A Guide to El Salvador
If you're looking to live like a local and explore El Salvador while you're here, this is the guide for you.
El Salvador is the Bitcoin Nation
Bitcoin is the legal tender and the new capital of freedom
What's going on in El Salvador?
● Number of new businesses, developments, and employment numbers are starting to go exponential (due to the eradication of gangs).
● Billions more are waiting for President Bukele’s March 2024 re-election before deployment (90% approval rating).
● With 60,000 gang members rounded up in 9 months, the country is experiencing a 1-time but permanent 22.5%+ Increase in GDP. This is how much the Gangs were extorting from the real economy annually
● Energy Independent: Electricity consumption per capita has outstripped other low-to-middle income countries (Energy = life / economic development).
● FinTech & NeoBanks are popping up due to comprehensive new Digital Asset and Securities Laws. Tech hub/tech export focus.
● El Salvador is turning into one of the 5 fastest growing economies.
● Billions in foreign Infrastructure investments are flowing in, moving from a production to services dominant economy.
EVERYTHING to know before you go to El Salvador
Check the visa requirements based on your nationality. Visa-free transit is permitted for individuals who typically need a visa but are only passing through for up to 48 hours and have confirmed onward travel.
Nevertheless, every visitor must obtain a tourist card upon arrival (priced at $12 currently), yet the charge is waived for select nationalities. Many countries, including the US and EU nations, don't need a visa for stays under 180 days. However, check the latest information before your trip. African and Indian Nationalities need to pay $1000 as a new policy.
The currency used in El Salvador is the United States Dollar (USD) and Bitcoin (USD). Make sure to have some cash on hand as not all places may accept cards or Bitcoin.
Best Time to Visit El Salvador:
The dry season, which runs from November to April, is generally the best time to visit. The weather is pleasant, and it's ideal for outdoor activities.
What to Pack to Visit El Salvador:
Light clothing suitable for warm weather, swimwear, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle are essentials. If you plan on exploring nature or hiking, consider packing appropriate gear.
Apps to Download:
Google Maps, WhatsApp, Uber (in specific areas), and local apps such as Hifumi (food delivery) and Waze for navigation.
For the best Accommodation, check our Directory page: Accommodations
There are a ton of options of Wallets you can use, Check our Directory Page: Bitcoin Solutions to find more info.
We strongly recommend using a Lightning wallet and not an Exchange Wallet. Make sure your wallet has the lighting network.
The El Salvador airport (SAL) is about 40 minutes from San Salvador. El Salvador charges a $12 fee to enter the country. Payable with Bitcoin, cash, or credit card. There are lots of taxis and (sometimes) Ubers at the airport. If you’d like to schedule a ride with a VAN, HV, or CAR send us a WhatsApp message
El Salvador can be affordable for travelers. A daily budget can range from $30 for budget travel to $100 or more for mid-range travel, including accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.
Traffic in San Salvador:
Traffic in the capital, San Salvador, can be congested, especially during peak hours. It's advisable to plan your travel and consider using ride-sharing apps to navigate the city.
Where to Go:
Bicentenario Park: really extensive trails, is safe and beautiful. Can use Alltrails to see maps of it. You can rent a bike on the weekends.
Jardin Botanico Plan de la Laguna: Really beautiful botanical gardens. plants from all over the world, founded by a German
Volcano of San Salvador: Great views at all of the restaurants there like La Pampa el Volcan, and Linda Vista. It's easy to uber up, but hard to uber down
Other Child-Friendly Activities:
ES Children’s Museum: probably the best children's museum in the world. Tons of activities. And it’s in the middle of a huge outdoor park.
Linda Vista. High up on the San Salvador volcano with beautiful views (hence the name), and various theme park-type activities.
Picnic Steak House. On the way up the SS volcano. Carousel, a massive slide, and a few other kid's activities.
What to Eat:
Don't miss out on pupusas (stuffed corn tortillas), ceviche, yuca frita (fried yuca), and other traditional Salvadoran dishes. Also, explore the street food for authentic local flavors, Mercadito Merliot is a good option.
El Salvador uses 110V/60Hz electricity. The plugs are typically Type A and Type B (two- or three-pronged). It's wise to carry a universal adapter.
SIM Cards and Internet:
SIM cards from local providers like Tigo, Claro, or Digicel are widely available. 3G and 4G networks cover most urban areas, providing decent internet connectivity.
Tipping is not mandatory but appreciated. In restaurants, a 10% tip might be expected, while rounding up taxi fares is common.
El Salvador has gone from being the world's murder capital to becoming the safest country in Latin America. El Salvador competes with Canada for being the safest country on the continent