El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is geographically part of continental North America. It is bordered on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, and lies between Guatemala and Honduras. El Salvador is divided into 14 sections called Departments, has 25 volcanoes, 14 lakes, and three large cities. Its capital and largest city is San Salvador. Its population is predominantly Mestizos of European and Indigenous American descent. The official language spoken is Spanish. The country experiences a tropical climate, with the rainy season occurring from May to October; with the dry season from November to April.
What to see & do
When visiting El Salvador, don’t miss out on its breath-taking countryside, its beautiful beaches, and exciting nightlife. Even the country’s recent turbulent past has been a source of tourist fascination. Artillery fragments, battle photographs, combat plans, and mountain hideouts now attract visitors as well. There’s also the well-maintained and practically deserted national park at Bosque El Imposible. Also worth visiting is the quaint fishing village of Montecristo Cloud Forest. Remarkable spots also include the colonial towns of Apaneca, Juayua, Panchimalco, and Suchitoto as well as the Mayan sites of San Andrés, Joya de Cerén (the Pompeii of Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and Tazumal. The most popular activity here (that continues to become increasingly popular) is surfing, especially in many beaches on the coast of La Libertad and the east end of the country. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in Salvadoran cuisine. There’s pupusa, which is a handmade corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, chicharrón, or refried beans (vegetarian options are also available). Other dishes are yuca frita (deep fried cassava root served with curtido and pork rinds with pescaditas) and panes con pollo (bread with chicken/turkey). Drink Horchata, a popular drink native to the Valencian Community in Spain. It is most commonly made of morro seed ground into a powder, with added milk or water, and sugar.
How to get around within El Salvador
Travelling around the country can be done by car, bus, taxi, or train. If you prefer to drive around, there are rental car agencies like Alamo and Hertz. Although walking is not exactly recommended, due to far distances between the popular sights and the street layout that has long avenues and streets, there are a number of areas, like Zona Rosa, that are ideal for walking. The country now has QFind, a well-developed GPS navigation system that covers urban and rural areas. An expensive option is via Linea Ejecutiva, which offers private transfers. The rail transport in El Salvador was suspended and is undergoing developments.
How to get there
Travellers getting in by plane will go through El Salvador International Airport. It is located in Comalapa, 45 minutes outside of the capital's city limits. Aeroméxico Connect, American Airlines, Avianca Costa Rica, Avianca El Salvador, Avianca Peru, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and Veca Airlines serve the airport. These airlines fly to and from numerous destinations including Belize City, Bogotá, Cali, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Havana, Houston–Intercontinental, Liberia, Lima, Los Angeles, Managua, Medellín–Córdoba, Mexico City, Miami, New York–JFK, Panama City, Quito, Roatán, San Francisco, San José (CR), San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and Washington–Dulles, among others. One can also get in by car, via the Pan-American Highway; and by bus, via companies like Tica Bus and Pullmantur.
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