El Salvador
San Salvador

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17 travelers at this place

  • Day8

    Vamos Vorstandssitzung

    August 9, 2019 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    In der Casa Concordia haben wir heute die Vamos Vorstandssitzung abgehalten und Projekte, Zukunft und die Auswirkung der nationalen Politik besprochen. Der ehemalige Umweltminister und Unterstützer von Vamos konnte uns hier sehr gute Einblicke gewähren.Read more

  • Day43

    San Salvador: eine unterschätzte Stadt

    March 20, 2019 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Von der Pazifikküste bin ich heute nach San Salvador gefahren. Die Stadt hat sehr viel mehr zu bieten, als man denkt. Von einem Vulkan kann man auch hier auf die Stadt schauen, es gibt tolle Plätze und Gebäude, leckeres Essen und ein lebendiges Nachtleben.Read more

  • Day139

    San Salvador, El Salvador

    March 5, 2017 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Potentially our most dangerous stop to date.

    San Salvador - El Salvador's capital - has had it's fair share of bad rap. Primarily, and leading news almost daily, it has a frightening number of murders and other gang related violence. In fact, in the last decade there has only been a couple of murder free days! Definitely a place to be carrying your wits and not much else.

    Most tourists don't bother with San Salvador, not just for the above reasons but also because to be just, it doesn't really have a lot of appeal. Well we're not most tourists, and I had heard good things about fútbol in El Salvador so we thought we'd give it a hoon. A quick and cheap hoon, as we are doing so increasingly often!

    Our chicken bus got us here safely and we had some accommodation lined up with a very helpful english speaking local named Edwin, who even picked us up from the bus station. It was our first ride in a car since Cuba and we were very grateful not to have to find our way to Edwin's. He lives with his mother and her frail mother in a two-storey house near enough to downtown. He also runs a tour guide business and a combination of this and the homestay makes for many comings and goings. As you would expect, we shared our accomodation with two Australians, who we've come to believe must make up at least 50% of tourists in central america.

    We really only had one full day to get things done here and we didn't fancy straying too far from home after dark so that made for even less time. But we gave it a good go! Sunday breakfast was met with little enthusiasm; beans, eggs and plantains are starting to get a little tiresome but some good coffee saw us leaving well prepared. Our first stop was the Iglesia el Rosario, downtown. We detoured past another cathedral which reminded us that it was Sunday morning and touring a church during a service probably wasn't wise. Luckily we caught a break (literally) and snuck into Rosario. It was uniquely impressive; a very brutalist concrete arch frame with an isolated and flimsy looking bell tower off to one side. Actually quite ugly from the outside and reminiscent of the movie Mad Max. Inside was where the spectacle began. Stained glass windows backlit by the morning sun shone rich colours through the entire building, emphasised by dim internal lighting and some sullen background music. On the back wall, a giant stained glass eye peered inward, watching every move. It was a huge space, filled with people all respectfully silent. Worth the stop for sure! The remainder of downtown was a disappointment, dirty, smelly or under construction - as warned by Edwin. Onwards please.

    Having had a little brain fart with her exercise gear, Cat was in need of some new kit. Also, the strapping young men on tour were beginning to look a little shabby and were well overdue some grooming. Conveniently for us, the biggest mall in the country was only a short bus away and offered solutions to both our problems. The barber in the mall made us feel like kings! We were waited on by several different people and offered drinks, foot washes, hair washes and beard trims on top of a very meticulous and time consuming haircut. At $8 a pop we did blow the budget (they were $1.50 on the street) but in one way or another it felt justified. Cat also had a field day and has come out looking sharp - now we just have to do some exercise!

    From the mall we got very confused with the local bus system so ended up taxiing to the Museum of Anthropology. It was very empty. In fact there were probably more shotgun-wielding security guards than visitors, but all the text was in english and spanish and for that we were grateful. It was an interesting insight into El Salvador and it's population. Knowing that over a million kiwis live and work overseas put perspective on a whopping 2 million Salvadorian expatriots (largely in the US) who's cash care-packages contribute to nearly 20% of the country's GDP!

    We left the museum a little disappointed that there was no civil war history (one for google) and trudged through Zona Rosa in the sweltering heat. Supposedly a nice tourist area, we were met with nothing but over priced fast food joints and hotels. Very unauthentic. Perhaps we strayed off course or perhaps this is what most tourists like about San Salvador. Let's hope not. Our expedition eventually reached Estadio Cuscatlan which was uncoincidently our destination for a local footy match.

    We dined at one of the stadium stalls, beef steak (first in a long time!) with rice beans and veg was a treat, and we washed it down with some beers from the supermarket - all the while watching an ever growing number of riot police assume position. Our $6US tickets got us some decent seating in the family section (read: we were way to scared to sit with the other hooligans our age!) and we were allowed to bring in our beers so long as they were in cups. Cheers! Alianza FC (San Salvador prems) were playing LA Firpo in La Liga Primera. Fortunately for us, the rowdiest crowd was on the far side of the stadium, which played music for the entire match and kept us entertained by sneaking around the riot police to abuse the away fans - and vice versa. Even the referees were escorted off the pitch at half and full time by riot police! Alianza clinched the win 1-0 and we left in time to watch a large number of away fans being escorted from the grounds, all the while jeering and abusing anyone in a white shirt. A little scary at times, but nonetheless an entertaining spectacle of hooliganism to remember!

    We were spent by the time we got home - the beers, the heat and the walking taking their toll. We stayed in an lazed around in the extreme heat of our accommodation before heading out for some dirty pupusas on the road side. An early night for an early start. Nicaragua watch out!

    Although the next day wasn't spent in San Salvador, we were in El Salvador so I'll start it in here - it was quite a day!

    5.30am wake up. Edwin had kindly offered us a ride to the bus station which he did with a full and open hot cup of coffee in one hand and a noticeable lack of concentration on the the road or the coffee. We were aboard our first bus and on the road by 6.30am, forking out an extra dollar for a 'first class' bus with AC! It was freezing AC as we had prepared for heat but I really can't complain. The irony is actually quite amusing. As usual it was jammed full; booty, boobs or armpit in the face - if you're seated by the aisle - and every chancer insisting on squeezing his way to the back of the bus and back trying to sell you coca, agua, peanuts or in one case - hot chips!

    This bus ran over an hour late, blowing out to 4.5hrs and dropping us off our tight schedule. We hadn't peed and had barely eaten so by 11am we were looking forward to lunch and a baño but it wasn't to be. We were ripped off the first bus and literally straight onto the second for a relatively short stretch to the El Salvo-Honduras border at El Amatillo. Finally we got our bathroom break, a dodgy chicken burger, an overpriced banana and a variety of treats to see us through Honduras. It was excruciatingly hot by now but the border crossing went smoothly and on days like today that's really all that matters.

    That was a week in El Salvador - rocketing by by just like every other one. It's a country I'll remember for the heat, the pupusas, the ridiculous number of armed guards and OTT weapons - and endless miles of buses.
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  • Day13

    San Salvador

    March 26, 2019 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    The capital of El Salvdor, and a city with a dangerous reputation. This is also the city where bishop Oscar Romero was gunned down, along with dozens of others. The first pic is of the Salvdor del Mundo Cathedral and part of the main square in town. Second is inside the cathedral where you can see pictures of Romero. Next is in the crypt and captures Romero's tomb. Next is the national palace, now a museum, located on another side of the main square. It is from here where shots were fired at worshippers running from the murder. The next pic is the courtyard inside the national palace. Last is the Church of the Rosary. It is an arch, totally open inside and very unique.Read more

  • Day130

    San Salvador

    August 17, 2015 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Eine Busfahrt die ist schön, eine Busfahrt die ist lustig.....ja das dachten wir uns auch, aber nicht wenn sie 20 Stunden am Stück dauert, man dabei 3 Grenzübergänge durchmacht und die Klimaanlage auf Anschlag läuft so dass man meint man wäre in einer Kältekammer. Wir waren froh endlich in Guatemala City angekommen zu sein, fielen todmüde in unsere Betten.
    Wir haben uns aus Kosten- (ja das müssen die Schweizer Backpacker auch mal machen ;-)) und aus Sicherheitsgründen für eine Busreise entschieden, bei der wir von Nicaragua aus die Länder Honduras und Salvador ohne Zwischenstopp nur durchfahren. Weshalb? Ganz einfach: Jeder Backpacker der einem begegnet und auch jeder vernünftige Travel Guide raten einem ab in den beiden von Gangs und Drogen beherrschten Ländern Halt zu machen.
    Somit freuen wir uns auf unser nächstes und bei weitem sichereres Reiseland Guatemala.
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  • Day49

    San Salvador, El Salvador

    March 5, 2017 in El Salvador ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We've skipped the capital cities of our last two countries but for El Salvador we made the exception to visit San Salvador, even if it was just to see a local football game. The problem with these capital cities is that aside from the lack of attractions and things to do, they're also generally the epicentre of each country's dangerous gangs and violence. Short and sweet visit coming right up.

    San Salvador is a strange city. The downtown area was pretty grim. Rubbish everywhere. Mostly derelict buildings, punctuated with a couple of colonial style buildings: a cathedral, a palace and a theatre. The only other building worthy of note down here looked horrific from the outside - picture an old school library or government buildings - but the inside was a different story. Iglesia de Rosaria is a church the shape of a rainbow (hence the name), complete with a rainbow of different coloured stained glass through which the sun projected beautiful colours into the church. A diamond in the rough one might say.

    Contrasting the downtown area is Boulevard de los heroes which houses a huge relatively new mall where the boys finally braved the barbers and Cat was able to replenish her sports gear collection after accidentally leaving most of hers behind in El Tunco. Then there's Zona Rosa, which had almost every fast food chain you could think of plus a few hotels, but also some semi-nice suburban streets. Every single house has a fence with circular barbed wire across the top though, so you can still sense the need for security in what seems like a nicer area.

