El Salvador

Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens Reconsider Travel to El Salvador due to crime. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.


Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not needed for tourists, but US citizens must purchase a tourist card (10 USD) upon arrival, which is valid for 90 days. If a US citizen’s passport shows they were born in El Salvador then they do not need to purchase tourist card.

US Embassy/Consulate

[503] 2501-2999; US Embassy in San Salvador, Final Boulevard Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, El Salvador; https://sv.usembassy.gov/; ACSSanSal@state.gov

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.


Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone



An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. See WHO recommendations.



Tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands

Currency (Code)

US $ (USD)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

120 V / 60 Hz / plug types(s): A, B

Plug Type APlug Type B

Major Languages

Spanish, Nawat

Major Religions

Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 36%, other 2%, none 12%

Time Difference

UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit

Suggested; additionally, if you plan to drive in El Salvador, you will need an Inter-American Driving Permit issued by the AAA

Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Suchitoto; Ruta de las Flores; Lake Ilopango; Montecristo National Park; Puerta del Diablo; Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site

Major Sports

Soccer, beach soccer, cycling, basketball, boxing

Cultural Practices

After eating, it is considered polite to spend at least an hour conversing with your hosts instead of leaving right away.

Tipping Guidelines

At most upscale restaurants, the tip will be included in the bill. If you do leave a tip, 10% is appropriate. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip. Hotel staff, such as bellhops or porters would appreciate a $1 (USD) per bag tip.


Sorpresa ceramic figurines, silk bahia band bracelets, wooden toys, wicker furniture, hammocks, native clothing, painted-wood household and decorative items

Traditional Cuisine

Pupusa — a thick griddle cake made with cornmeal or rice flour usually stuffed with ingredients such as cheese, chicharrón (fried pork skin), squash, or refried beans; typically served with curtido (spicy fermented cabbage slaw) and tomato salsa

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, May 03, 2023