Reconsider travel to El Salvador due to criminality.
Country Summary: Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault, is a concern in many parts of the country. Although gang activity varies by departamentos (states) and municipios (municipalities), areas with higher crime rates are often located near low-crime areas or must be crossed to move between areas low risk. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, although the concentration of resources in resort areas means that these tend to be better policed than urban areas.
Read the country information page for more information on traveling to El Salvador.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that El Salvador has an elevated level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest travel health information related to your trip.
If you decide to travel to El Salvador:
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel and read the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid walking or driving at night.
- Do not physically resist any attempted theft.
- Be extremely vigilant when visiting a bank or ATM.
- Do not show signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
- Hire local guides certified by the national or local tourist authority when hiking in the backcountry.
- Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in the event of an emergency.
- Follow the State Department on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for El Salvador.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Consult the traveler’s checklist.
Last Updated: Re-released with health information updates.