San Salvador is a cosmopolitan capital cranking with energy. The city seems daunting at first, but visitors soon learn to move at its energetic pace and quickly fall for the El Salvadorian capital. Many arrive for a day trip only to stay for a week or more because there is so much to explore, from the coffee shops and hipster bars to the world-class museums and restaurants.
The city’s many museums offer insight into nearly every aspect of the country’s history, culture and people. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia is one of the best in all of El Salvador, featuring two expansive floors of wonderfully presented exhibits dedicated to the Maya, the land of El Salvador and the country’s religion, arts and economy. The signage is only in Spanish, but it is worth using a dictionary to learn about the prehistoric rock carvings, ancient sculptures, plaster casts of leaves, agricultural tools, indigenous religious relics and other treasures.
At the Museum of Art of El Salvador, visitors can learn practically everything there is to know about Salvadorian painting. Many pieces by native artists are also on display at the Museum of Popular Art, and the Sculpture Museum highlights works by Enrique Salaverría, one of the country’s greatest artists.
Photos, movies, objects, audio and publications retell the history of El Salvador at the Museum of Words and Images, and the Museum at Joya de Cerén is a UNESCO World Heritage site that shows the ruins of a classical-era Mayan village. Archaeological objects excavated from nearby digs are on display at the Museum at Tazumal, and the Casa Blanca archaeological park contains a rich collection of Maya artifacts.
Other museums worth exploring include the Regional Western Museum, the recently remodeled City museum and the surprisingly interesting Museum of the Armed Forces History.
One of the most intriguing sights in San Salvador is the Iglesia El Rosario, a fascinating contrast of quiet religious life, gritty urban existence and modern industrial-style artwork. Scrap metal is the main medium for many of the figures in the space, stained-glass panels fill the entryway with a rainbow of colors and Padre Delgado, the father of the independence movement that swept Central America, is buried there.
San Salvadorians have a rich history of political involvement, and most protests take place at the Plaza Barrios. Named after the former president, the plaza is where locals come to speak their minds, relax after a long day and challenge each other to rousing games of dominos.
Two blocks away is the Parque Libertad, one of the most pleasant places in the entire city. Benches welcome tired travelers, trees provide much-needed shade and the grass beckons picnics. The traffic is still loud, but it remains the best place to unwind in San Salvador.
To further escape the chaos of the city, visit the Laguna Botanical Garden just a few miles outside of San Salvador. The gardens thrive from their location at the base of an extinct volcano, featuring over 3,000 species of plants. Small signs help visitors identify the orchids, bromeliads, begonias, medicinal plants and others that create the lush landscape, and seating areas and paved sidewalks make it easy to explore the area. A small restaurant offers refreshments near the central lake.
San Salvador Geographical Location
San Salvador is located in the western central area of El Salvador surrounded by volcanoes
The population of San Salvador is approximately 2,295,000.
San Salvador Language
Spanish is the official language of El Salvador with Nahua spoken among some Amerindians.
San Salvador Predominant Religion
- 57% Roman Catholic
- 21% Roman Protestant
- 17% None
- 5% Other
Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons comprise the majority of the “other” percentage.
San Salvador Currency
The US Dollar is the official currency of El Savador.
San Salvador Climate
Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year in El Salvador, it is usually hot, but there is a distinct rainy season between May and October. The city is prone to earthquakes.
San Salvador Main Attractions
- Los Planes de Renderos
- La Libertad
Other Attraction in San Salvador
- Alegria Lagoon
- Volcano Tours