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The Best & Worst Times to Visit El Salvador in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit El Salvador in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit El Salvador?

The best time to visit El Salvador is between November and April, the dry season, providing excellent conditions for outdoor activities with minimal rainfall and warm temperatures around 75°F. This period is peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and lively social scenes, especially for solo travelers.

The Central American country of El Salvador, once overlooked as a travel destination, is now becoming more popular on the backpacker circuit. The pristine untouched nature is one of the main draws of visiting.

In the compact country, you can do everything from hiking a volcano to exploring lush tropical jungles to lounging on the beach. El Salvador also has beautiful Mayan ruins such as Tazumal, which are less crowded than more popular sites in Guatemala and Mexico, plus pretty colonial cities and flowering villages.

For the intrepid traveler, El Salvador offers many rewards. Make sure that you make the most of your trip to this country by carefully planning your visit, including when you come. Keep reading to learn about the best time to visit.

The Overall Best Time to Visit El Salvador

Dusk view of the still waters by El Tunco Beach during the best overall time to visit El Salvador

Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

The best time to visit El Salvador is when you can get the best weather, which happens between November and April. This marks the country’s dry season.

Since most of the best activities in El Salvador, whether you are exploring ruins or hiking, involve spending lots of time outdoors, your main priority when planning your trip is the weather.

El Salvador is located in the tropical region of Central America, which means that it also has a tropical climate. It has warm temperatures all year round, but the main seasonal differences lie in storm and precipitation patterns.

According to World Bank data, El Salvador experiences slightly higher temperatures during its dry season, about  75-78 degrees Fahrenheit (24-26 degrees Celsius). Temperatures are warm enough for swimming, but also cool enough for more strenuous physical activity.

The biggest differences are in precipitation, which is drastically different between the dry and wet seasons. The driest months lie between December and March, when the country receives only a few millimeters of rain per month.

It rains a bit more in November and April, but nowhere near the daily deluges you can expect in June or September, the peak months of the rainy season.

The beginning of the dry season is the best time for adventure activities such as trekking or hiking in the jungle. March and April are the hottest months, so if you visit at the beginning, you can beat the rains and the heat.

This is also a good time to check out the Ruta de las Flores, a picturesque route connecting some of the country’s most beautiful villages.

During the rainy season, some more remote villages get cut off because their roads turn into mud, so visiting during dry season means you’ll have better infrastructure. Dry season is also the peak season in El Salvador, so expect slightly higher prices and more crowds.

The extra crowds are a benefit for some people because this is when many backpackers hit up El Salvador. If you are traveling solo, you’re guaranteed to find travel buddies in your hostels, and the nightlife will be packed with other young people.

Cheapest Time to Visit El Salvador

Beautiful photo taken from the top of a hilltop in Eramon during the cheapest time to visit El Salvador

German Vargas Art/Shutterstock

The cheapest time of year to visit El Salvador is during April to November, the rainy season and shoulder season, but prices don’t fluctuate as much throughout the year.

Some hotels offer discounts for travelers brave enough to come during the rainy season, between May and October. However, if you want to experience good weather but not peak season prices, then visit during April or November.

Before peak season starts or as it winds down, many resorts offer discounts. You can stay even in popular resorts for up to 20% off of peak season prices.

To fly into El Salvador, the least expensive month to do so is usually during the fall. September, the peak of the rainy season, offers the best discounts on flights. However, keep a few things in mind when planning your budget trip to El Salvador.

This Central American country is a fairly affordable travel destination no matter when you visit, so you shouldn’t let savings be your main concern when planning your trip. Prices don’t fluctuate as much as in more popular tourist destinations.

The only times you should really avoid are the weeks around Easter, New Year’s, and the beginning of August. These are peak travel times in El Salvador, and prices go up at popular tourist resorts.

Least Busy Time to Visit El Salvador

Small town of Conception de Ataco pictured with empty streets during the least busy time to visit El Salvador

Stefano Ember/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit El Salvador is during its rainy season, although this country doesn’t receive overwhelming crowds even during peak season.

If you really want to beat the crowds, then visit between May and July, or between September and early November. However, El Salvador still isn’t a very popular tourist destination, so even if you visit during the dry season, you probably won’t be overwhelmed by the crowds.

The heavy rains during the rainy season mean that you probably won’t be able to do everything you wanted to do, such as hike a volcano. However, it doesn’t rain all day during the rainy season.

Expect heavy downpours once a day, usually during the afternoon, but early in the day is usually fine to schedule some outdoor activities. There are also some drier months throughout the rainy season.

There is usually a lull in the rains in July, when the weather is just hot. During this month, you can beat the worst of the crowds and still try your luck with the weather.

Visiting early in the rainy season is a great time to hit the beach. The best time for surfing off the coast of El Salvador is actually during the rainy season, when the swells hit their peak.

Only expert surfers tend to hit the waves during this time, so it will be less crowded than during the dry season when there are plenty of beginners out on the water. May to September is also the sea turtle nesting season.

Worst Time to Visit El Salvador

Backyard of a mountain home pictured during the worst time to visit El Salvador with a wheelbarrow tipped over and a plan hanging from a roof

Orrin Luc/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit El Salvador is during the peak of the rainy season, when it’s difficult to get around the country or do much of anything.

Rainy season in El Salvador means near-daily downpours. The worst of the rains occur in June and September, but all the months in the rainy season receive heavy rain. If you get caught in the rain, you’ll be soaked to the skin in seconds.

Keep in mind that El Salvador may not have as good an infrastructure as other countries you are used to. During the rainy season, vital infrastructure from roads to regular electrical supplies may get disrupted, and your stay can be far from comfortable.

Fortunately since it’s located on the Pacific Coast of Central America, you don’t have to worry about hurricanes in El Salvador. However, the peak of the rainy season can also experience strong, destructive storms.

Since El Salvador doesn’t have as big a problem with prices and crowds as some other Central American destinations, there isn’t really as much of a reason to visit this destination during the off-season and brave the heavy rains.

Frequently Asked Questions

El Carmen Church in Santa Ana, pictured during the best time to visit El Salvador

Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

Still curious about the best time to visit El Salvador? We’ve got answers:

What is the best month to visit El Salvador?

The best month to visit El Salvador is February, when the weather is warm but not hot, the dry season is in full swing, and the infrastructure is at its best.

When is the rainy season in El Salvador?

The rainy season in El Salvador runs from May to October, the same as in many other Central American countries.

Is it safe to travel to El Salvador now?

El Salvador has a very high crime rate, and you will need lots of precautions to visit. That being said, many people are able to visit safely.

Is El Salvador inexpensive for tourists?

El Salvador is great for budget travelers because it is one of the more affordable countries in the region to visit. Of course, there are also high-end resorts for travelers looking to spend a bit more.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit El Salvador?

To experience everything that El Salvador has to offer, from the mountains to quaint villages, visit during the dry season, from November to April. The weather is the best for exploring during this time.