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El Salvador

El Salvador: Various travel information

El Salvador: Various travel information

How to get to El Salvador

By plane

The Salvadoran national airline TACA offers connections to neighboring Central American countries and the USA. You can also reach the country via the airlines United Airlines, American Airlines, COPA, Continental, Aerolineas Argentinas, Delta, Air France and AlItalia.

The most important and busiest international airport in the country is "San Salvador Comalapa" (El Salvador International Airport). It is located approximately 62 kilometers south of the capital San Salvador and can be easily reached via an airport bus (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and taxis.

Please note that El Salvador charges a tax of US $ 2.65 on entry and a tax of US $ 22 on exit. This does not apply to children and transit travelers.

By rail

It is currently not possible to travel between El Salvador and Guatemala by rail.

By car

The Panamericana, the American road leading from Alaska to Chile, runs through El Salvador. It is a safe and convenient way to enter El Salvador by car.

By bus

With the bus (Ticabus) you can travel back and forth between El Salvador and Panamá, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The Hedman Alas buses offer connections between El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras.

By ship

The largest ports in the country are La Unión, La Libertad and Acajutla on the Pacific Ocean.

Travel in the country

There are domestic connections between San Salvador and San Miguel, La Unión and Usulután by plane.

With the railroad

El Salvador has a 600-kilometer rail network that connects the capital San Salvador with Acajutla, Cutuco, San Jerónimo and Angiuatú.

By car and rental car

The small country's road network is 12,000 kilometers long and relatively new. Around 4,000 kilometers of this are paved or weatherproof. If you want to rent a car in El Salvador, you will find providers such as Alamo and Hertz in San Salvador and at the airport. Foreign drivers must be able to show an international driver's license in El Salvador. Anyone entering the country with a car from one of the neighboring countries may drive in the country for up to 30 days. For another 60 days, however, you need a permit from the customs and transport authorities. It is strongly recommended that you take out short comprehensive insurance.


You should exercise extreme caution when driving, as the roads are often in poor condition. In addition, the Salvadoran driving style is not squeamish. It is also advisable to only drive on the main roads and to avoid the secondary roads such as driving inland. After dark, you shouldn't be driving your car. The car doors should always be locked from the inside while driving. It should also be noted that in the event of an accident with personal injury, immediate imprisonment is imminent. In addition to the detention period, which can be up to 72 hours, the papers and the vehicle are also confiscated. You shouldn't take hitchhikers with you and you shouldn't stop in an (apparent) accident. In such cases, the nearest police station must be notified.

By taxi

Taxis in El Salvador are often in poor technical condition and do not have a taximeter, so it is necessary and advisable to negotiate the price before starting your journey. Those who stop in larger hotels can use their own taxi service. We recommend using a licensed taxi. These can be recognized by the "A" as the first letter on the license plate.

By bus

As in most other Central and South American countries, the bus is the most important means of transport, and also the cheapest. The partly private, partly public and not always easy to understand bus system in the country can be used to reach all major cities without any problems. There are regular buses, which can be extremely crowded. But the buses are lovingly painted and a veritable feast for the eyes. Those who take longer bus trips can purchase food and drinks from local women and children on the way. Since there is no central bus agency, you should contact the bus driver directly and ask him where he is going.

You should always be prepared for pickpocketing on buses and take appropriate precautions.

Traffic rules

Right-hand traffic prevails in El Salvador.

In order to avoid trouble with the police or even the courts, one should strictly adhere to the traffic rules applicable in the country. The maximum speeds shown can of course be reduced or increased by traffic signs. Regardless of the information given here, it is advisable to obtain detailed information from the ADAC, the AvD or the traffic clubs in the country concerned.

As a matter of principle, in addition to the general ones shown, the speed limits indicated by signs must also be strictly observed.

You should exercise extreme caution when driving, as the roads are often in poor condition. In addition, the Salvadoran driving style is not squeamish. It is also advisable to only drive on the main roads and to avoid the secondary roads such as driving inland. After dark, you shouldn't be driving your car. The car doors should always be locked from the inside while driving. It should also be noted that in the event of an accident with personal injury, immediate imprisonment is imminent. In addition to the detention period, which can be up to 72 hours, the papers and the vehicle are also confiscated. You shouldn't take hitchhikers with you and you shouldn't stop in an (apparent) accident. In such cases, the nearest police station must be notified.

International license plate

According to Abbreviationfinder, El Salvador's international license plate is:


El Salvador: Embassies, Consulates and Tourist Office

Visit Countryaah for a full list of El Salvador embassies and consulates in each country around the world.

El Salvador embassies and consulates

Representations of El Salvador in Germany

The El Salvador embassy is located in a new building on Joachim-Karnatz-Allee and Paulstraße. The Embassy of Guatemala is also located in the same building. The building is part of a whole new housing estate that was built for the members of the German Bundestag, among others. Incidentally, the official seat of the Federal President, the "Bellevue Palace", is located nearby. The 187 bus stop is a few meters from the embassy.

