Tips when traveling to El Salvador: transferring money internationally!
El Salvador is a small country in the heart of Central America serving as a popular backpacking destination that borders Honduras to the northeast, Guatemala to the northwest, and the bright and blue Pacific Ocean to the south.
Why has El Salvador become a popular travel destination?
El Salvador is a bustling and lively destination that offers a variety of activities for such a small country. The country appeals to explorers interested in embarking away from the conventional Central American travel guide and uncover a multifaceted country with a zest for adventure.
The country boasts an assortment of volcanoes, rich forests and national parks, and jagged mountain ranges, with a coastline of golden beaches and world-class surf. Visitors can find flower-filled villages and buildings decorated with stunning murals. El Salvador is also infamously known as the land of volcanoes, harboring more than 20 within the territory – two of which are currently active.
The national flower of El Salvador is Flor de Izote, otherwise known as the yucca flower blossom, which is known for being edible. The flower is often prepared in a dish known as flor de izote con huevos, traditionally served for breakfast accompanied by warm tortillas.
Things to do and place to see when traveling in El Salvador
1. Joya de Ceren
El Salvador is world-renowned for the archaeological landmark Joya de Ceren. Considered the Pompei of the Americas, it is one of the Unesco world heritage sites with ruins buried in ashes by a volcanic eruption. Prior to the natural disaster, the Joya de Cerén was a pre-Hispanic farming community. Like Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, Joya de Ceren was buried under an eruption of the Laguna Caldera volcano around AD 600. The exceptional condition of the remains provides an insight into the lost history of the Mayan civilization.
2. Surfing San Salvador
International surfing competitions often take place on the beaches of San Salvador, home to some of the top surfing locations in the world. The beaches of El Tunco and El Sunzal are also ideal for those who want to venture out on the water and catch majestic waves.
3. Lago de Coatepeque
The Lago de Coatepeque is often considered as one of the most stunning crater lakes on the planet. It is surrounded by wooded hills in western El Salvador and popular amongst locals and tourists alike. In the lake’s southwest corner is Teopán Island, another sacred site of the ancient Mayan civilization.
When visiting this area, you may also want to consider visiting the Cerro Verde National Park, which includes a network of walking trails. Its towering Santa Ana Volcano and the conical Izalco Volcano offer spectacular panoramic views.
Tips when traveling to El Salvador
The climate can get hot in El Salvador! The temperature averages 82°F/28°C throughout the year, with the rainy season lasting from May to October. The coast and lowland areas can feel hot and humid, especially between March and May. You may want to pack light, with the odd waterproof jacket for unexpected rainfall!
Pick your transportation.
Comalapa International Airport (SAL) is a great option when flying into El Salvador because it is about 30 miles from San Salvador. ‘Chicken’ buses are an easy and cost-effective method of getting around. You can jump on and off at different stops, giving you an opportunity to explore the location. Comfier coach options are also available for long-haul journeys between San Miguel, Santa Rosa de Lima, and La Unión.
In addition to public transportation, you can also rent a car in San Salvador from local garages that charge considerably less than other providers. If you’re cycling in El Salvador, make sure to gear up with suitable protection on the roads!
Explore different boarding options.
Budget travelers may need to rely on cheap hotels and hostels, many of which are located at the surf spots on the coast. Campsites are also available at most lakes, parks, and beaches. Just remember to book ahead!
Try different foods & drinks.
Get accustomed to the food of the country by trying pupusas (small tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans, or shredded pork), mariscada (seafood served in a creamy soup), Sopa de frijoles (bean soup), oysters (ostras) or delicious fresh coffee, but maybe not all together!
Stay safe in El Salvador.
El Salvador may sometimes have a dangerous reputation among those traveling alone. We recommend limiting the valuables you carry and using storage units and lockers when you’re on the move.
Additionally, taxis are safer at night than walking, especially in developed areas around the main cities. You may also want to avoid taking out large amounts of cash from ATMs.
Transfer money internationally when traveling!
If you are traveling abroad and seeking a fast and reliable method of sending and receiving money from family and friends in the US, Paysend is the perfect solution.