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I Bet You Didn’t Know These 25 Fun Facts About El Salvador

Every country has its unique twist and fun things to learn. As small as it is, El Salvador in Central America also has a few fun things that every traveler might enjoy knowing. Below is a list of some of the most interesting El Salvador fun facts that I learned while exploring the country with my sons and husband.

Like for example, El Salvador international airport is one of the busiest airports in Central America!

playa sunzal el salvador spectacular view
Playa Sunzal in El Salvador offers spectacular views many would not expect to find in this small Central American country.

15 Fun Facts About El Salvador

El Salvador, a land woven with vibrant culture, history, and natural beauty, offers a tapestry of experiences that are both enriching and enlightening. As we delve deeper into the heart of this Central American gem, let’s expand our understanding with these interesting facts and fun tidbits.

1. El Salvador has a stigma around it due to the Civil war (which passed two decades ago) and its gangs. On the contrary, I have found El Salvadorians to be super friendly, kind, non-violent and most importantly, El Salvador is truly a safe place to visit.

2. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, yet one of the largest commercial centers for the area, with the largest mall in all of CA.

3. El Salvador’s currency is the US dollar, and it’s been like that for over 10 years. This makes it a lot easier for travelers to pay for things without currency calculations.

4. El Salvadorians are also called Guanacos. Sometimes it’s considered negative, but other times they seem to wear it with pride.

5. El Salvador is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world, hosting tons of surf competitions yearly.

6. Out of all the Central American countries, it’s the only one that doesn’t have a Caribbean coastline.

7. El Salvador is known to have some of the most active volcanoes in Central America.

8. Pupusas, El Salvador’s most traditional food, is practically considered a national icon. They are basically corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and anything else you might think of but the most traditional ones have or beans.

9. It is also the most densely populated country in Central America with its 21,000 sq km and over 7 million inhabitants.

10. Salvadoran people use unique  salvadoran slang in their everyday conversations. For instance, they use the word ‘pisto’ to refer to money, similar to ‘bucks’ in English. ‘Chivo’ can mean ‘beer,’ and ‘fresco’ describes someone who is arrogant. 

11. The weather in El Salvador is tropical. So be prepared for the heat and humidity. Bring fresh clothes and make sure to stay hydrated.

12. Just like most of the other countries of Central America, they pride themselves on making high-quality coffee to export. So make sure to try some.

13. If you are a hiker and enjoy nature, visiting Cerro El Pital (the highest point in the country) or Santa Ana Volcano are the top recommendations. Coatepeque lake is also a must for travelers.

14. The country has one UNESCO World Heritage Site called Joya de Ceren. It was a pre-Hispanics farming community. It was buried under ash when the Laguna Caldera volcano erupted. This is now an archaeological site.

15. The country is also well known among surfers. Its waves and tides make it too violent for swimming, but it also makes it amazing for surfers.

16. The country can also result in a cheap travel destination. budget travelers can live like kings with $40 to $50 per day.

17. El Salvador’s national flower is the Flor de Izote, a type of yucca flower. This bloom is not only a symbol of beauty but also a testament to the country’s rich biodiversity. It’s often used in local cuisine, showcasing the Salvadorans’ deep connection with their natural environment.

18. The country’s national bird, the Torogoz or Turquoise-browed Motmot, is a vibrant testament to El Salvador’s rich avian diversity. This bird, with its striking colors and distinctive tail, is not just a visual treat but also a symbol of the nation’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage.

19. El Salvador is home to the largest population of Salvadorans outside of El Salvador itself, with a significant number residing in the United States. This diaspora has created a cultural bridge, enriching both nations with shared traditions and familial ties.

20. The nation’s coffee, renowned for its high quality, is predominantly grown on the slopes of its volcanic mountains. This unique cultivation method imparts a distinct flavor profile to the coffee, making it a sought-after commodity in the global market.

21. El Salvador’s art scene is vibrant and diverse, with the town of La Palma being a hub for folk art. Here, artists use bright colors and bold patterns to depict scenes from everyday life, as well as Salvadoran history and culture, creating a visual narrative that is both captivating and educational.

22. The country’s commitment to renewable energy is noteworthy. With numerous geothermal plants, El Salvador harnesses the power of its volcanic landscape to produce clean energy, reflecting its dedication to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

23. El Salvador’s traditional music, like Cumbia and Salsa, plays a vital role in its cultural identity. These rhythms are not just a form of entertainment but also a means of storytelling, preserving history and traditions through melody and dance.

24. The nation’s cuisine is a fusion of indigenous and Spanish influences, offering a gastronomic journey that tantalizes the taste buds. Dishes like Yuca Frita and Tamales are staples, reflecting the country’s agricultural heritage and culinary creativity.

25. El Salvador’s Independence Day, celebrated on September 15th, is a vibrant affair. Marking its independence from Spain in 1821, this day is filled with parades, music, and national pride, showcasing the Salvadoran spirit of resilience and unity.

Bonus: El Salvador’s commitment to preserving its Mayan heritage is evident in sites like Tazumal and San Andres. These archaeological treasures offer a window into the ancient Mayan civilization, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the rich tapestry of Salvadoran history.

This might be a small Central American country, but there are tons of other fun El Salvador Facts for you to discover. It is a place with a rich and colorful culture, so what are you waiting for to visit El Salvador?

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Last Updated on January 30, 2024

One thought on “I Bet You Didn’t Know These 25 Fun Facts About El Salvador”

  1. Where is that mall? I was in San Salvador, and there was a mall two blocks from the church we were working out of. (Mirramonte Baptist Church)

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