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San Salvador. The capital of El Salvador is San Salvador.
Approximately in the center of the country in a valley near the base of the San Salvador volcano.
There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthy neighborhoods. Poorer areas are located in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's fringes.
San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm. Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.
National and international airlines serving this airport include:
Aeromexico Connect (Mexico City)
Air Transat (Montreal, Toronto)
Avianca El Salvador (Belize City, Bogotá, Cali, Cancún, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Havana, Houston-Intercontinental, Liberia, Lima, Los Angeles, Managua, Medellín-Córdoba, Mexico City, Miami, New York-JFK, Orlando, Panama City, Quito, Roatán, San Francisco, CA; San José, CR; San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, Toronto-Pearson, Washington-Dulles)
American (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Miami, FL)
Canjet (Toronto, ON)
Copa (Panama City)
Delta (Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA)
Spirit (Ft Lauderdale, FL; Houston, TX)
United Airlines (Houston, TX; Newark, NJ)
Given the small size of the country there are no national domestic flights offered.
You can also take local transportation within the neighbouring countries and take buses from the Salvadorian side of the border to the capital (much cheaper than shuttles and direct first class buses). From the border at El Poy (near Ocotepeque in Honduras - the crossing you would use when coming from Copán Ruinas or San Pedro Sula), a bus to San Salvador costs between $2 and $3.50 for the 3hour journey, depending on the standard of the bus - for $3.50 you will have an extremely comfortable airconditioned bus, the same style as a first-class Hedman Alas, but a few years older. The last bus departs around 4:30pm though, so be sure to make it in time.
Taxis also provide good ways of getting around. Negotiating the cost of your taxi before you step in is common practice and expected. Expect to pay around $25-35 between the airport and San Salvador or the airport and Playa El Tunco. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare. It is not common to tip taxi drivers, although they may try to convince you to leave some spare change!
What to see
San Salvador has many beautiful monuments, some of them dating back to the early 20th century, while others are more modern. Some of the most important monuments include the National Palace, Plaza Gerardo Barrios, Plaza La Libertad, Plaza Morazan, Water Clock, Monument to the Sea, Atlacatl Monument and the Proceres Monuments (it has 10 busts of famous Salvadorans that line the street).
One of the most recognizable monuments in El Salvador is the Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, or "Monument to the Saviour of The World". The Saviour is San Salvador's Patron Saint and is celebrated with massive festivities during the first full week of August every year.
San Salvador has a large urban park, the "Parque de los Pericos". There is another park called Parque Cuscatlan (close to downtown), which is very elegant, with lights, trees and paths. Popular with locals, the beautiful botanical gardens of La Laguna located at the bottom of a volcanic crater showcase much native fauna. Zoologico Nacional (The National Zoo), and Parque Saburo Hirao (with a collection of native plants) are in the SE part of the city by the old Presidential House.
Thefts in El Salvador are rare and usually go one of two ways - they will break into your car while you are gone, in which case, you should always try to park in a lot with a parking attendant. Secondly, you may be approached on the street or on the bus (more common) and asked to hand over your phone and/or valuables. In this case, it's best to do what they ask and almost always, they walk away after getting what they want.
As a woman, dress conservatively. Short dresses and skirts are mostly for clubs. Spaghetti strap tank tops, short shorts, and bikinis are for the beaches. In a machismo society such as El Salvador, you don't have the same "equality" as men do and revealing clothing speaks volumes about how men should treat you.
As a man, be aware of women that you approach. Often women in bars are with a man, and are, for lack of a better word, "theirs". If you you think they are together, do not try to flirt with the woman - it will sometimes start a fight. If you don't think they are together, it is polite and appropriate to ask the man if he minds you flirting with his companion. It is usually not ok to show up to a salsa club without a date, generally speaking, most men will not want to "share" their dance partner.