Is El Salvador Safe for Travel in 2020?

El Salvador
Safety Score
62

Warnings & Dangers in El Salvador

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : HIGH

El Salvador is a rather friendly country, but due to the unfortunate social and financial situation, the population is involved in many gangs throughout the country, which leads to a high level of violence and crime in El Salvador. Walking at night in any city in this country is not safe. You should also always keep track of your belongings and your surroundings.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transport is not reliable and not safe. Better use your car or take a taxi. Taxi services are available and secure. However, use only licensed taxi services and make sure that the driver has turned on the taximeter.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

There are a lot of pickpockets in any part of El Salvador. You should always keep track of your personal belongings, pockets, and bags. Do not relax for a minute - pickpockets are just waiting for this. Watch your surroundings and always be on the alert.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH

El Salvador is located in a seismically active zone, so the threat of earthquakes here is quite high. Floods and landslides often occur in some regions of the country due to the rainy season. There is little risk of hurricanes and tornadoes in summer and autumn.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : HIGH

The risk of armed robberies and attacks is high enough. Due to the high crime rate and a large number of gangs in the country, there are a lot of crimes related to thefts, robberies, and violent attacks. Be careful, avoid dark streets and are not on the streets of cities at night.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

The risk of terrorist attacks in El Salvador is low. However, this does not mean that they can be excluded entirely. Monitor the situation in the country before your visit here, and be sure to take all measures to ensure your safety.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : HIGH

The risk of fraud throughout the country is quite high. You can be tricked at every corner - during a taxi ride, offering trinkets for sale on the street, offering fake tickets for non-existent shows and festivals. The risk of ATM scams is also high. Therefore, it is recommended to withdraw money only from trusted ATMs at banks.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

For women traveling alone, El Salvador is not the safest place. However, if you observe increased security measures, do not walk alone late at night, and do not attract too much attention to clothing and behavior - you can comfortably move around this country.

How Safe Is El Salvador for Tourists?

El Salvador has a reasonably high crime rate.

The crime index here ranges from high to very high.

The main problems are related to robberies, violent crimes.

There is also a high level of corruption and bribery throughout the country.

Organized crime in El Salvador is a serious problem.

The police and local authorities still cannot deal with it adequately.

There are a lot of gangs in the country who fight and compete with each other.

The most famous gangs, called in Spanish Salvadoran Maras.

Criminal youth gangs dominate life in El Salvador; at least 60,000 young people belong to groups.

El Salvador is also considered part of the epicenter of the Central American gang crisis, along with neighboring Guatemala and Honduras.

The reasons why more and more young people join gangs are poverty, family breakdown or separation, lack of care, harsh home conditions, unemployment, lack of educational and development opportunities, and family membership in gangs.

In most cities of the country, it is not safe, and it is not recommended walking late at night and alone.

You can quickly become a victim of an attack.

Avoid any contact with gang members and do not get involved in street showdowns.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit El Salvador?

You need a passport and either a Salvadoran visa or a one-entry tourist card to enter El Salvador. You may obtain a tourist card when you arrive at the airport or seaport from immigration officials for a $12 fee. The card is valid for 90 days.

Which Currency Is Used in El Salvador?

The United States dollar is the official currency of El Salvador. It has a sign: $ and a code: USD. Also, it abbreviated US$. One dollar is divided into 100 cents (Symbol: ¢). The colón was the currency of El Salvador between 1892 and 2001 until it was replaced by the U.S. dollar.

How's the Weather like in El Salvador?

El Salvador has a tropical climate. Here are hot all year round with little difference in the temperature (only a few degrees) over the seasons. The real difference is found in rainfall and humidity: there is a rainy season from late April to October, which is also definitely muggy.

What Do I Need to Know about Airports in El Salvador?

El Salvador has several airports. The biggest and busiest airports are located in the capital city San Salvador – Ilopango International Airport and Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport.

Should I Get Travel Insurance for My Travels?

Just like anywhere else, the travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.

What Are Some Things to Do in El Salvador?

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America.

It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean.

El Salvador’s capital and largest city are San Salvador.

There are many museums, cathedrals, and national parks in the country.

Tourism is one of the main parts of the income of El Salvador.

Here you can find many natural attractions, including beaches, mild tropical climate, and lush landscapes.

It also offers essential archaeological and ecological heritage, with colonial and pre-Columbian remains, and national reserves.

Also, in this country, there are more than 2000 famous archaeological sites, mainly samples of Mayan and Olmec cultures.

Is the Water in El Salvador Safe to Drink?

El Salvador’s water resources are highly polluted, partly due to the almost complete lack of urban wastewater treatment.

In addition, the country suffers from water shortages during the dry season and conflicts between users.

You mustn’t drink tap water here.

Is Uber Safe in El Salvador?

Uber Taxi Service operates in El Salvador. However, there are some places where it can be difficult to find this service.
Drivers are mostly young people, polite and professional.

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