Are you planning a trip to El Salvador? Do you want to know fun and interesting facts about this exotic country in Central America? This captivating destination is known for nature’s wonders, pristine beaches with golden sand, and thrilling adventures.
25 Interesting Facts About El Salvador
How much do you know about this country? Since it is small, some people have not even heard of it. Because of its high crime level, it is less popular than other countries with the Pacific Ocean.
However, in reality, this country is hospitable and warm and has much to offer. Let’s explore 25 interesting and unique facts about El Salvador together:
1. It Is The Land Of Volcanoes
El Salvador has over 20 volcanoes, which is quite impressive. There are several of them that you can visit and climb., and two of them are active. Over the past 1,600 years, El Salvador has had 5 eruptions.
2. El Salvador Belonged To a Different Country
There was a country in Central America called the United Provinces of Central America. Later, it received a different name – the Federal Republic Of Central America. An interesting fact is that El Salvador was its capital from 1834 to 1841.
3. The Mayans Were The First People To Live In El Salvador
You may not know, but El Salvador has a rich Mayan history. You can still see the architecture in El Salvador that has traces of the Mayan legacy.
For example, the Tazumal ruins is one of the most famous examples, and you should definitely add them to your list of must-visit places in El Salvador.
4. The National Dish In El Salvador Is Called Pupusa
Even if you are not a fan of cakes, you should try pupusas. It is a thick griddle cake that is made of cornmeal or rice flour. The recipes of pupusas vary depending on the region.
The most interesting fact about this dish is that there is a national day for celebrating pupusas in El Salvador – that is how much Salvadorans like their delicious griddlecakes.
5. The Favorite Music of Salvadorans Is Cumbia Music
People in El Salvador like to dance, and their favorite music is Cumbia. An interesting fact is that it originated not in El Salvador, but in Colombia. Cumbia is a unique combination of African, European, and Amerindian music styles.
Musicians use different instruments: accordions, flutes, and maracas. Can you imagine the fascinating melodies that emerge from a blend of these unique instruments?
6. El Salvador Has No African Population
Another fact that makes El Salvador so special is that it is the only country in Central America that does not have any population of African descent.
You may wonder why is it like this? The reason is the ban established in El Salvador that prohibited people of African descent to enter the country.
7. Salvadorans Are Extremely Hospitable
People in El Salvador like socializing, which makes them very hospitable. So do not be surprised if you are welcomed into someone’s home in El Salvador, as the local people have a strong tradition of inviting guests and demonstrating their hospitality.
There is one rule though: do not be punctual – hosts will expect you to come at least 30 minutes late.
8. El Salvador Is The Most Densely-Populated Country In Central America
Imagine, El Salvador is smaller than the state of Massachusetts! However, its population is very impressive: 6.48 million people live in this small country. That means, there are around 800 people in each square mile of the country.
9. The Largest Pretzel In The World Was Made in El Salvador
When you hear the world “pretzel”, you probably think of a European country, Germany for example. However, the shocking truth is the world’s largest pretzel was made in El Salvador. That was documented by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015.
10. One Of The Most Popular Activities In El Salvador Is Surfing
Are you a surfer and looking for a world-class destination for surfing? Then how about El Salvador with its beautiful clean beaches and a great variety of surfing locations.
The best and most popular locations are El Sunzal, Las Flores, and El Zonte. El Salvador also hosts many international surfing competitions that attract surfers and tourists from different parts of the world.
11. The Primary Currency In El Salvador Is The American Dollar
If you are an American traveler, we have great news for you: you don’t have to worry about exchanging currencies. This is because you can easily use US dollars everywhere.
Before, El Salvador had its own currency called “the colon”, but it was replaced by the American dollar in 2001.
12. The Country Has World Famous Coffee
Coffee is one of the top exports in El Salvador since the 1930s. In the 1970s, this small country was one of the four largest coffee producers.
There have been a lot of changes in the coffee industry within the last 50 years, but this country in Central America still exports a significant amount of coffee. In total, there are over 20,000 coffee producers in El Salvador.
13. The Turquoise-browed Motmot Is A Symbol Of El Salvador
It is an exotic colorful bird that is found throughout Central America. But there is one interesting fact about it that explains why it became the symbol of El Salvador: this species does not adapt well to captivity. That is why it is a symbol of liberty for Salvadorans.
