El Salvador Guide

El Salvador Guide

El Salvador – country information

Country name El Salvador
Official name Republic of El Salvador
Capital San Salvador
Continent North America
Area 21,041 km2
Population 6,340,000 (2013)
Foundation of a state 15/9/1821
The highest mountains Monte Cristo 2,418 m
Longest rivers Lempa 300 km
State system pluralistic presidential republic
The biggest cities San Salvador (capital) 475,000 (agglomeration 1.65 million), Santa Ana 230,000, San Miguel 200,000
Official language Spanish
Ethnicity/National Composition mestizo 89%, Indians 10%, whites 1%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 94%, others (mostly Protestants) 6%
Currency 1 coón © = centavos
gross domestic product (GDP) US$7,316 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 71.49 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 9.5%, mining and industry 22%, construction 3%, services 65.5%

El Salvador – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Guatemala Guatemala 108,889 km2 15,806,675
Honduras Tegucigalpa 112,088 km2 8,555,072

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. It lies between Guatemala in the west and Honduras in the northeast.

El Salvador (the land of lakes and volcanoes) is a state in Central America. Spanish colony until 1821. The first government came to power in 1961. Common borders in the east, north – with Honduras, in the west – with Guatemala.

The capital is San Salvador. The official language is Spanish.

The climate is tropical. Temperature +25*С. It has an area of ​​21393 km2. The highest place is the Santa Ana volcano (2381 m above sea level). The relief is a narrow, coastal plain, along with a central plateau, rising to the northern mountains.

The slopes of the volcanoes are covered with fertile soils that have attracted farmers since ancient times. El Salvador is a predominantly agricultural country whose economy is mainly based on coffee production. El Salvador has few minerals. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on oil imports, although hydroelectric power plants provide about 47% of its domestic electricity needs. Another 10% is produced at a large geothermal power plant.
El Salvador’s main trading partner is the United States, accounting for 40% of Salvadoran imports and 20% of exports, which consists of textiles, machinery, and crops such as fruit, coffee, and sugar cane.

Country data

Location: Central America

Time zone: CET – 7 (during summer time: CET – 8)

Total area: 21,041 km²

Land area: 20,721 km²

Water area: 320 km²

Length of the state border: 590 km

Bordering countries:
Guatemala: 199 km
Honduras: 391 km

Coastline: 307 km

Capital: San Salvador

Regions: 14
Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, La Union, Morazan, San Miguel, San Salvador, Santa Ana, San Vicente, Sonsonate, Usulutan

Electric current: 110 V / 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 503 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m


Population: approx. 6.1 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 290

Life expectancy: 71 (male), 78 (female)

Official language: Spanish


  • 57% Roman Catholic
  • 21% Protestants
  • 2% Jehovah’s Witness
  • 1% Mormons
  • 19% other


The year-round tropical humid climate has a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October.

The average temperature is 21 ° C, with only minor fluctuations. In the highlands the climate is more moderate.

In the higher altitudes, the temperature decreases quite quickly. From a limit of over 2,000 m, values ​​around freezing point are reached.

El Salvador

Currency / finance

Currency unit: US dollar (USD)

Division: 1 dollar = 100 cents

ATMs: Available in many major cities and tourist regions.

International credit cards: These are accepted in larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. There is an obligation to declare.

The US dollar has been the official national currency since 2001. The former currency (colon) is still legally valid, but rarely used. You should therefore not exchange any amounts of money into the old local currency.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Plants, fruits and vegetables of all kinds are not allowed to enter El Salvador.

When bringing pets, several application forms, which are available at the embassy, ​​must be filled out beforehand. Furthermore, various vaccinations of the animals are required.

Travel advice

The crime rate is very high on a global scale. Armed robbery and theft are particularly common.

The main focuses are the big cities, the beaches and the tourist centers.

Always carry 2 purses with you. In the first one (which you carry well hidden) you keep your money for the day. The second should contain a few small bills and coins. So you can give out the second wallet in the event of a robbery and satisfy the perpetrator with it without losing all of your money.

Behavioral advice

For your own safety, you should observe the following measures:

  • do not openly show money and valuable items
  • don’t let your luggage out of your sight for a second
  • lock the windows and doors from the inside while driving
  • Hitchhikers should not be taken

If you are involved in an accident, do not stop, but drive to the nearest police station. It has already happened several times that accidents were provoked in order to rob tourists.


After many years of civil war, the small Central American country still suffers from severe underemployment among the population.

The sharp decline in export earnings for coffee have worsened the situation on the farms.

Most of the residents work in agriculture, the main exports Bordering countries are cotton, coffee, rice, tobacco and sugar cane.

About 60% of all foreign trade is done with the USA.

Industries: chemistry, agriculture, food production, textiles

Natural resources: oil, agricultural land, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 27%
  • Grain cultivation: 8%
  • Pasture area: 29%
  • Forests: 5%
  • other: 31%


The country consists mainly of mountains, with a narrow coastal strip and a central plateau.

Many years ago there were huge forests all over the country, but these were cut down in favor of agriculture.

The remaining forest areas consist mainly of Ceiba, Mango and Zapot trees.


By cutting down large forest areas and converting them into agricultural cultivation areas, the entire animal world was severely decimated.

The jaguar and the puma are among the animal species that have died out in El Salvador. On the other hand, bird species are still very numerous (especially in the coastal areas).

To protect the flora and fauna, several nature reserves and protected areas have been established in recent years.

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