Ten Days In El Salvador (PHOTOS)

09/26/2011 09:52am ET | Updated November 26, 2011

Among Central American countries, El Salvador remains somewhat off the tourist radar. Once war-torn, the country is now bouncing back to life.

Gang life and poverty are still rampant, but as many residents reiterated throughout our ten day vacation, El Salvador is no less safe than any of its neighbors. In our experience, tourists were welcomed warmly, perhaps somewhat due to the fact that an estimated 22.3% of families receive remittances from the United States; the country needs the tourism money.

El Salvador adopted the dollar as its official currency since 2001; through daily purchases it easily becomes clear just how different the Salvadoran and American standard of living is.

  • If you are on a budget, it is quite easy to eat for way under $10 per day. Pupusas, the Salvadoran national dish, cost as little as $0.25. The pupusa ladies on the street usually start around 4pm. Three should fill you up.
  • Speaking some Spanish is helpful, some people speak English, but plenty do not.
  • Probably don't drink the water.
  • El Salvador is a small country, so it isn't hard to cover a lot of ground. The bus is incredibly cheap, but hiring drivers can be within many budgets as well.

The country offers many places worth visiting, often at beyond reasonable prices. Below is a glimpse at some of the cities, food and activities available:

El Salvador