The hotel includes air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 3-Stars.
  • Hotel Casa Berlin, Avenida El Espino Lote No 62-64, Santa Elena, Madreselva, Antiguo Cuscatlán, Ph: (503) 2243-8877, Fax: (503) 2243-8872, [57]. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities. The staff speaks Spanish, English and German. 3-Stars.
  • Hotel Capital, Autopista Sur, Boulevard La Sultana y Pasaje Monelca, Ph:(503) 2247-7100, Fax (503) 2243-8018, [58]. The hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
  • Hotel Grecia Inn, Avenida Sisimiles 2922, Colonia Miramonte, Ph: (503)2261-0555 / (503) 2261-0566 / (503) 2261-0577, [59]. A 50 metros de Hotel Real Intercontinental, frente a Metrocentro, the hotel includes air conditioning, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. The staff speaks English, Spanish and Greek. 4-Stars.
  • Hotel Mediterraneo Plaza, 15 Calle Pte. No. 4319, Col. Escalón, Ph: (503) 2263-4592, Fax: (503) 2263-4612, [60]. The hotel includes air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
  • Hotel Mirador Plaza, Calle El Mirador y 95 Ave. Norte Col. Escalón, Ph: (503) 2244-6000, Fax: (503) 2244-6099, [61]. The hotel includes air conditioned, king size beds,double bed rooms,restaurant, bar and many other amenities.
  • Novo Aparthotel, Final 61 Ave. Nte. Col. Escalon, Ph (503) 2260-2288, Fax: (503) 2260-5053, [62]. The hotel includes air conditioned, king size beds, double bed rooms, restaurant, bar and many other amenities. 4-Stars.
  • Real InterContinental San Salvador, Boulevard de Los Héroes. San Salvador, 544. El Salvador, +503 2211 3333 (fax: +503 2211 4444), [63]. The InterContinental San Salvador Hotel has 228 rooms, 6 suites and 2 Club InterContinental floors. It has 13 conference rooms, 3 restaurants, gym, spa, pool and business center. Prices range between $100 - $450.  edit
  • Hilton Princess San Salvador, Av. Magnolias y Boulevard del Hipod, Ph: (503) 2268-4545, Fax: +503-2268 4500, [64]. Located in the center of Zona Rosa, and offering quality comparable to Hilton Hotels found elsewhere in the world. Rooms from $109 per person, per night. Wi-Fi in All Rooms
  • Radisson Plaza Hotel, 89 Avenida Norte y 11 Calle Poniente, Colonia Escalón, Ph: (503) 2-257-0700, Fax: (503) 2-257-0710, [65]. Rooms from $139 per person, per night.
  • Sheraton Presidente, San Benito (in front of El Chulon), Avenida la revolucion, Ph: (503) 2-283-4000, [66].
  • Suites Las Palmas Aparathotel, Av. Las Palmas y Pje. 6 Col. San Benito, Ph: (503) 2210-3111, Fax: (503) 2210-3100, [67].

Visit the hotel websites for specials.

Stay safe

San Salvador has had a history of violence. San Salvador was considered the most dangerous city in the world in 1992. Since the end of the civil war in 1992 San Salvador has seen a significant reduction in crime rates. Today San Salvador, and El Salvador in general, experience some of the highest homicide rates in the world, it is also considered an epicenter of the gang crisis, along with Guatemala and Honduras.[68] The homicides reported in 2006 reached up to 3,906, in 2005 3,779 were reported; 57.2 violent deaths per every 100,000 people. [69]. Crime rates in general have been steadily growing throughout the years, from 2005-2006 crime rose 7.5%. Most tourists will experience few problems in the city as they are not specifically targeted. Whilst the homicide rates don't paint the city in a good light, it's important to remember that the majority of these murders are committed by, and upon, gang members.

