Private Journeys

Signature El Salvador: Revolutionary road trip

11 days from £1,980pp

El Salvador

El Salvador

Essentials

Transport

Travel mostly by road; 1 boat trip.

Accomodation

This trip combines small, friendly mid-range hotels, offering private bathroom and reasonable facilities , with comfortable but not luxurious restored colonial houses. Some are family-run and all offer a friendly and homely welcome.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch on days 6,10; dinner day 5.

Summary Of Nights

11 days, 10 nights: San Salvador 1; Ataco 2; Jiquilisco Bay 1; La Union 1 ; Perkin 2; Suchitoto 2; La Libertad 1.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Currency

The unit of currency in El Salvador is the US dollar.

Budget

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in San Salvador, Ataco, La Union, Suchitoto and La Libertad: taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip and in many shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), and possibly some travellers’ cheques as an emergency back-up, though these are increasingly falling out of use. (American Express cheques are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused.

Tipping

Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

There are no really long days of travel on this trip. The longest day’s journey may take about 5hrs, but you will make a number of stops on the way. Roads are generally in good condition but some are unpaved and bumpy and less used routes may have potholes. Signage on major roads is good, less so on minor roads. Many people speak a little English but a smattering of Spanish will stand you in good stead.

If you have a disability that we need to be aware of, please contact us.

Climate

El Salvador has a tropical climate where the sun is strong but temperatures rarely excessive, with an all year average of 28°C and little variation throughout the year. Those travelling to the coast and lowlands Mar- May should encounter higher temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity. The ‘official’ rainy season is May-Oct, and in Sep-Oct there maybe longer periods of rain.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Clothing And Special Equipment

For day-to-day wear you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable shoes are important and sandals are sometimes appropriate. A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are necessary. You should take a light fleece for cool nights and a breathable/waterproof outer layer and/or umbrella, as well as swimwear, a travel towel, insect repellant and a torch. If you plan to go to good restaurants or out for evening entertainment, you might bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).

Please get in touch with the Journey Latin America office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements such as malaria prophylactics. For admission to the Galápagos a yellow fever certificate is required for anyone over 1 year old coming from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission.  You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Water To Go

We’ve partnered with Water To Go to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.

Country info

When's the best time to visit El Salvador?

The coastal lowlands have a hot tropical climate all year round with temperatures peaking at well over 30°C. The mountainous interior has a milder climate and in Dec-Jan temperatures hover around 18°C and it is cool at night. The best time to visit is during the drier months of Nov-Feb – it gets very hot thereafter. The rainy season runs May-Oct with short tropical showers – it is cooler, but some of the back roads may be impassable. Sep-Nov is the season when rainfall may be heavy and hurricanes are possible.

What's the official language of El Salvador?

Spanish

What is El Salvador's official currency?

US dollar. The former local currency ( colon), was phased out in 2003. You can obtain US dollar cash or exchange travellers cheques locally in banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) and may be able to obtain cash advances via the few ATMs in larger towns and cities. You should authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited.

What is the time difference between El Salvador and the UK?

GMT -6 hrs.  

Which other countries combine well with El Salvador?

A visit to neighbouring Central America countries, such as Nicaragua with its splendid colonial cities and coral island beaches; wildlife-rich, slickly organised Costa Rica and the Mayan cities of Guatemala, all easily accessed by land or air.  

What are the festivals and cultural or sporting events in El Salvador?

Semana Santa, Easter, throughout El Salvador. Celebrated from Thursday through to Easter Sunday.
Towns and villages all celebrate the feast days of their local saint, sometimes with protracted celebrations, as in San Miguel and Sonsonate with programmes of artistic events. 
Arts and Culture Festival, Feb, Suchitoto. The pretty colonial town hosts a world-class arts and culture festival with music and dance groups.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and water transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • El Boquerón volcano
  • El Tazumal archaeological site
  • Route of the Flowers excursion
  • Coffee plantation tour
  • Cerro Verde National Park visit
  • Chocolate plantation tour
  • Pupusa workshop – making El Salvador’s national dish
  • Half day boat trip on the Gulf of Fonseca with lunch
  • Perkin: Peace Museum
  • Perkin: local hike
  • Perkin: El Monzote visit
  • Joya de Cerén archaeological site
  • Cinquera National Park walk
  • San Salvador city tour
  • La Libertad fish market and lunch

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and water transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • El Boquerón volcano
  • El Tazumal archaeological site
  • Route of the Flowers excursion
  • Coffee plantation tour
  • Cerro Verde National Park visit
  • Chocolate plantation tour
  • Pupusa workshop – making El Salvador’s national dish
  • Half day boat trip on the Gulf of Fonseca with lunch
  • Perkin: Peace Museum
  • Perkin: local hike
  • Perkin: El Monzote visit
  • Joya de Cerén archaeological site
  • Cinquera National Park walk
  • San Salvador city tour
  • La Libertad fish market and lunch

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • JimAshworth
    Jim Ashworth - Travel Consultant

    Jim first caught the Latin American travel bug in 2001 when he decided at the last minute to join a friend travelling around Central America – he hasn't looked back since.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

Meet the team