Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In

San Salvador, El Salvador

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 10, 2023

Summary: People often describe San Salvador, El Salvador as a vibrant and bustling city with a rich culture and history. Expats love the city's friendly people, its vibrant nightlife, and its many attractions. The weather in San Salvador is typically warm and humid, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-90s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is typically around $500 to $700 per month, while a two bedroom apartment can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,000 per month. The approximate population of San Salvador is 2.2 million people.

What do I need to know about living in San Salvador?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to San Salvador, they said:

"Before retiring in San Salvador, expats should be aware of the cost of living, which is generally lower than in the United States. It is important to research the local healthcare system and to make sure that adequate medical coverage is available. Additionally, expats should familiarize themselves with the local culture and customs, as well as the language, to ensure a smooth transition. It is also important to research the safety and security situation in the city, as crime rates can be high. Finally, expats should consider the availability of amenities and services that they may need, such as banks, supermarkets, and transportation," commented one expat who made the move to San Salvador.

"The climate is tropical, sunny, warm, and rainy. Only a light jacket during the winter rains will be needed. Negotiate where you plan to live and try to make your deal with the owner. Realtors get a commission for the owner and will try to get the best price they can for the dwelling. Crime is high and delinquency is high. Ensure your dwelling is very well secured and practice caution at all times," remarked one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Answer this Question

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.
Now Health InternationalNow Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.
GET A QUOTE

What do I need to know before moving to San Salvador?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to San Salvador, they said:

"San Salvador is a vibrant and diverse city with a rich culture and history. Before moving to San Salvador, expats should familiarize themselves with the local language, Spanish, as it is the primary language spoken in the city. Additionally, expats should research the cost of living in San Salvador, as it is generally higher than other parts of El Salvador. It is also important to be aware of the crime rate in the city, as it is higher than in other parts of the country. Expats should also research the local healthcare system and consider purchasing health insurance to cover any medical expenses. Finally, expats should research the local culture and customs to ensure they are respectful of the local people and their traditions," wrote a member in San Salvador.

Answer this Question

How do I find a place to live in San Salvador?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"One of the best ways to find a place to live in San Salvador is to search online for rental listings. Websites such as Encuentra24.com, Vivanuncios.com, and Encuentra24.sv are great resources for finding apartments, houses, and other rental properties in the area. Additionally, you can also search for rental listings on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, you can also ask friends and family who live in the area for recommendations. Finally, you can also contact local real estate agents who specialize in rental properties in San Salvador," remarked one expat who made the move to San Salvador.

Answer this Question

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in San Salvador?

"Expat homes and apartments in San Salvador are typically modern and comfortable. Many expats choose to live in gated communities, which offer a greater sense of security and privacy. These homes and apartments often feature spacious living areas, modern kitchens, and balconies with views of the city. Expats can also find furnished apartments with all the necessary amenities, such as air conditioning, cable TV, and internet access," remarked one expat who made the move to San Salvador.

Answer this Question

What is the average cost of housing in San Salvador?

If you are thinking about moving to San Salvador, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in San Salvador is relatively high compared to other cities in the country. Renting an apartment in the city center can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000 per month, while a house in the suburbs can cost up to $2,000 per month. Prices vary depending on the size and location of the property," explained one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Answer this Question

How do I meet people in San Salvador?

When we asked people living in San Salvador about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats in San Salvador often join clubs and activities such as language exchange groups, salsa dancing classes, and yoga classes. Expats can also meet people by attending local events such as festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions. Additionally, expats can join social media groups and meet-up groups to connect with other expats and locals. Finally, expats can also meet people by attending church services, volunteering, or joining a sports team," wrote one member in San Salvador.

"Beaches are a nice get away for whatever time you have. The British club is a nice place. Most resturants in the zona rosa are nice areas. Your church can be an excellent place to meet new people," remarked one expat who made the move to San Salvador.

Answer this Question

Now Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

Now Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What should I bring when moving to San Salvador?

People living in San Salvador were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When moving to San Salvador, it is important to pack clothing suitable for the tropical climate, such as light, breathable fabrics. Sunscreen and insect repellent are also essential items to bring. It is also important to bring any necessary medications, as well as a first aid kit. Additionally, it is a good idea to bring a few items to make your new home feel more comfortable, such as pictures, books, and other personal items. Finally, it is important to bring any necessary documents, such as a passport, visa, and other important paperwork," explained one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Answer this Question

Where should I setup a bank account in San Salvador?