To stay safe there is some advice:

  • Don't walk on streets that look abandoned and dark.
  • Use only licensed taxis or rent a car. If you're adventurous, watch your valuables and put away jewelry when using the public buses. Most major hotels have taxis that they have approved as safe and legitimate. If unsure about a taxi, call your hotel and they can generally have a safe taxi dispatched to your location.
  • At best, walk in tourist areas and not STRANGE areas.
  • If you don't have a place to sleep then don't go to old and dirty motels.
  • Be careful with your handbag or purse while walking on crowded streets.
  • Don't flaunt jewelery/Mobile Phones etc on public transport or crowded areas - remember, common sense prevails!

You won't have a problem in the malls or inside major stores or museums, and most public buildings are full of security guards, alarms, fire extinguishers, etc. If you go out of the city into some national parks, volcanoes or the country and such, it is better to hire an armed escort or guide because you can get robbed. There is much gang violence in El Salvador, especially in San Salvador and in its poorer neighborhoods; but in the downtown areas, the malls, the Zona Rosa, most tourist attractions, and the upmarket neighborhoods where the hotels are it's generally safe. Doing your homework and avoiding gangland areas will ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable experience. The government tried controlling the gangs with a tactic called "Super Mano Dura" which means "Super Strong Hand", however it has not been successful and crime rates have continued to rise.[70] No matter how adventurous you may feel, it is strongly advisable to stay away from the city's poorer districts of Soyapango/Apopa & its surroundings on the east side of the city.


Health services

San Salvador is a city full of pharmacies. Hospital services are also very good and facilities include Hospital de Diagnostico in Villavicencio Plaza.


Finding a bank is not a problem within the city. Banks include HSBC, Citibank, Banco Agricola, BanTpym, Banco Centromericano, Scotiabank, Procredit and others.

  • Canada, [71].  edit
  • United States, 2501-2999 (fax: 2501-2150), [72].  edit

Get out

You can get out of Comalapa International Airport or rent a plane for a moderate fee in Ilopango Airport to give you a ride to other of the countries important cities. The rent a plane service is available to go to Santa Ana, San Miguel and La Union (on Tamarindo, near the Gulf of Fonseca where you can board a ferry to take you to the other Islands)

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SAN' 'SALVADOR, the capital of the republic of Salvador; situated in the valley of Las Hamacas, on the river Asalguate, at an altitude of 2115 ft., and 30 m. inland from the Pacific. Pop. (1905) about 60,000. San Salvador is connected by rail with Santa Ana on the north-west and with the Pacific ports of La Libertad and Acajutla. In addition to the government offices, its buildings include a handsome university, a wooden cathedral, a national theatre, an academy of science and literature, a chamber of commerce, and astronomical observatory and a number of hospitals and charitable institutions. There are two large parks and an excellent botanical garden. In the Plaza Morazan, the largest of many shady squares, is a handsome bronze and marble monument to the last president of united Central America, from whom the plaza takes its name. San Salvador is the only city in the republic which has important manufactures; these include the production of soap, candles, ice, shawls and scarves of silk, cotton cloth, cigars, flour and spirits. The city is admirably policed, has an abundant water supply, and can in many respects compare favourably with the smaller provincial capitals of Europe and America. It was founded by Don Jorge de Alvarado in 1528, at a spot near the present site, to which it was transferred in 1539. Except for the year1839-1840it has been the capital of the republic since 1834. It was temporarily ruined by earthquakes in 1854 and 1873.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:



Proper noun

San Salvador

  1. The capital of El Salvador.

Simple English

San Salvador
"El Valle de las Hamacas"
Boulevard de Los Próceres
Nickname(s): San Sivar
Coordinates: 13°41′24.00″N 89°11′24.01″W / 13.69°N 89.1900028°W / 13.69; -89.1900028
Department San Salvador
Established 1525
 - Mayor Violeta Menjívar
 - City 72.5 km2 (28 sq mi)
 - Metro 569.8 km2 (220 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - City 510,367
 Metro 2,224,223

San Salvador is the capital and largest city of the nation of El Salvador.


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