1. Interesting experience, however I must stress that our El Salvadorian experience was very different.

    Possibly traveling as a couple made a massive difference, however we never felt unsafe anywhere, in fact, it remains our favourite Central American country (I’m excluding Mexico as technically it doesn’t count).

    I understand that there are many problems in the country, however there is also much media exaggeration regarding the peoples the world over.

    Often if you apply common sense, then you will be fine!

    Glad you at leasr got to see a small slice of San Salvador!

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing about your experiences in El Salvador! I’m glad to hear your experiences were positive and that it is your favorite Central American country- I too have been to all the countries on this subcontinent and found El Salvador very illuminating.

      I also agree that all too many places unfairly get a bad rep (like one of my favorite countries, Morocco). However, it is important to remember that just because we feel safe somewhere does not mean there is no danger. As responsible travelers its important to research and weigh the risks of any potential travel destination before visiting.

      Unfortunately, the risks of traveling to El Salvador right now are indeed real and high. The country is on the U.S. Department of State Travel Warning list not because of media hype, but because gang related violence is on the rise. My Salvadoran friends in the states have said that even they don’t feel safe visiting their family in the country right now due to the escalating levels of violence from MS-13 and M18.

      Of course, many people, myself included, do visit safely, but sadly the country does have some very real issues and dangers that travelers need to think about seriously before deciding to visit.

      And yes, having done both, I can certainly say that traveling alone as a woman is a much different experience than traveling as a couple – I bet 90% of the cab drivers in Central America don’t hit on you while you’re traveling as a pair! 🙂

  2. Robert

    Hi Lauren, i was born in El Salvador and left my country when i was 15yo , now im 42 and im going back to ES alone after 27 years, where can i stay , rent a car etc, what what do you recommend? Thanks

    • Hi Robert! How exciting you will be returning to El Salvador after 27 years! That will be a very special trip. I would recommend you reach out to my taxi driver, Jose at joseantoniocoreas@outlook.com. He speaks Spanish and English and will be able to best advise you on what you should do given your length of stay. Best of luck to you!

  3. It’s a reason why it’s called the 45 min country 🙂 haha You can see a lot on a layover. Everything from beautiful lakes, waterfalls, ruins, downtown and much more. El Salvador has a lot to offer

  4. Sarah

    I’m thinking about going in May for a weekend and found your blog. I travel solo a lot, and I can completely relate to that feeling of “what have I done??” I had a similar situation when I landed in Jordan about 10 years ago and couldn’t find the taxi driver I had arranged to get me. This post was so full of great information – thanks for sharing!!

  5. I am impressed with your ability to describe your personal feelings with such relate-ability!
    I am moving to Costa Rica in a couple of weeks. Is it possible to share a meal?
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Congrats on your move to Costa Rica! I’ve actually moved to Los Angeles, but would love to grab a cup of coffee if you’re ever spending time at LAX.

  6. Carla

    Hello Lauren, nice experience you posted on this blog. I’ve always wanted to travel solo, since I am a girl I’m afraid, but you encouraged me. I am Salvadorian and I must said you took wise decisions. I’m planning to open a tour operator in my country which would be for people like you, who are traveling solo and want to take a ride to see the country. If you’re coming back don’t hesitate to contact me. You can write me back at carla.orel94@gmail.com, It will be nice to get in touch, as we are girls who like traveling and learning others countries history. Good luck in your future travels.

  7. Jorge

    Great article! It’s a great thing you had a good time in El Salvador and got to see a little of it. I lived in El Salvador for some years and always found it fascinating and enjoyed the different experiences it allows in so short travel times (everything’s under an hour away.)
    I was wondering if you had any tips on writing, specially travel memoirs. I have to write several such articles for a college course and I could do with all the possible help.

    • El Salvador is such a special place! My top tip for travel writing is to keep a journal and be consistent. Make yourself write everyday on your trips so that you can capture detail with greater attention. Hope that helps!

  8. Zamara Escoto

    Hello Laura,
    I just wanted to say that I loved your article about my beautiful country El Salvador. Like thousands of salvadorans my family left the country in the 80’s when I was just a young girl. I’m finally visiting this December and I was wondering if I could get in touch with you by any chance? I’m looking for tips on how to stay safe.
    Would you be able to help me?
    Thank you for writing so beautifully about this hardworking country.

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