We asked expats in San Salvador what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"Before retiring in San Salvador, expats should be aware of the cost of living, which is generally lower than in the United States. It is important to research the local healthcare system and to make sure that adequate medical coverage is available. Additionally, expats should familiarize themselves with the local culture and customs, as well as the language, to ensure a smooth transition. It is also important to research the safety and security situation in the city, as crime rates can be high. Finally, expats should consider the availability of amenities and services that they may need, such as banks, supermarkets, and transportation," wrote a member in San Salvador.

Answer this Question

Will I be able to find a job in San Salvador?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in San Salvador, they reponded:

"The apparel manufacturing industry is the largest employer now that agriculture is no longer predominant. Dell has a large call center in San Salvador that is a place of employment for a lot of younger Salvadorans. Jobs are hard to come by, so a lot of Salvadorans are leaving the country for jobs in the U.S., Canada and Europe," remarked one expat who made the move to San Salvador.

"Industries are from textile to food products. Career opportunities are few and inbetween and most are taken by influcencial persons. Most people will submit there resumes and seek the position that they are trying to get," explained one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Answer Question & View More Answers

What is life like in San Salvador?

When we asked people living in San Salvador what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Family life is very important to the Salvadorans. Work dominates during the week and Saturdays for those that have to put in a 6 day work week, but you see families spending time together whenever possible. It's one of the things I like most about living in Latin America. I am very fortunate that I have been dating a Salvadoran for most of my stay. She has a large extended family which I have been adopted into," explained one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

"With a high and low class society it is difficult to provide priorities. The favorable sport is soccer (futbol). Family life and extended family life is active in El Salvador, no matter what class. Work ranges from bank employees to street vendors," said one expat in San Salvador.

Answer Question & View More Answers

Quickly and easily find trusted moving, insurance, relocation and other providers with Expat Exchange's Moving Planner. Select which of our trusted partners you would like to hear from and we'll do the rest.

Get Started Now

Quickly and easily find trusted moving, insurance, relocation and other providers with Expat Exchange's Moving Planner. Select which of our trusted partners you would like to hear from and we'll do the rest.

Get Started Now

What do expats in San Salvador appreciate most about the local culture?

"People are warmer and will often go out of their way to help, even people I hardly know," said one expat who made the move to San Salvador.

Answer Question & View More Answers

What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats in San Salvador often find the local culture to be quite different from what they are used to. The language barrier can be a challenge, as Spanish is the primary language spoken in the country. Additionally, the local customs and traditions can be difficult to understand and navigate. Expats may also find the local infrastructure to be lacking, with unreliable public transportation and limited access to modern amenities. Finally, the high levels of crime and violence in the city can be intimidating and make it difficult to feel safe," explained one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

"Relativity of time. Communication. Getting directions to anywhere is nearly impossible unless you already know how to get there," said one expat in San Salvador.

Answer Question & View More Answers

Is there a lot of crime in San Salvador?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"San Salvador has a high crime rate, with violent crime, including murder, being particularly prevalent. Gang-related crime is also a major problem in the city, with many gangs vying for control of the streets. Drug trafficking is also a major issue, with the city being a major hub for the illegal drug trade. In addition, there is a high rate of theft and burglary in the city," explained one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Answer this Question

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in San Salvador accepting of differences?

"The majority of San Salvador is Catholic. There is a presences of other dominations. From time to time there are demonstrations or strikes. Usually, a group trying to get further with there cause then what the government will negotiate. Most recent and ongoing is the medical/doctor's strike. The nation has changed its currency to the US dollar. This was a significant change for the people and for the economy," wrote one member in San Salvador.

Answer Question & View More Answers

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.
Now Health InternationalNow Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.
GET A QUOTE

What are the schools in San Salvador like?

"The American School of El Salvador (ASES) is one of the best international schools in San Salvador. It is a private, non-profit, co-educational day school offering an American-style education from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. ASES is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). The school offers a rigorous academic program, with a strong emphasis on English language instruction, as well as Spanish and French language classes. The International School of El Salvador (ISES) is another excellent international school in San Salvador. It is a private, non-profit, co-educational day school offering an American-style education from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. ISES is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). The school offers a comprehensive academic program, with a strong emphasis on English language instruction, as well as Spanish and French language classes. The Colegio Biling├╝e Internacional (CBI) is a bilingual school in San Salvador, El Salvador. It is a private, non-profit, co-educational day school offering an American-style education from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. CBI is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). The school offers a comprehensive academic program, with a strong emphasis on English language instruction, as well as Spanish and French language classes. CBI also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and art," remarked one parent with kids at in San Salvador.

"Overall the school is not a bad bet if you are in El Salvador for the short term, maybe a year or two, or in primary, but if you are here longer look somewhere else where your child won't obtain a mediocre education. I can personally say that what My child has achieved as an athlete and student is more because of his personal drive, than what the school has offered him. I haven't moved him fro the school because the environment, his friends and longetivity at the school have been key factors, but education wise primary is alright, high school needs improvement," explained one expat living in San Salvador , El Salvador.

