With hip night hot spots and definite "no go" zones for those that aren't of the criminal persuasion, San Salvador is the capital of El Salvador. Sitting beneath the San Salvador volcano, you will find a dynamic city full of cultural flavor with leafy wide boulevards and narrow winding streets in upscale suburbs juxtaposed with an apron of shantytowns. Having such a stark economic contrast, the east side of town is one area not to wonder into after dark. In spite of this, you will find a city slightly off the so-called tourist route and full of warm friendly locals.
There are zany outdoor markets where you can indulge in some local art, cafes for the coffee addicts and restaurants dishing up "pupusas", which is a fried mesa stuffed with beans, cheese and pork skin loaded up with pickled cabbage and spicy tomato sauce. If you need a nap after inhaling this gastronomic delight, head to the stunning botanic gardens named "Parque Cuscutlan", for an afternoon nap.
San Salvador is the perfect city to base yourself in for exploring the surrounding area. Within a few hours you can be mountain trekking in national parks with jaw dropping views, surfing beaches with long barreling waves at Punta Roca or on the black sand beach of Sunzal. There is the volcano rim of El Boquerón to explore, you can seek out that perfect woven hammock to buy at San Sebastián or immerse yourself in the Mayan way of life at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of "Joya de Cerén".
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