Embassy of the Republic of El Salvador in Berlin

(also responsible for Austria)

Joachim-Karnatz-Allee 47/corner Paulstraße

10557 Berlin

Tel: 0049 - (0) 30 - 206 46 60

Fax: 0049 - (0) 30 - 22 48 82 44.

Email: [email protected]

Honorary Consul General of the Republic of El Salvador in Hanau

Hochstädter Landstrasse 21

63454 Hanau

Tel: 0049 - (0) 6181 - 82091

Fax: 0049 - (0) 6181 - 86850

Honorary Consul General of the Republic of El Salvador in Neuss

Tacitusstrasse 4

41468 Neuss

Tel: 0049 - (0) 2131 - 27 89 71

Fax: 0049 - (0) 2131 - 27 42 67

You can find further honorary consulates in: Hamburg, Kiel and Munich.

German representations in El Salvador

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Salvador

esquina 7A Calle Poniente No. 3972

77a Avenida Norte

Colonia Escalón, San Salvador Postal


Apartado Postal 693

San Salvador

Tel: 00503 - (0) 22 - 47 00 00

Fax: 00503 - (0) 22 - 47 00 99.

Email: [email protected]


Austrian representations in El Salvador


The embassy in Mexico is responsible .

Honorary Consulate General in San Salvador

Calle Circunvalación # 150-A

Colonia San Benito, San Salvador

Apto. Postal 51 Mulitplaza Antiguo Cuscatlan

Depto. La Libertad, El Salvador

Tel: 00503 - 2512 0068

Fax: 00503 - 2243 5612

Email: [email protected]

Representations of El Salvador in Austria

Embassy of the Republic of El Salvador in Vienna

Prinz Eugen Strasse 72/2/1

1040 Vienna

Tel: 0043 - (0) 1 - 505 38 74

Fax: 0043 - (0) 1 - 505 38 76

Email: [email protected]


Honorary Consul General of the Republic of El Salvador in Vösendorf

Deutschstrasse 1

2331 Vösendorf

Tel: 0043 - (0) 1 - 699 64 94

0043 - (0) 1 - 699 25 81 203

Fax: 0043 - (0) 1 - 699 29 70

Email: o. [email protected]

Honorary Consul General of the Republic of El Salvador in Salzburg

Ginzkeyplatz 10/2

5033 Salzburg

Tel: 0043 - (0) 662 - 6248 48 12

Fax: 0043 - (0) 662 - 6248 48 22

Email: [email protected]

Swiss representations in El Salvador


The embassy in Guatemala is responsible

Consulate General of Switzerland in San Salvador

Consulado general de Suiza

Apartado Postal 72

Sucursal Galerias Escalón

San Salvador, El Salvador

Tel: 00503 - 2264 1177

Fax: 00503 - 2263 9190

Email: [email protected]

Representations of El Salvador in Switzerland

Embassy of the Republic of El Salvador in Geneva

Rue de Lausanne 65

1202 Geneva

Tel: 0041 - (0) 22 - 732 70 36

Fax: 0041 - (0) 22 - 738 47 44

Email: [email protected]

El Salvador: entry and exit regulations

Entry requirements

To enter El Salvador you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your stay in the country. Only residents of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are allowed to enter with the identity card. The 6-month rule regarding the passport does not apply to them either. When entering the country, make sure that the entry permit is entered for the entire stay. This saves a (annoying) later extension of the entry permit.

As far as children are concerned, their German child ID card is not recognized. You must have yourself signed on the passport of an accompanying parent or have your own passport with you. The same provisions also apply to citizensAustria and Switzerland. In addition, the same visa requirements as those of their parents apply to children from these three countries.


Since entry into El Salvador will definitely be via the USA, the following should be noted:

New conditions have been in effect for entry and transit into or through the USA since the beginning of 2009 (e.g. ESTA).

You can find them under: Entry requirements for the USA

Visa or not?

Citizens of all EU countries and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter the country. However, the condition is that your stay does not last longer than 3 months.

Exit regulations

Air travelers who want to leave the country must appear at the airport at least 3 hours before departure.

All souvenirs made from animal and plant products without official accompanying documents will be confiscated by customs. Worse still, there is a risk of substantial fines and imprisonment. In addition, violations of the export regulations that apply to antiques, protected animals and plants are punished. Exceeding the length of stay is also punishable under criminal law. Fines, but also imprisonment, can result.

El Salvador: Travel Medicine and Vaccinations

Infectious diseases

Medium risk of infection

In El Salvador there is a medium risk of infection for Chagas disease. This is transmitted via the predatory bugs. Protection with mosquito nets is possible and advisable for travelers who want to spend the night in simple huts or outdoors. Another disease that occurs nationwide is leishmaniasis, which is transmitted by butterfly mosquitoes. Insect repellants and clothing that covers the entire skin protect against this. A rabies vaccination is also advised for travelers in the country. rabiesis transmitted by dogs, cats, forest animals and bats, etc. Anyone who travels with a backpack or with children, belongs to an occupational risk group or is planning a longer stay in El Salvador should get vaccinated. Regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not, you should see your doctor as soon as possible after a bite.

