Passport must have a 6 month validity minimum. Consult your travel agency.
Tourist Card: $10 USD, which can be acquired in any air or land entry.
The country departure tax is not included in our packages; so it will be paid by the passenger in the departure airport, at US$32.00 per person (subject to change without previous warning).
Spanish is the official language; nevertheless, English is widely spoken in the tourist places. In some zones indigenous populations still speak Náhuat.
El Salvador has a tropical climate throughout the year. The dry season lasts from November to April. The rainy season extends from May to October, but in general it rains in the afternoons and during the night. The annual temperature maximum average in the capital oscillates between 28º and 35º C (82ºF to 95ºF), and it goes down at nights between 16º and 29º C (60ºF to 85ºF). Lower temperatures are found in the West of the country and the high mountains, but in the East it ranges from 35 to 40º Centigrade (95ºF to 104ºF).
GMT -6 is the time in El Salvador. This never changes all along the year.
The electrical current is 110 volts at 60 Hz. and it uses American-type plug-in outlet, which is why it is advisable to include a flat pin adapter in the luggage as well as a voltage converter.
TELEPHONE: Direct international connection to any part of the world. The code of the country is 503. The code for international calls is: 00. A telephone card for international calls can be obtained at gas stations, stores and markets. INTERNET: there is access to Internet in all the commercial centres and the INFOCENTROS network all along the country. Most hotels and businesses centres have wireless Internet.
At the moment the official currency is the U.S.A. Dollar and it is accepted throughout the country. We recommend visitors change currencies only in the banks. The national currency is Salvadoran Colon; nevertheless, it does not circulate anymore. BANKS: Scotiabank, Citibank, HSBC, Bank of Central America, Cuscatlán Bank, American Bank, Banco de Fomento Agropecuario, Banco Hipotecario, Banco Uno, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (Inter-American Development Bank), Banco Procredit (Procredit Bank), Banco Promérica (Promérica Bank), Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (Central American Bank of Economical Integration).
The majority is Catholic and Protestant; but there is freedom of faith. The majority belong to the Catholic Religion (approximately 80%), but churches of different denominations can be found.
WHAT TO WEAR
Due to the high temperatures that the country usually has, it is recommended to wear cotton light clothes, comfortable shoes and boots if touring the mountains. Do not forget the bathing suit, hat or cap and sun glasses at beach zones. A light jacket or sweater is recommended for the coolest nights and highlands. We recommend appropriate clothes for rain during the rainy season, which lasts from April to September.
HEALTH AND VACCINES
No vaccine is mandatory to enter El Salvador. It is recommended to drink bottled water always, which is available anywhere.
Commercial days are from Monday to Friday from the hours of 9 to 18. Saturday is a normal work day and some stores open Sunday. Some main malls we have are: Metrocentro in the Capital, and the main cities of the country, Multiplaza, Hiper Mall Las Cascadas, Plaza Merliot, and others where you will find a variety of clothing and crafts stores, stores by department.
SCHEDULES OF BUSINESSES AND COMMERCE: Monday Friday: 8:30 - 17:00 and 9:00 - 19:00. Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 - 19:00
The ancestral diet of the country is based on the Mayan culture of maize, frijoles or beans, some outstanding typical plates of the country like pupusas, quesadillas (bread consisting on a mix of flour and cheese, with sesame seeds), and other derivatives. This basic diet is high in calories, but there are an abundance of restaurants that offer international food in varieties of meats, chicken and seafood, as well as native and imported vegetables. Also, there are restaurants specializing in vegetarian food, and many other restaurants offer vegetarian food in their menu as well.
International passengers must pass by the customs when entering the country. It is not permitted to enter with fruits, vegetables or animal products from another country.
CREDIT AND ATM CARDS
Most cards that circulate at world-wide level can be used in most of the commercial and tourist sites.
They can be changed at banks and hotels, passport is required.
10% is the appropriate tip in most restaurants and bars. Some already include the gratuity in the account.