Interesting Facts about El Salvador

April 20, 2015 | 0

El Salvador is a country that lies between Honduras and Guatemala, and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the southwest side. This beautiful country is the smallest and the most densely populated nation in Central America.  Here are some of the 20 most interesting facts about El Salvador

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  1.  The capital of El Salvador, San Salvador is also the largest city of the country. The other popular and important cities include San Miguel and Santa Ana.
  2.  El Salvador is rapidly evolving as an industrialized nation and is the fourth in Central America, just behind Panama, Costa Rica and Belize.  Historically the country depended on agriculture for its economy with indigo being the chief crop. In the early 20th century, coffee accounted for ninety-two percent of the earnings.  By the turn of the 21st century, El Salvador has diversified its manufacturing processes and has opened up trade links with various nations.  The official currency of El Salvador was the colon, which was substituted with the US Dollar in 2001.
  3. El Salvador is prone to volcanic eruptions and catastrophic earthquakes.  San Salvador bore the brunt of near destruction in 1756, 1854 and also suffered huge damages in 1919, 1982 and 1986.  Though there are more than 21 volcanoes, two of them, San Miguel and Izalco have been active in the past few years.  The fact that El Salvador is close to Pacific Ocean makes it vulnerable to heavy rainstorms and droughts. Extreme weather situations have a bearing on soil erosion and deforestation leading to problems like forest fires and landslides.
  4. The country is known for its rivers, accounting for more than 300. The most popular river is Rio Lempa, followed by  Jiboa, Goascorán, Paz, Rio Grande de San Miguel and Torola.
  5. El Salvador’s climate is largely tropical in nature, replete with dry and wet seasons.  The rainy season which begins around May and end by October, is also dubbed as winter.  The best time to visit El Salvador is at the commencement and end of the dry season (summer season), the period from November to April.
  6. According to a recently conducted United Nations survey, life expectancy for men is 68 years and 74 for women.
  7.  El Salvador has been plagued with high crime rates including gang-wars and juvenile crimes.  The country has among the highest homicide rates in the world.
  8. The tourism industry in El Salvador has seen an upsurge in the recent years.   There are direct flights every 5-6 hours from major cities in US to El Salvador leading to a steady influx of US tourists to El Salvador.  The rapidly changing urbanization has lead to proliferation of malls and restaurants in the urban areas of El Salvador, especially around San Salvador.
  9. The nightlife and beaches are most sought-after by European and North American tourists. Surfing is a favorite natural tourist activity with major of natives and tourists have a fun-time surfing at Salvadoran and La Libertad beaches. Playa Las Flores in San Miguel is a major surfing sport.
  10. The top 10 attractions in El Salvador include visiting and surfing along the coastal beaches,  Ruta Las Flores, Playa Las Flores in San Miguel, La Palma, Santa Ana, Juayua, Apaneca, La Nahuizalco, San Ignacio, La Libertad, Suchitoto and Playa Las Flores.
  11.  Do not forget to enjoy the pupusa, the popular dish of El Salvador. Pupusas are corn tortillas hand-made and stuffed with quesillo (Salvadoran cheese) and refried beans. There are non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian options available.  A few other popular dishes which are native to El Salvador include panes con pollo and yucca frita.  The breakfast is normally plantain accompanied with cream. Most desserts and sweet dishes include ‘alguashte’ a native condiment.  Dessert lovers would love to indulge in ‘Maria Luisa’ a layered cake sprinkled with sugar and dipped in orange marmalade.  Horachata is a popular drink, made of ground morro seeds mixed with a bit of sugar and added to milk or water.
  12. Football is the most passionate sport in El Salvador. The Estadio Cuscatlán is the biggest stadium in the whole of Central America.
  13.  Tourists visiting El Salvador should have a visa or tourist card, along with their passport.  The Consulate of El Salvador issues visas and the tourist card is issued usually for 90 days and covers Honduras, Guatemala and  Nicaragua apart from El Salvador.  These four countries are together called CA-4 and you can travel across these countries for 90 days.  Visas can be extended for another 90  days once in a year.
  14.  The El Salvador International Airport is at Comalapa, situated on the beach, forty-five minutes away from the border of San Salvador.  The major airline is Avianca serving neighboring countries and even places like Spain, South America, North and Central America. The other airlines include American Airlines, Delta, Spirit, United, Copa, AeroMexico and Iberia.
  15. The cost for staying in a simple hotel could be between $30 and $50 (subject to change), a simple meal could cost below $5. Also while shopping at markets, you can expect the street vendors to charge foreigners a dramatically higher rate once they think you look like a tourist.
  16.  If you wish to enter El Salvador by road, you can take the Pan-American highway which runs through the country, with San Salvador in the West and San Miguel in the East.
  17.  The buses are cheap but often crowded and there is a risk of being robbed. So, it is essential to take care of your belongings when you travel by one.  However, there are safer and more luxurious bus travel options like Tica Bus, Pullmantur and Arsotur.
  18. The official language of El Salvdaor is Spanish, but a large section of people are quite familiar with the English language.
  19.  People who love nature may find solace in the natural beauty of El Salvador. The countryside with mountains, secluded beaches and volcanoes are quite a sight to behold.  Some of the notable mentions include the national park at Bosque El Imposible,  the Montecristo Cloud Forest, places like Isla Conejo, Conchaguita, Isla San Sebastian, and La Isla de Méndez known for being a coconut island.  Also visit Joya de Cerén, Apaneca, Panchimalco, Suchitoto and Tazumal known for its pyramid which rises nearly seventy-five feet high in the air.  While the capital city of San Salvador is known for its seafood, nightlife, entertainment and shopping, San Miguel on the East is suitable for people who love countryside, lakes and other aspects of natural beauty.
  20.  El Salvador is quite a hospitable country; Salvadorans are well-mannered, hard-working, friendly and helpful.  Usually, if you are speaking to someone you don’t know, it is better to address them in a formal manner like senor or senora.

El Salvador in pictures

pupusas

pupusas

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