San Salvador Things to Do

  • Crater of el Boquerón
    Crater of el Boquerón
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  • Cocoa in the rich volcanic soil
    Cocoa in the rich volcanic soil
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  • The main structure
    The main structure
    by mikey_e

Best Rated Things to Do in San Salvador

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    El Palacio Nacional

    by mikey_e Updated Aug 10, 2010

    The National Palace was once the seat of the country's government, but successive earthquakes (and now probably the threat of gang violence) have left it empty of its former importance. It was built at the start of the 20th Century, using materials that were imported from Europe. The various elements of neo-Renaissance architecture belie a time when the country's élite, unmoved by the revolutions of neighbouring countries, still saw themselves as Europeans. The interior of the National Palace is, supposedly, the reason why it was named a national monument in 1974, as a number of the rooms are lushly decorated. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go in, but I did rather admire the European architecture with clearly American accents in the form of the statues out front.

    Fa��ade of the National Palace Close-up of the columns One of the statues Another statue (Pandora?)
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    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    Plaza Gerardo Barrios

    by mikey_e Written Aug 11, 2010

    While much of San Salvador’s historic centre has been overrun by street vendors and the shadier aspects of Salvadorean life, la Plaza Gerardo Barrios helps to preserve some of the sense of grandeur and stateliness of the capital. It is dominated by a statue of Gerardo Barrios, an ill-fated President of the Republic during the 1850s and 1860s. President Barrios introduced coffee as a mainstay of the country’s economy, but he lost support of conservatives during a dispute with the clergy and was eventually brought to trial after Guatemalan troops seized control of San Salvador in 1865. The square itself is one of the few open spaces free from peddlers, and it is kept fairly secure by a police patrol in the area. You can get some good shots of the Cathedral from here, although it is nonetheless advisable to keep close watch of your belongings.

    Close-up of Gerardo Barrios Statue of Gerardo Barrios Another view of the statue Plaza Gerardo Barrios
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    • Historical Travel

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    Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo

    by mikey_e Written Aug 11, 2010

    The Monument to the Divine Saviour of the World, in a way the namesake of the city of San Salvador, is perhaps the single most identifiable monument of the city and indeed the country as a whole. It is, ironically, in a part of the city that tourists are unlikely to visit, but nonetheless attracts protestors and those looking for a significant start to their activities. The statue was first erected in 1942, although the image of the Christ on top of a globe was originally taken from the tomb of one of the country's presidents during the first half of the 20th Century. In 1986, it was damaged badly during a massive earthquake, requiring a complete reconstruction of the monument. Today, the entire area is once again under construction, as the current mayor has sponsored a remodeling of the plaza to include a lake. Until then, it's not much of a photo opportunity.

    Salvador del Mundo and Boquer��n Plaza Salvador del Mundo The approach to the monument Construction and the Monument Close up of the Plaza
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    Teatro Presidente

    by mikey_e Updated Aug 11, 2010

    One of the establishments that makes up San Salvador's cultural scene is the Teatro Presidente, so-called because of the large number of busts and monuments to the country's various leaders (as well as to other individuals connected with the arts). This is, evidently, a sensitive structure, as I was warned by a soldier that I was not to take pictures of it. Nevertheless, it appears that the various performances put on here are open to the public, as are the grounds, where you can wander freely. Together with the MARTE, which is right next door, this completes one of the capital's largest cultural complexes, allowing visitors to the Sheraton some form of entertainment wihtout having to wander too far from the hotel.

    A bust of Beethoven at the Teatro Entrance to the Teatro Presidente
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Theater Travel
    • Music

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    Zona Rosa

    by mikey_e Written Aug 11, 2010

    Zona Rosa was once the heart of San Salvador's entertainment district. Located in San Benito, a middle-class area of the city, it was close enough to the core to be a short car-ride away from home, but far enough away in order to guarantee safety and security. In the last few years, however, the area has had a bit of a rough spot, and while there are still plenty of restaurants and night clubs, these are often empty. The presence of the Sheraton and the Hilton don't really help, as many guests are still wary of going a hundred meters by foot to the establishments. Some still do good business, but these are few and far between. Nevertheless, it is a good taste of what San Salvador used to be like on a Friday night, even if it does resemble a faded beauty from time to time.

    A view of Bulevar del Hippodromo I��igo, the Basque restaurant of Zona Rosa Part of the newer strip More of the emptied Zona Rosa The chain restaurants along Zona Rosa

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  • Fresh Air and A Good Life In El Salvador

    by lindabenavides Written Jan 27, 2009

    The first day that I arrived in El Salvador. I didn't know what to expect. But the people were very friendly. I felt at home there.

    The food is very fresh and reasonably priced.

    The beach (la playa) was SO beautiful. Better then Lake Michigan in Chicago Illinois. See in Chicago beach you have to stay on one side of the beach, but in El Salvador you could do what you want.

    So I tell everyone to visit or MOVE to El Salvador. It is fantastic place to live and raise children.

    Related to:
    • Disabilities
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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  • El Salvador Art Museum - MARTE

    by MarcG Written Feb 27, 2004

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    Recently opened the MARTE or salvadoran art museum is a great museum showcasing salvadoran masters from the 19th century to our days

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    El Salvador Tourist Office

    by Ken_Weaver Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A great place to pick up current information about the city or country is the National Tourist Office.

    El Salvador del Mundo Statue
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    • Eco-Tourism

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    Take a surfing lesson

    by lalikes Written Oct 10, 2008

    We had planned to do this but it rained horribly for almost 2 days straight. You can find someone who will give you a private lesson for about $20 an hour.

    Aftermath of storm along the beach View from a restaurant Rain

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San Salvador Things to Do

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