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Why all this talk about El Salvador being the new favorite destination for travelers in Latin America? From Bitcoin buzz, relaxed travel restrictions and of course, incredible surroundings to explore, the country is experiencing a major tourism boom that cannot be ignored.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to visit El Salvador in 2022.
What are the travel restrictions for El Salvador?
El Salvador was the first country to remove all entry requirements and ease all travel restrictions last November. no proof of vaccination or negative test is required for entry. Entering El Salvador in 2022 is much like visiting in 2019 when it comes to border entry rules.
Once inside El Salvador, there is very little covid restrictions, however, masks are still required in most indoor spaces. El Salvador’s easy entry rules and lack of restrictions within the country have greatly increased the country’s popularity among those seeking a freer lifestyle or a carefree vacation.
Travelers from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom can visit El Salvador without a visa for up to 90 days. You will need to buy a tourist card for 12 USD upon arrival at the airport, which will also allow you to visit neighboring Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
El Salvador: the first Bitcoin nation
Last September, El Salvador made history by becoming the first nation to adopt the bitcoin cryptocurrency as legal tender. The nation has officially used the USD as its main currency since 2001, following the failure of its colon.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele was elected in 2019 and at the forefront of the historic decision. Crypto Industry Leaders recently met with the president to discuss bitcoin opportunities for the country ahead of CrytoWorldCon due to take place in April in Miami.
The change has also undoubtedly sparked the interest of traders and crypto enthusiasts around the world, as they look to visit El Salvador to see how cryptocurrency is implemented Across the country. Following the September ruling, some of our readers reported that they could use bitcoin to purchase food and goods at some large restaurant chains.
What is it like to travel to El Salvador
Often overlooked by other Central American countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, more and more travelers are looking to El Salvador in 2022. And for good reason.
El Salvador is blessed with many stunning natural and cultural sites. The country has several beautiful beaches along its Pacific coast, without forgetting Mayan ruins, 25 volcanoes and 14 lakes. When planning your trip here, you will be surprised how much you can fill your El Salvador itinerary.
The country is divided into Central, eastern and western El Salvador. In Central you will find the capital of San Salvadorthe main city in western El Salvador is santa ana and the largest city in eastern El Salvador is San Miguel.
Getting around in El Salvador
Many travelers land at the international airport just outside the capital city of San Salvador and opt for a private taxi to one of the main beach towns; either at El Tunco or El Cuco beach in the San Miguel area. The trip should cost between 35 and 40 USD.
Local buses, also known as “chicken buses” throughout Central America, are colorful school bus-like vehicles that connect people to cities and most towns in El Salvador. They are cheap and frequent, and cost tourists between $0.35 to $1.00 US each way. It is important to exercise some caution when taking the buses as they will be crowded and petty crime is not uncommon.
There is also the possibility of renting a car for your trip, and the major companies Alamo or Hertz are available. The national rail system was suspended in 2002.
Traveling to El Salvador: What to see and do
Beaches, volcanoes, historical ruins, tasty cuisine and even hot springs – it’s time to fall in love with El Salvador. Here are some major sites and hidden gems to discover during your trip.
El Tunco in La Libertad: A popular beach town in western El Salvador where you can find beach resorts and other hotel accommodations for all budgets. Dip your toe here before heading out to more remote parts of the country.
This area is also known as the “surf town” and is part of the reason why El Salvador is becoming one of the best surfing destinations in the world. You can also arrange a trip to nearby waterfalls and hot springs with a local guide. If you’re looking for something a little quieter, head to the nearby beach town of El Cuco.
Las Flores Road: Discover and taste amazing coffee along this route in the western mountains of El Salvador. The route takes travelers through six colorful colonial villages, where you can enjoy markets, food, and festivals. You can even arrange a coffee plantation tour with an agency in one of the villages.
El Esteron Beach: This beach near San Miguel to the east is arguably one of the best in the country. It’s much lesser known and a great place for swimming and kayaking. El Esteron is also home to some of the best seafood in the region.
Boqueron National Park: This national park is home to the most picturesque volcano in El Salvador. Located near San Salvador, the trail is well marked and you will be rewarded with stunning views.
mayan ruins: While Mayan ruins are a sought-after attraction in southern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, El Salvador is also home to a number of impressive Mayan-era sites. Just 12 km from the town of San Andres is Joyas de Ceren, an abandoned Mayan village that dates back 1400 years.
What are the direct flights to El Salvador?
New airlines and inaugural routes to El Salvador appear this year, this Central American destination is easier to get to than you might think. International air transport is served from San Salvador International Airport. Direct flights to El Salvador are available in the following cities:
- The United States: New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Ontario (CA), San Francisco, Washington DC
- From Canada: Toronto Pearson Airport
- From Mexico: Mexico City, Cancun
- From Central and South America: Guatemala City, San Pedro and Comayagua (Honduras), Belize City, Managua, San Jose (CR), Panama City, Bogota, Quito, Lima
- From Europe: Flights are available from Madrid via JFK.
El Salvador is currently undergoing rapid change, one of which is very attractive to foreign tourists, digital nomads and expatriate investors. The country’s welcoming approach to tourists during the pandemic while other countries remained closed has skyrocketed its popularity with travelers looking for a worry-free destination.
There’s new construction everywhere, including a gleaming new airport terminal in the nation’s capital, and economic growth is exploding with double-digit GDP gains. President Nayib Bukele is determined to continue the incredible tourism boom, reduce crime and make El Salvador the global nation on everyone’s lips.
Visiting El Salvador in 2022 is easier and more interesting than ever and should be at the top of your travel wish list this year.
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice