Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador

The city of San Salvador is one of the biggest cities in Central America and it is located in the country of El Salvador, which borders Guatemala and Honduras.

Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador

If you are traveling to San Salvador El Salvador for the first time, the city center is a mixture of rich and poor areas with buzzing street corners filled with vendors on the streets selling foods and all kinds of crafts.

Apart from the many things to do in San Salvador El Salvador, the city is ideal base for exploring other cities such as: Chalchuapa, where you can explore the impressive Mayan ruins of Tazumal, as well as San Jose, Cuenca, Trujillo and Chiclayo.

Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador: Outdoor Activities

Hiking & Swimming

If you are interested in the Great Outdoors during your stay in San Salvador El Salvador, the Cerro Verde National Park is within driving distance.

The park, located 20 miles west of San Salvador’s city center, is home to the extinct volcanoes of Santa Ana and Izalco.

You are allowed to hike the trails along the volcanoes but, for safety reasons, you can only do so in the company of a guide.

They only allow 300 people per day, and admission to the park is around $3. Before you head to the park you need to let them know through fax or e-mail when you’re planning to come. (Here it is Cerro Verde e-mail:

The park is also home to Lake Coatepeque, which features a handful of hotels and guest houses by the lake shore. At the lake you can some swimming and boating activities.

El Roble Park

El Roble Park, located near the University of El Salvador, features recreational areas such as a basketball court and a BMX rump. Apart from these, you can enjoy an early morning jog along the paths as well as picnicking.

Cuscatlan Park

Cuscatlan Park is one of the largest urban parks in San Salvador El Salvador. The park features open green spaces with beautiful tropical trees.

The park, located adjacent Tin Marin Children’s Museum, features many opportunities for recreational outdoor activities, or simply a relaxing time on one of the park benches taking in the beautiful natural scenery.

In Cuscatlan Park, you can also find the Monumento a la Memoria y la Verdad (Monument to the Memory and Truth) Wall Memorial, which depicts the faces of those missing during the civil war.

Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador: Fun Family Activities

Tin Marin Children’s Museum

If you are traveling with kids, the Tin Martin Children’s Museum should be high in your itinerary.

The Museum, adjacent Cuscatlan Park, is an amazing place where you and kids can learn through fun and interactive activities such as the planetarium where you can learn about stars and constellations.

Mundo Feliz Amusement Park

If you looking for things to do with kids in San Salvador El Salvador, opposite Sykes El Salvador center you can find El Mundo Feliz (Happy World) amusement park where you can enjoy arcade games and bumper cars.

National Zoological Park

The National Park (Parque Zoologico Nacional) is another popular place where the whole family can enjoy some cultural attractions.

At the park, you can find the Saburo Hirao Japanese gardens, the National Zoo and El Salvador Natural History Museum.

Saburo Hirao Japanese Gardens

The Saburo Hirao Japanese gardens feature beautiful flora as well as kid’s playgrounds for the little ones.

The National Zoo

Apart from a collection of wildlife, the National Zoo serves as a sanctuary for the protection of animals in danger of extinction.

El Salvador Natural History Museum

At the El Salvador Natural History Museum, you can the fossils of a giant sloth among other species.

The National Zoological Park is located on Calle Modelo (Modelo Street) near Colonia Malaga neighborhood.

Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador: Places of Interest

University of El Salvador

The University of El Salvador (Universidad de El Salvador) is another landmark worth checking out. Here, you can stroll along the campus taking in the beautiful surroundings and explore the different buildings.

David J Guzman National Museum

If you are interested in ancient El Salvador, a visit to the David J Guzman National Museum is a must-add in your itinerary. The museum features a beautiful collection of Mayan artifacts that include ceramics and pottery items.

Cuscatlan Old Quarter

Cuscatlan Old Quarter (Antiguo Cuscatlan), home to the US Embassy, is where you can find the La Laguna Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanico).

If you love flora, the park is home to over 3,000 different types of plant species from around the world as well as native to El Salvador.

Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador: Shopping & Food

For retail shopping, head to the area between Colonia Miramonte and Colonia Terraza neighborhoods (along Boulevard De Los Heroes).

Here, you can find three shopping malls:

* Metrocenter shopping mall (Centro Comercial Metrocentro)
* Metrosur (Centro Comercial Metrosur)
* Metrogalerias (Centro Comercial Metrogalerias)

The neighborhood of Santa Elena (located in Antiguo Cuscatlan) is also home to a few malls where you can enjoy more retail shopping.

All of these malls are located along La Panamericana highway and they include:

* La Gran Via shopping Mall (Centro Comercial La Gran Via)
* Las Cascadas shopping mall (Centro Comercial Las Cascadas)
* Multiplaza shopping mall (Centro Comercial Multiplaza).

San Salvador is also home to many markets, where you can shop for local produce and handmade goods such as hammocks.

For instance, San Jacinto District is home to a few Mercados (markets) such as:

* Mercado Municipal San Jacinto
* Mercado Modelo
* La Despensa De Don Juan hypermarket.


Trying out some of the popular dishes in San Salvador El Salvador is one of the popular things to do there. Popular dishes include:

* Purpusas, which are delicious handmade tortillas made out of corn or rice flour. They are usually filled with cheese, chorizo and vegetables.

* Yuca Fritas, which are deep fried cassava root topped with vegetables.

* Panes Rellenos, which are delicious sandwiches filled with turkey or chicken, and served with vegetables.

Things to do in San Salvador El Salvador: Nightlife & Entertainment

For a trendy night scene, head to Zona Rosa district. Here, you can find many luxurious hotels and upscale bars, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as the popular Gran Via Shopping complex which features plenty of bars, restaurants and cinemas.

Apart from bars and clubs, you can enjoy a night out at the theater. For instance the Presidential Theater (Teatro Presidente), near the Embassy of Chile, is home to the San Salvador National Symphony which performs here regularly.

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