Set in the Valley of the Hammocks, San Salvador’s volcanic landscape and vast lakes offer a spectacular backdrop to the capital city. Combining colonial architecture and colourful handicrafts with enriching museums, San Salvador is a diverse city with a cosmopolitan culture.
Things to do in San Salvador
A treat for historians and culture lovers, San Salvador’s city centre reveals a series of impressive landmarks. See the ornate facade and colourful murals of the San Salvador Cathedral, admire the French Renaissance architecture of the National Theatre and marvel at the grand scale of the National Palace.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of San Salvador with a day trip to Lake Ilopango, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the volcanic waters or trek to the top of the nearby Ilopango Lighthouse for scenic views. On the journey back, stop for “pupusa”, a local street food of fresh corn tortillas stuffed with pork, cheese and beans.
Witness the smoking embers of El Boquerón Volcano on a hike to the rim of “Big Mouth”. Walk along the crater’s edge through wildflowers and be treated to stunning panoramic views of the distant Lake Ilopango and Izalco Volcano.
Keen to soak up San Salvador's creative flair? Visit the Museum of Art in El Salvador to see an impressive collection of sketches and paintings from prominent local and international artists. If you’re looking to buy authentic handwoven hammocks and carved wooden souvenirs, head to Mercado Ex-Cuartel to find local artisans selling genuine Latin America handicrafts.
Getting around San Salvador
San Salvador is a 45-minute taxi ride from El Salvador International Airport. Interstate buses on the Pan American highway connect San Salvador with the cities of Nicaragua, San Jose, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Local buses and taxis are an easy way to get around San Salvador.