Higher risk of infection

, the dengue fever is relatively common in El Salvador - especially in the rainy season from June to September. There is also an increased risk of infection with hepatitis A across the country. One should urgently consider vaccination. A vaccination against hepatitis B is advisable for those who stay in the country for a long time, as well as for children and young people.

Health care in the country

Apart from the few privately operated clinics in the capital San Salvador, medical care in El Salvador is more than inadequate. It is therefore urgently recommended to take out travel health insurance that also includes travel repatriation insurance. You should also put together a small first-aid kit (plaster, antiseptic, bandages, sterile compresses, etc.) and carry it with you.

El Salvador: Travel and Safety Advice

Even after the end of the civil war, the social problems in El Salvador remained serious, as did the gap between rich and poor. These aspects show up in the extremely high drug and violence rate. About one in six Salvadorans is armed.

“El Salvador has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America and worldwide. On average, 10 people are killed every day as a result of homicides. And around 57 murders were committed per 100,000 people in 2017. The risk of violent crimes - especially in the vicinity of the volcanoes of great tourist interest and on the beach - is extremely high, and the inhibition threshold when using firearms or stabbing weapons is low. In the event of an attack, it is imperative to refrain from any kind of resistance.

Armed robberies, theft of cars or objects that are in them, but in addition to murders and manslaughter, rape is unfortunately very common. The number of kidnappings has decreased, kidnappings - but they still exist. Blackmail crimes against small businesses and local public transport have risen sharply.

It is therefore always preferable to use approved taxis rather than buses.

The buses - like the taxis - are often in a critical technical condition. For direct connections to the capitals of the surrounding countries, however, there are some good bus routes (information in travel agencies), some of which also have their own security staff.

Traveling overland

The big cities of San Salvador, Santa Ana and San Miguel, as well as the departments of La Paz, La Libertad and Sonsonate are particularly dangerous. There are also regular raids near the major hotels in the capital (“Zona Rosa”). It is recommended to use a car even for short journeys (licensed taxis have an "A" as the first letter on the license plate).

Individual travelers should be especially careful. If possible, only travel on main roads and avoid secondary roads. You should not go on hiking tours or similar excursions without an expert guide away from the main roads.

Keep your car doors and windows closed. Do not take hitchhikers with you and do not stop in the event of an apparent accident, but notify the nearest police station (many accidents have already been fabricated to rob those who hurry to help).

Natural disasters

In December 2006, a series of earthquakes struck the Ahuachapan/Atiquizaya region and destroyed many houses. At the beginning of January 2007, even in San Salvador, the earth shook with a strength of 6.4 on the Richter scale. More or less strong tremors are always to be expected. El Salvador is in the hurricane-prone zone (hurricane season: approx. June to November).

General travel information

Particular care should be taken when bathing in the sea because of the dangerous ocean currents. Since these underwater currents come right up to the beach, you should not swim out. There are usually no lifeguards or lifeboats. As with all coastal waters in America, there is also the possibility of sharks getting lost near the coast.

Strong warnings are given against drug use. Even if you carry a few grams for personal use, you face high fines.

Prison sentences have to be served in El Salvador under difficult conditions.

The sexual abuse of children and young people in El Salvador is persecuted relentlessly and subject to heavy penalties.

It is also pointed out that such acts, if they are committed by Germans or against Germans abroad, can also be prosecuted in Germany.

Violations of export regulations with regard to antiques, protected animals and plants can be prosecuted.

Violations of legal residence regulations, e.g. exceeding the maximum length of stay, are subject to fines, but have also led to prison sentences. "

El Salvador: currency


The former currency of El Salvador was the El-Salvador-Colón (C, SVC), which is also called “Peso” in parlance.

1 colón = 100 centavos.

But since 2001 the US dollar (US $, USD) has been the official currency in the country.

1 US dollar = 100 cents.

It should be noted that often only smaller dollar banknotes are accepted (up to around US $ 20).

Bank opening hours

Banks are generally open from in El Salvador

Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All banks closed on 29./30. June as well as on 30./31. December. Then the half-yearly accounts take place.

Debit cards, credit cards & travelers checks

The money cards with the Maestro and Cirrus symbols are accepted worldwide and are also accepted by some ATMs in El Salvador. However, they cannot be used in shops. As for credit cards, Visa, American Express, Eurocard and Mastercard are accepted in the country. Sometimes you can also use the Diners Club. In any case, you should obtain further details from the credit card issuer. Travelers checks can be exchanged in hotels and banks. They should have been issued in US dollars.

Money import and export

Foreign currency may be brought into and out of the country without restriction. But if you change borders with more than US $ 10,000, you have to declare this amount.






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