Author Topic: El Salvador Master Thread  (Read 188 times)

Offline Yaalili

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El Salvador Master Thread
« on: November 20, 2021, 11:16:40 PM »
Recently returned from a trip to El Salvador, and figured would start a thread as there is none currently.

Can be useful for the DDF'ers who got in on the 6,000 Miles First Class deal on Delta, from a few months back. (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=125625.0).

El Salvador Fact Sheet

  • El Salvador is one of a few countries outside of the USA, that uses the US dollar. It is very convenient not to have to change money when visiting.
  • Outlets are similar to the USA, so no adapter is needed.
  • Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test within 3 days, currently required to visit.
  • Uber is available at the coast, airport and San Salvador area and is very affordable.
  • Buses can take you almost anywhere in El Salvador and are very cheap. Be cautious though, as gang-related crime has often targeted buses and bus station areas.
  • San Salvador used to be known as the "Murder Capital of the World" until a few years ago. Things have been steadily improving the last few years, and that title has been taken now by nearby San Pedro Sula in Honduras.

Airport

There is only 1 commercial airport in this small country, and it is located about 45 minutes south of the capital San Salvador, or about 30 minutes north of the coast area. You will pay $12 (USD or CC) to get the visa sticker, which is valid for 3 months. Once you have that, you proceed to what felt like the slowest immigration line I have ever seen. There was not actually that many people, but they really take their time with each person.

The Priority Pass lounge at the airport is located post-security, turn left. Highlight of the lounge was the fast Wi-Fi connection. There are also 2 (very basic) showers, though no toiletries are provided. The lounge does not have any sunlight or plane views.

While you can call Uber at the airport, they cannot pick up (or drop off) directly at the terminal. You will need to walk about 5-10 minutes to the parking lot area and meet your driver and car there. Uber from the airport to the coast or San Salvador area, should be about $18-22 USD.

Points Hotels

There are 3 Marriott's, 3 IHG, 1 (future) Hyatt, and 1 (future) Hilton in the San Salvador area.

(Cat 2) Courtyard San Salvador - https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/salcy-courtyard-san-salvador/
(Cat 2) Fairfield by Marriott San Salvador - https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/salfi-fairfield-san-salvador/
(Cat 3) Sheraton Presidente San Salvador - https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/salsi-sheraton-presidente-san-salvador-hotel/

Crowne Plaza San Salvador - https://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/san-salvador/sslcp/hoteldetail
Holiday Inn San Salvador - https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/san-salvador/sslrc/hoteldetail
Intercontinental San Salvador - https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/san-salvador/sslhb/hoteldetail

(Cat 2) Hyatt Centric San Salvador - https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/el-salvador/hyatt-centric-san-salvador/salct
Hilton San Salvador - https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/salsahh-hilton-san-salvador/ (opening 2023).

There are no major chain hotels along the coast or in the other cities and towns.

Kosher & Shuls

Chabad has not yet reached El Salvador (that I know of). There are 2 Shuls in the San Salvador area according to Google Maps, though did not have a chance to check either of them out. They seem to be Orthodox with Sephardic Nusach. One of them is located just a short walk away from the Crowne Plaza hotel area. More information on that one below.

Sinagoge Beit Israel has establish a small kosher makolet and you can find kosher chicken and other products from USA and Israel. Source: https://sansalvadorshul.org/pages/visit-us. Sinagoge Beit Israel offers Tefillah (Jewish prayers services) on weekday and on Shabbat. A Minyan is always available especially if you are going to be traveling and require a Minyan. Sinagoge Beit Israel is an Sephardic orthodox Sinagoge. Our traditions of Tefillah is a mixture of Spanish and Morocco style and lead by our Rabbi. Synagogue Beit Israel is a Jewish community in El Salvador, Central America. Founded in 2013 as a joint effort of diverse groups of people, it is constituted as a dynamic and joyful community but above all with a great love for the Torah. Made up of 60 families, the community has daily services, a mikvah, a mini kosher supermarket, and the country's first center for Jewish studies (kolel) called Ahuvim. Purpusa are the national dish of El Salvador. Beit Israel is the only place where you can enjoy Kosher Pupusas. The most exotic fruits of El Salvador are Anonas, Jocotes, Nances, Mamones, Mara๑ones, Guayabas, Zapotes, Paternas, mameys, and Pepetos.

Attractions & Sights

  • Parque Nacional El Boqueron - about 30 minutes northwest of San Salvador, can get there with Uber for about $6-7, but Uber to return to San Salvador may be choppy. $2 entrance fee.
  • Downtown San Salvador - spend a few hours exploring the markets and street vendors, and experiencing the hustle and bustle of downtown SS.
  • Puerta del Diablo - beautiful hiking area with volcano and city views, south of SS.
  • Lake Ilopango - about 20 minutes east of SS. Check around before going, as the areas nearby have some dangerous neighborhoods.
  • Tazumal - Mayan ruins of El Salvador. Seems to be a lower key version of Tikal of Chichen Itza.
  • El Tunco - one of the major tourist draws of El Salvador is surfing, and El Tunco is the best area for this.
  • Suchitoto - A colonial town about 35 minutes north of San Salvador, cobblestone streets, old buildings, central marketplace and more.

If someone is heading to El Salvador / San Salvador and wants to know more, please post any questions or your experiences.

Offline Spoon

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Re: El Salvador Master Thread
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2021, 01:56:16 PM »
Good info.

How safe is it?

Offline Yaalili

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Re: El Salvador Master Thread
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2021, 02:48:10 PM »
Good info.

How safe is it?

Felt pretty safe there mostly. You just want to be aware of where you are, and not venture off to the wrong areas. Same logic that would apply in many Latin American large cities. A couple weeks ago there was a surge in homicides, and the President placed the military all over the capital. They had some checkpoints set up on the highway and were spot-checking too.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: El Salvador Master Thread
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2021, 02:51:20 PM »
Views on approach to San Salvador, El Salvador.









Offline Saulius

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Re: El Salvador Master Thread
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2021, 03:12:06 PM »
El Salvador saw a murder rate of 83 per 100,000 inhabitants, making it the most dangerous country for this kind of crime worldwide in 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262963/ranking-the-20-countries-with-the-most-murders-per-100-000-inhabitants/