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El Salvador – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Reconsider travel to El Salvador due to crime.

Country Summary:  Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault are of concern throughout significant portions of the country. Although gang activity varies among departamentos (states) and municipios (municipalities), areas witnessing higher crime rates are often located in close proximity to lower crime areas, or must be crossed in moving between lower risk areas. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, although the concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to El Salvador.

If you decide to travel to El Salvador:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not walk outside after dark. Do not drive to unfamiliar and/or remote locations after dark.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Engage local guides certified by the national or local tourist authority when hiking in back country areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for El Salvador.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel. 

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