El Salvador 2005
14.01. - 21.01.2005
This report is the second part of travelogue Honduras 2005. When I planned this vacation, which would follow my last business trip to Guatemala, I wanted to see at least one of the neighbouring countries. As one of my colleagues from a project lives in El Salvador, it seemed natural for me to come there. Before departure, we agreed which places were worth seeing. I also contacted FENADESAL, national rail operator, to discuss a train ride with them.
The reputation of El Salvador among foreign tourists is not favorable. The name still evokes a civil war, which filled world newspapers until 1991. U.S. State Department warns against critical crime rate. When I told about my plans to other western tourists in Omoa (many of them were going to or coming from Nicaragua), they were worried. In the end, I also hesitated whether it would not be better to go elsewhere - for example, to a nearby Belize or to the western regions of Guatemala. But finally, I decided differently. I had already seen a lot of Guatemala, Belize requires visas from Czechs (until March 2005) and I had already prepared a trip to El Salvador, not to other places. Of course I was slightly worried, but not to the point of losing the best chance to see the country.
As well as in other travelogues on this server, you will find a report with photographs. Train enthusiasts can start on a page dedicated to railways in Central America. If you want to come as well, you can read how I prepared a trip to Guatemala. On the internet, there are guides from World 66, Lonely Planet, 4ElSalvador and also from Ministerio de Turismo. Personally, I bought Let's Go Central America with detailed practical information on transport, accommodation and cultural monuments.
My advice? If you decide to come to Central America, you may want to spend 3 - 4 days in El Salvador. The country is small, public transport works perfectly and you will not need more time for the important places - except that you are most interested in natural beauties and want to spend more time climbing volcanos or touring national parks. It can be a perfect complement to a trip to Guatemala, or a part of a bigger Central American tour.
© Jan Pešula, 2005