    Feeling like we needed to learn a bit more about El Salvador and its history, we aimed to visit one of the museums about the civil war that took place in the 1980s. Unfortunately it being a Sunday in a highly catholic country meant that our museum choice was somewhat limited, so instead we headed for the anthropology museum. The exhibition we saw there was predominantly about migration over the years, going as far back as a few hundred BC and up to the current day. The amount of El Salvadorians in the abroad in the US alone has reached 2 million, many of which their families rely on sending money home - so much so it takes in $3 million USD per year and 20% of the national GDP. Crazy.

    Sunday afternoon rolled around which meant it was football time. We headed to Estadio Cuscatlan to watch an El Salvador premier league game - San Salvadorian Alianza F.C vs C.D Luis Angel Firpo from Usulután. The stadium was large, taking around 32,000 people at capacity. We opted for under cover seats as a break from the sun and the 35 degree heat for just $6USD a piece. The stands quickly filled up with fans, most of which were wearing t-shirts supporting their team. Like any football game the home fans were separated from the away fans, both by fences and riot police but of course that didn't stop them chanting and yelling at each other. Venders were constantly walking through the stands with various snacks and drinks, from plantain chips to icecream and beer. You never even need to leave your seat really!

    A good display of football followed, with a 1-0 win for the home team much to the delight of their fans. Piling out of the stadium the passionate away fans had to be separated again, similar to games in England as Mike tells me! Even the referees get escorted off the pitch with riot police to prevent anything happening to them as a result of any calls made throughout the game. Pretty impressive security in that respect but I guess it also shows how intense the fans can get.

    By the time the game was over and we'd made it out of the stadium, the sun was almost setting so we thought it'd be best to get a taxi back to our homestay. A rickety taxi ride followed with the axel sounding like it was going to snap or drop off at any point, so we were thankful to make it in one piece. One last set of pupusas from the roadside stall down the street and we signed off on our short time in El Salvador.

    I'm not sure quite how I feel about El Salvador, I've not quite been sold on the place. There are some nice areas and people around but it's marred by the amount of rubbish absolutely everywhere and it doesn't seem to have the same kind of unique culture that sets it apart like some of the other Central American countries to date - but I'll admit, it was always going to be hard to follow on from Guatemala. Next up we've got a big journey to Nicaragua, with transit through Honduras. We've opted for the local transport again in the hope of saving some cash, but thankfully the homestay owner Edwin was kind enough to drop us to the first bus stop at 6am. Wish us luck!
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  • Day113

    San Salvador, El Salvador

    June 11, 2016 in El Salvador ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    How long: 2 nights
    Travelling with: Solo

    Had reservations about going to San Sal as it doesn't have a good rep. But had to head there for camera fixing and also my friend Jane had put me in touch with a friend who lives there so figured had to check it out.
    Easy hour and half bus ride got me bus terminal occidente and plumped straight for a taxi...there are times to try and navigate the local city bus transport but decided this wasn't one of them .
    Got to hostel and after quick rest headed off in search of the camera shop. Zona Rosa (where my hostel was) is upscale SS with lots of poshish shops and restaurants and even an Irish bar. Totally safe and really quite dull. Found the camera shop and explained and the looked and said no sorry we don't repair...then his colleague had a look and laughed and said it's the filter...not the lens!! So embarrassed but also so happy...my expectations of a possible $600 for a new lens became $25 for new filter. Kicking myself for not realising and thus causing an unnecessary trip to San Sal. Note to self....learn about your bloody camera!
    Caught in massive rain on way back to hostel so arrived like drowned rat! Part of life at this time of year.
    Natalia and her boyfriend Diego picked me up a few hours later and took me out for the evening. Such a lovely couple and so generous with their time. Had some typical el salvadorian food and then for some popular el salvadorian entertainment. ...karaoke! Not my favourite pastime but great fun to watch Natalia and all her friends have a blast. What a lovely bunch of 25 year olds....I really felt old.
    Sunday spent at museum and art gallery. Tried to get to a local market but rain came down like nothing on earth so after sheltering for about 40 mins resorted to jumping jnto a very expensive taxi and to a mall to pass the afternoon.
    Monday into Centro to check out the manic mercado central and the Centro historico, including Inglesia Rosario which is a pretty ugly looking church from the outside but step into a little stained glass paradise.
    A few trials with buses getting out of the city but eventually managed to get myself very sweatily into a bus to El Tunco. San Sal exceeded albeit low expectations but happy enough to be leaving it behind and heading for the beach.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

San Salvador, ሳን ሳልቫዶር, سان سلفادور, Горад Сан-Сальвадор, Сан Салвадор, སན་སལ་ཝ་ཌོར།, Сан-Сальвадор, Σαν Σαλβαδόρ, San-Salvadoro, سان سالوادور, סן סלוודור, सान-साल्वाडोर, San Salvadò, Սան Սալվադոր, SAL, San-Salvador, サンサルバドル, სან-სალვადორი, 산살바도르, Urbs Sancti Salvatoris, San Salvadoras, Sansalvadora, सान साल्व्हाडोर, ਸਾਨ ਸਾਲਵਾਦੋਰ, San Salvadori, சான் சல்வடோர், ซันซัลวาดอร์, سان سالۋادور, سان سلواڈور, סאן סאלוואדאר, 聖薩爾瓦多