Moving to San Salvador

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What to know if you're moving to San Salvador

San Salvador's vibrant arts scene and nightlife make it an attractive place to live for expats-to-be seeking new opportunities. In many ways, a move to San Salvador is comparable to relocating to a mid-sized American city, with shops and modern buildings dominating the city's skyline.


All about El Salvador

El Salvador is a small country that boasts of a rich variety of cultures, traditions and landscapes: expats planning on moving there could make the most out of the cosmopolitan vibe or the unspoiled natural beauty, in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Find out more in our Relocation Guide!
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Relocating to San Salvador

There is a large wealth gap in San Salvador and many of the city’s richest people live in gated communities, while a lot of locals live in shanty towns on the outskirts of the city.

About the City

San Salvador’s population is around the 1,100,000 mark, with virtually all of the people living in San Salvador speaking Spanish as their first language, although English is on the rise, too. The San Salvador metropolitan area is second only to Guatemala City in terms of the most populated metro areas in Central America.

Although there is a significant minority of Protestants living in San Salvador, the vast majority of the city’s people are Roman Catholics. There is also a Mormon community in El Salvador, which has its own church, while smaller Latter Day Saints chapels can also be found in the city center.

The wealthier areas of the city of San Salvador include San Benito, Colonia San Francisco, Colonia Maquilishuat, and Santa Elena, and these are likely to be where expats look at finding somewhere to live when moving to San Salvador. Some of these areas are found in the hills surrounding the city and they have stunning views of the incredible El Salvador landscapes. 

The Climate in San Salvador

San Salvador has a warm climate and under the Köppen climate classification the city is described as having a tropical, wet and dry climate. Daily mean temperatures are around 27°C and the warm weather in the city lasts all year round.

November through February sees the temperatures fall a little due to the seasonal winds of the dry season, while April and May are the hottest months of the year for people living in San Salvador. During the rainy season, May to September, thunderstorms occur on a daily basis. 

Hail storms and snow are rare in the city of San Salvador, and even when an occasional cold front strikes the area it is unlikely temperatures will fall below the 10–15°C range.

Visas for El Salvador

El Salvador observes the Central America Border Control Agreement, which means travel with a visa is possible throughout any of the CA-4 countries — Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala — without being delayed at border checkpoints.

Foreigners from many countries around the world — including the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Germany — can also enter El Salvador without a visa, but only for short-term tourist or business visits of up to 90 days. Expats from nations not on the list for visa-free travel, or those moving to San Salvador for a longer period of time, need to secure the necessary documents from the relevant embassy before traveling.

InterNations GO!
by InterNations GO!
30 July 2015

Living in San Salvador

San Salvador is one of the most important cities in Central America, acting as a financial, political, educational and economic center for the region. It is the capital of El Salvador and was home to approximately 1.1 million in 2014. With this guide, you can get prepared for your new life in San Salvador!
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Working in San Salvador

Industrial manufacturing is one of the key sectors in San Salvador, but the city's banking and business industries are also in good health. Expats planning on working in San Salvador could find employment opportunities across finance, education and service sectors.
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