Explore El Salvador
Discover the beauty of this small country in Central America
In 2010, Lonely Planet ranked El Salvador in its Top 10 countries to visit.
El Salvador sneaks up on you: in lefty lounge bars in San Salvador, at sobering war memorials and museums, and along lush cloud-forest trails; it’s a place of remarkable warmth and intelligence, made all the more appealing for being so unexpected. Travellers tend to skip El Salvador, wooed by marquee destinations such as Guatemala and Costa Rica, and unnerved by stories of civil war and gang violence. But the war ended almost 20 years ago, and crime, while serious, is almost exclusively played out between rival gangs; tourists are virtually never involved. And though El Salvador has fewer protected areas than its neighbours, you get them practically to yourself – including pristine forests, active volcanoes and alpine lakes.