El Salvador

Travel Facts

City Code:
SAL: San Salvador
Entry requirements: Valid U.S. passport & $10 tourist card purchased on entry - International departure tax: $27.15
Hotel taxes and service charges: 10% hotel tax.
Tipping: An additional 10-15% is standard and not included in restaurant bills.
Currency: Colón, often popularly called a "peso." ATMs are convenient in San Salvador. Major credit cards widely accepted. Banking hours: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Some banks have a late counter until 5:00 p.m.
Shopping: El Salvador offers a wide range of handicrafts and antiques. Most popular shopping spot for visitors is San Salvador's downtown Mercado Cuartel where handicrafts from all over the country are on display. Bargaining is expected. Here the selection ranges from Quezaltepeque pottery, wicker baskets, picture frames, miniature ceramics, leather goods, jewelry, hammocks to machetes - even live monkeys. Handwoven textiles include the famed panuelos (scarves) still woven on small hand-looms. There are also good bargains here on what many consider the world's finest cotton towels (large and decorative).
Food and Drink: El Salvador's fine cuisine comes from the Pacific and the country's potash-rich volcanic soil. Ocean fresh red snapper, corvina, robalo, shrimp measuring up to six inches, and oysters, that lay claim to being the world's largest, top seafood menus. Best advice is to sample a sinfonía - a Latin bouillabaisse including fish, oysters, crab and lobster stewed together. Pupusas, a tortilla wrap, are eaten everywhere, and made with cheese, sausage or whatever seems to be around. Another favorite is gallo en chicha - chicken cooked in hard cider. More exotic choices include garobo (iguana) and cuscuo (armadillo). El Salvador's national snack is the pupusa - a corn cake stuffed with meat or cheese cooked on an outdoor grill. Also try a quesedilla, which here is a tasty flat cheese cake topped with sesame seeds. You'll find them day or night almost everywhere. The country's coffee is world famous. Local lager beers are excellent.
Telephone Area Codes:(503) country code

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