San Salvador travel guide

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San Salvador

Chaotic Capital has a Fine Side

A mess some might say about San Salvador. Others see a gang-ridden city. But given time, the sprawling capital of El Salvador is sure to grow on you. Two million people, fully a third of the tiny Central American nation, live in the city set in El Valle de las Hamacas, the "Valley of the Hammocks." The constant contrast between the wealthy and the poor defines the city. Affluent suburbs like Escalon, San Benito, and San Francisco have air-conditioned malls, Grey Goose-stocked nightclubs, and amenities on a par with North America and Europe -- right alongside shantytowns of dusty colonial rubble where the typical annual wage might pay for a weekend stay at the Real InterContinental hotel across the way. The country's finest colonial monuments -- the Catedral Metropolitana, the Palacio Nacional, and the Casa Presidencial -- can be found here, as well as fine theaters and museums. The country is small enough so that you can head out to a beach, volcano, cloud forest, or Mayan ruin and still make it back to your hotel by sundown.

YouTube San Salvador videos

  • Recreational Baseball in San Salvador [02:07]

  • Tradiciones de Tonacatepeque [04:19]

  • Visite Tonacatepeque [01:33]

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