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Why This Underrated Latin American Country Is Breaking Tourism Records

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For many people, mentioning Latin America brings to mind images of the Christ The Redeemer Statue In Brazil and the colorful streets of popular Cartagena. 

As we venture into the new year, travelers are searching more than ever for unique destinations and memorable experiences. 

While it's hard to go wrong in choosing a travel destination in vibrant Latin America, we'll spotlight one surprising country that is emerging as a top destination.

Aerial view of beach in El Salvador

An Emerging Destination

Visiting off-path destinations can be one of the most fulfilling experiences a traveler can have. 

When tourism hasn’t yet taken center stage, it allows more of the local culture to shine through. 

El Salvador welcomed 3 million arrivals in 2023, a number marking a 13% increase from 2019’s previous record. 

And while this country is setting records and emerging as a new must-see place, it's still relatively unknown, making it a great destination for lower prices and authentic experiences.

San Salvador City, El Salvador

Is El Salvador Safe?

El Salvador’s uptick in tourist arrivals can be attributed in part to the country’s transformation in terms of safety. 

Under the current president, this previously violence ridden country has seen drastic reduction in crime rates and success in its dismantling of organized crime. 

El Salvador is now one of the safer countries in Latin America and is on its way to landing on bucket lists all over. 

Along with taking strong action to prioritize reducing crime, the current regime has also invested in renovating and preserving tourist spaces, national parks, and historic centers. 

While travelers should always use common sense and be alert, the risk of violent crime is much lower than in years past. It is always advisable to lock up valuables and avoid walking alone at night.

El Salvador Surfing

Ideal Weather

El Salvador’s dry season runs from November to April. 

With the rainy season over, travel is easier during this time as the muddy dirt roads can cause transportation issues during the rains. 

It's also an excellent time for wildlife watching as more parks are open during this time of year.

While many of us are sorely lacking sunshine in North America, El Salvador is having its summer. 

Now is a great time to visit as January and February are some of the country’s driest months where the sun shines nearly everyday. 

Visitors can expect temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s the next few months.

A Land Gifted With Stunning Natural Beauty

While Instagram is filled with images on repeat of Costa Rican waterfalls, El Salvador’s stunning landscapes are still relatively under the radar. 

Nicknamed the land of volcanoes, this small Latin American nation is home to 25 volcanoes and 14 lakes as well as fantastic beaches. 

This underdog country boasts some of the best surfing waves in Central America. Popular beaches for surfing include El Tunco, El Sunzal, and La Libertad. 

Hiking fans can base themselves in Santa Ana and go on a guided hike of its neighboring three volcanoes. 

Woman in pool looking at cliff in El Salvador

An Underrated Cultural Destinations

The chance to scale an active volcano isn’t all El Salvador has to offer its visitors. 

This country packs in plenty to explore–the ancient Mayan ruins of Tazumal, buzzing cities like San Salvador, and UNESCO world heritage site Joya de Cerén.  

A former farming city buried under volcanic ash for 1400 years, Joya de Cerén is Central America’s own version of Pompeii. 

Medium Size Mayan Pyramid In El Tazumal, A Historical Ruin In El Salvador, Central America

With its Charming colonial cities, breathtaking national parks, and great beaches, this lesser-known destination makes for a great winter escape. 

As El Salvador is a very small country, you could easily see much of it within just a week or combine it with neighboring countries for an extended trip. 

oatepeque lake in el salvador r

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Sunday 14th of January 2024

I went there in October. Felt very safe, but a bit more expensive than I expected. Still not as developed as CR but it’s getting better.

Santa Anna Volcano is a must see.

Very cheap flights with AA or Avianca.