14. El Salvador Has a Unique UNESCO World Heritage Site
It is a pre-hispanic farming community called Joya De Seren. When the Laguna Caldera’s eruption occurred, it buried this community under ash.
Today, it is a famous archeological site. There are also other archeological sites, since numerous different civilizations lived in this country.
15. El Salvador Is a Perfect Destination For Travelers On A Budget
If you want to travel to an exotic country without spending too much money, El Salvador is a perfect choice. On average, a traveler spends $40-$50 per day in this country.
16. People Eat Flowers In El Salvador
The national flower of this tiny country is Flor de Izote. It is not just beautiful, but it is also a flower that you can eat! And believe it or not, Salvadorans do it. Some of them pickle this flower, while others cook it with eggs for breakfast. Adding it to soups as a type of herb is also a good idea.
17. El Salvador Means “The Savior”
If you translate the name of the country from Spanish, the meaning is “The Savior”, and it refers to Jesus Christ. You may wonder, who gave this country such an interesting and meaningful name?
His name was Pedro de Alvarado, and he was the Spanish conquistador, who discovered this land in the 16th century. The original name was San Salvador that means “Holy Savior”.
18. El Salvador Was The First Country That Legalized Bitcoin
Many countries have been experiencing issues with legalizing bitcoin due to security concerns. However, El Salvador became the fist one that legalized it in 2021. In order to use bitcoin in El Salvador, you will need to create a special digital wallet.
You can deposit or withdraw money at one of the ATMs all over the country.
19. This Small Country Has the Biggest Stadium in Central America
Salvadorans love football, and this explains everything! That is why it is not surprising that there is the largest Central America’s stadium in El Salvador. The football stadium The Estadio Cuscatlán can accommodate 53,400 people.
20. The Oldest Capital In Central America Is San Salvador
There are a lot of old cities in Central America, but the oldest capital is also in El Salvador. Pedro de Alvarado, who we have already mentioned, founded the city San Salvador in 1524.
Therefore, when you are in El Salvador, make sure to walk around this historic city and appreciate its impressive architecture.
21. The Flag Of El Salvador Is Full Of Details
Just look at the flag of El Salvador, and you will learn a lot about this country. First of all, the colors: the top blue color represents the sky, while the bottom one represents water. The white color in the middle of the flag symbolizes peace.
You can also see a yellow triangle with volcanoes in the ocean in it. Below the triangle, there is the El Salvador’s slogan: “God, Union, and Liberty”.
22. El Salvador Does Not Have a Caribbean Coastline
Think about it: all Central American countries have a Caribbean coastline, except El Salvador. So yes, it is the only country in Central America that does not have a coastline with the Caribbean.
23. You Can Call Salvadorans “Guanacos”
Often, Salvadorans call each other “guanacos”. You may wonder why. Well, there is actually the history behind this word and several interesting versions.
One of them is that Salvadorans are very hardworking people and that is why they are compared to Guanacos, animals similar to llamas. There is another version, according to which the word “guanacos” means “brotherhood”.
24. El Salvador Is Well Known For Its Wildlife and Biodiversity
If you are a wildlife or nature enthusiast, you will definitely like this fact about this Central American country. Imagine, El Salvador has over 800 animal species!
Among them, there are some very unique animals: coyotes, the American crocodile ocelots, and others. If you want to witness these animals, you should visit one of the national parks in El Salvador.
25. The Majority of Salvadorans Live In Cities
People in El Salvador prefer to live in urban areas, and the urban population is constantly growing. For example, in the 70s, only 40% of Salvadorans lived in cities. However, today, this number is already 73%! Why is it like this?
Well, people prefer to move and settle down in cities because there are more opportunities and a better quality of life.
El Salvador: FAQs
Are you preparing for your trip to El Salvador? Here are the answers to the most common questions about traveling to El Salvador:
When is the best time to travel to El Salvador?
If you want to really enjoy your time in El Salvador, it is better to travel there during its dry season that lasts from December to March.
What language do they speak in El Salvador?
The official language is Spanish, and many people speak English, especially in tourist areas.
Is it a family-friendly destination?
You can travel to El Salvador with a family, but it is definitely more adventurous and less touristy than other neighboring countries in Central America.
Hurry Up And Book Your Trip To El Salvador!
There are so many things to see and experience in El Salvador! So what are you waiting for? Do not hesitate and book your trip to this small and beautiful country that is full of wonders, attractions, and experiences!