Answer this Question

What are the pros and cons of living in San Salvador?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in San Salvador responded:

"I like that we live in the country with some land, so it is fairly private area. My wife and I live in our own home so that is a plus. My wife is from El Salvador, we retired and moved here 10 years ago and enjoy the life here very much," said an expat in San Salvador.

Answer Question & View More Answers

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.
Now Health InternationalNow Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.
GET A QUOTE

What type of social life can someone expect in San Salvador?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in San Salvador, they replied:

"Expats, retirees and digital nomads living in San Salvador typically have an active social life. There are many opportunities to meet people from all over the world, as well as locals, through various activities such as language exchanges, meet-ups, and social events. Expats often join local clubs and organizations, such as the American Chamber of Commerce, to network and make friends. Additionally, there are many bars, restaurants, and cafes in the city where people can socialize and enjoy the local culture," commented one expat living in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Answer this Question

"San Salvador is a vibrant city with a lively social scene. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to explore, as well as a variety of cultural events and activities to take part in. The city is also home to a number of parks and green spaces, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. San Salvador is a great place to meet new people and make friends, and the locals are known for their hospitality and welcoming attitude," said one expat.

Answer this Question

What advice to expats in San Salvador have about housing?

"Expats in San Salvador advise to research the area thoroughly before committing to a rental property. It is important to check the security of the area and the condition of the property. It is also recommended to visit the property in person and to negotiate the rental price. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local laws and regulations regarding rental contracts. Finally, it is advisable to have a local contact who can help with any issues that may arise," mentioned one expat inSan Salvador.

Answer this Question

What are medical services in San Salvador like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in San Salvador, they replied:

"San Salvador offers a wide range of medical services. The country has a number of public and private hospitals, clinics, and medical centers that provide quality medical care. Many of these facilities are equipped with modern medical equipment and staffed by experienced medical professionals. Additionally, there are a number of specialized medical centers that offer specialized treatments such as cancer treatment, fertility treatments, and plastic surgery. The country also has a number of pharmacies that provide prescription and over-the-counter medications," said one expat.

Answer this Question

Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in San Salvador?

"Healthcare and health insurance in San Salvador can be expensive for those without access to public health services. Private health insurance plans are available, but they can be costly and may not cover all medical expenses. Additionally, the cost of medical care in private hospitals and clinics can be high, and many people may not be able to afford the necessary treatments. For those who are able to access public health services, the cost of care is generally lower, but the quality of care may not be as high as in private facilities," mentioned an expat living in San Salvador.

Answer this Question

Now Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

Now Health International

The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

Is the cost of living in San Salvador high?

We asked people about the cost of living in San Salvador, they wrote:

"The cost of living in San Salvador is generally considered to be quite affordable. A nice 1 bedroom apartment in San Salvador can cost around $400 USD per month, while a nice 2 bedroom apartment can cost around $500 USD per month. Eating dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in San Salvador can cost around $10 USD per person," said one expat living in San Salvador.

Answer this Question

What are the visa & residency requirements in San Salvador?

"In order to visit San Salvador, visitors must obtain a visa prior to their arrival. The process of applying for a visa involves submitting an application form, a valid passport, a passport-sized photograph, and a fee. Depending on the type of visa, additional documents may be required. In order to obtain residency in San Salvador, El Salvador, applicants must submit an application form, a valid passport, a passport-sized photograph, and a fee. Additionally, applicants must provide proof of employment, proof of financial stability, and proof of health insurance. Once the application is approved, applicants must attend an interview with the immigration authorities. After the interview, applicants will receive a residency card, which must be renewed every two years," mentioned an expat living in San Salvador.

Answer this Question

Why do people move to San Salvador?

When we asked people why foreigners move to San Salvador, they responded:

"San Salvador offers expats a unique and vibrant culture, with a rich history and a diverse population. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning mountain views, and a variety of outdoor activities. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an attractive option for those looking to stretch their budget. Additionally, the city is home to a number of international businesses, providing expats with plenty of job opportunities. The friendly locals and the warm climate make San Salvador an ideal destination for expats looking to experience a new culture," said an expat in San Salvador.

Answer this Question

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Now Health International
Now Health International

Live Healthier, Live Happier with award winning international health insurance. Get up to 40% discount on new plans.
GET A QUOTE

Now Health InternationalNow Health International

Live Healthier, Live Happier with award winning international health insurance. Get up to 40% discount on new plans.
GET A QUOTE

Contribute to El Salvador Network Contribute
Help others in El Salvador by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in El Salvador.

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Copyright 1997-2023 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal