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What is San Salvador best known for

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What is San Salvador best known for
By admin March 6, 2023
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Plan to visit San Salvador City


The majority of visitors to El Salvador bypass the capital in favour of exploring the coffee country to the west or the beaches to the south. That’s a shame because San Salvador has some fun things to do as well! We weren’t expecting to have as much fun here as we did during our Pan American Highway road trip. The majority of the items on this list are not found on typical backpacker itineraries. I double-checked. While I compiled this blog post with families in mind, the items on here are actually great fun for people of all ages! 


Plan a trip to this beautiful city of San Salvador with a cheap Avianca flight and spend your days in San Salvador.


  1. Libertad Plaza

Visiting Libertad Plaza is one of the most popular things to do in San Salvador with kids. This large public space in the city centre is ideal for a picnic lunch, people-watching, or flying a kite. Plaza Libertad offers a variety of activities. The kids can run around and play in the grass while the parents take a relaxing stroll. There are also some food carts nearby where you can get pupusas, as well as restaurants and cafes, so it’s the ideal place to stop for a bite to eat. Not to mention the Monument to the Heroes, which is a sight to behold!

  1. National Palace

While it may not be as large as some of the other palaces around the world, The National Palace is an excellent place for families to visit. There are four main rooms open to the public and 101 secondary rooms. The Red Room is a beautiful space with detailed architecture that is for receptions. The Yellow Room is the President of El Salvador’s office and provides an intriguing glimpse into presidential life. The Pink Room before housed the Supreme Court and, later, the Ministry of Defense; it is now used for government meetings. Finally, the Blue Room was the meeting place of El Salvador’s legislature and is now a museum.

  1. Iglesia del Rosario

The Iglesia del Rosario, also known as the Rainbow Church, is a Catholic church in downtown San Salvador located east of Plaza Libertad. It has a contemporary architectural design that deviates from the traditional Latin and Greek cross-type. This means that the church does not have pillars that block the faithful’s view of the altar and the colourful religious images that stand out inside. 

  1. MetroCentro Mall

MetroCentro in downtown San Salvador offers a variety of activities for families. There is a movie theatre where they can watch a Spanish film, a food court with a variety of options, and small shops where they can find one-of-a-kind items. We went to the mall to look for a bao restaurant. 

When we lived in Asia, Little Man discovered these delicious-filled puffs, but the restaurant had closed. Google Maps let us down! Uber Eats later delivered them to us. The mall is secure, and there is a pedestrian bridge connecting it to the Hotel Real Inter-Continental, making it easy for them to navigate. But, getting to the mall from other parts of the city can be difficult due to traffic.

  1. Museo del Ferrocarril y Parque Temático

Families will enjoy visiting the Museo del Ferrocarril y Parque Temático. There is plenty of open space and beautiful gardens for kids to run around, like the train museum in Merida, Mexico. There are also coffee shops and a shop where you can buy souvenirs. The train ride is a lot of fun and a great way to see the grounds of the museum. The train, which runs only on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., costs more than $1.

  1. Jardin Botanico la Laguna

Families can spend a day exploring the various areas of the Jardin Botanico in San Salvador. Paths wind through the gardens and around the ponds, which are home to many fish and turtles. There are tropical plants and flowers throughout the gardens, as well as a children’s play area with a variety of equipment to keep younger visitors entertained. There is also a cafe where families can get some food and a plant shop where they can buy souvenirs. There’s also a plant shop near the entrance.

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  1. Military Museum El Zapote

A family can visit the Military Museum El Zapote to see various uniforms and weapons used by soldiers throughout El Salvador’s history. You can also see paintings of important Salvadoran soldiers and learn about the civil war’s history. The helicopters and tanks on display will appeal to children. The museum also has a 3D map of El Salvador that shows every tourist attraction. It’s a great place to go to see where everything is in El Salvador that you’ve visited or want to visit.

  1. Volcatenango

Most tourists are unaware of this fantasy-themed family amusement park located outside of San Salvador. The view from San Salvador is breathtaking! There are several activities divided into different ‘lands.’ Volcatenango has no admission fee, but each activity must be for at the gate, which is a roaring dragon atop a castle! Purchasing a package that includes a variety of activities is the best deal. 

  1. Day Trip to Suchitoto

Suchitoto is a one-of-a-kind colonial town in the mountains 50 kilometres from San Salvador. A day trip to Suchitoto can be exploring the town’s colourful architecture (which reminds me of Antigua), visiting the Santa Lucia Church and Parque Central, and viewing the art at the Centro Arte para la Paz. A boat ride on Lago Suchitlán, a visit to Cascada Los Tercios (waterfalls), and a visit to the Strange and Curious Plate Museum are also options.

  1. Lake Ilopango

Lake Ilopango is a lovely spot to spend the day with your family. There is also a large inflatable water park called Via Vella, which has 27 different aqua inflatables. It has 34 rental cabins, a picnic area, a soccer field, a BKB court, dressing rooms, and several restaurants. On-site amenities include a plant nursery, pools, a parking lot, and lifeguards. This beautiful lake has something for everyone, whether you want to take a boat tour or enjoy the waterpark.

  1. Le Petit Prince Park

The classic book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who married a Salvadoran woman, inspired Le Petit Prince Park, which is El Salvadorean. The park honours the relationship between the book and the country. There is a planet for a king, a planet for a drunk, a planet for a businessman, a planet for a conceited person, and so on. The Little Prince himself sits atop his massive asteroid in the main section beneath a lovely gazebo. On hot days, the water fountains activate, so your children may get wet!

  1. Galaxy Bowling

There is also a video game zone and an ice cream stand at the bowling alley. It is open 365 days a year. Visitors should keep in mind that the complex is quite old, so the machines will make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the days of VGA monitors. The place could use some TLC, but it still has some magic! The best part, at least for kids, is that they have a glow-bowling system set up where the lights go out every 30 minutes and everything glows in the dark!

  1. Tin Marin Children’s Museum

The Tin Marin Children’s Museum is a must-see for any family visiting San Salvador on vacation. Kids will be entertained for hours with interactive exhibits such as a pretend grocery store and dinosaur park. There’s also an aeroplane, a train, and a “gravity house” to investigate. Every day, the museum is alive with activity because school children visit on field trips during the week and families visit on weekends. One of the best parts is the career centre, where kids can train to be pilots, firefighters, reporters, and other professions. It’s like Kidzania, but much less expensive!

  1. El Boqueron National Park

El Boquerón National Park offers a variety of activities. Driving up there can be confusing, so plan your route ahead of time to ensure you know where you’re going. A beautiful hike up to the top of a volcanic crater is the most popular activity there. The view of San Salvador from the top is breathtaking. Furthermore, there is a small crater within the crater called “Boqueroncito” (Little Boquerón) that is fascinating to see. You must hire a guide if you want to descend into the Boquerón crater to see it. The hike is not too strenuous and is definitely suitable for children.

  1. Picnic Steak House

Picnic Steak House, made famous on social media for its massive rainbow slide, was a must-see for our family during our visit to San Salvador. Little Man begged to go after discovering it while watching Instagram clips with David. This outdoor restaurant gets very busy on weekends and evenings, so go late in the morning on a weekday. Although the restaurant opens at 10 a.m., the slide does not open until 11:30 a.m. Riding the slide costs $5 per person in cash only. Passes for the slide can be at the host stand near the entrance. Menu items can be for with a credit card.

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