El Salvador - Visiting the gang country

Now in 2016, El Salvador was named one of the most dangerous places on the planet. I didn't see any violence but there was probably a lot of it. And as I only spent a few days in the country I was not exposed to many risks.

The city Santa Ana or the beach town El Tunco seemed nice. But the capital San Salvador probably isn't a good place to spend too vacation time, due to the violent activities going on here between gangs MS13 and Barrio18. (Also, I guess no one really wants to spend more than a few days as a vacation in San Salvador anyway?!)

1 Day in the capital San Salvador

I came with the bus from Guatemala City today and it was indeed the best bus ride I've ever had and this is no joke. It was a luxury bus with two floors and a big fat comfortable lounge seat on the upper floor in the front. They brought breakfast and drinks and the bus had wifi:)

Easy border crossing from Guatemala to El Salvador

Immigration with the bus was not an issue. I even didn't have to go to the immigration office personally, but the staff from the bus was handling the issues and brought me back the passport with the exit and entry stamps in it.

... after lunch in San Salvador

After arriving in San Salvador I immediately went out then to see the city center as long the sun was up.

Didn't want to be in the center of San Salvador when its getting dark as the chance of being a victim of some stupid gang violence was the last thing I wanted me to be involved here.

High crime in El Salvador?

In general, I didn't notice any violence the short stay that I was there, the only thing I saw on every corner remembered me to places in Europe, for example, France, where heavily armed soldiers overlooking the happenings.

However, according to different news sources, El Salvador was the country with the highest murder rates.

With bus and walking towards the city center.

Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo

A lot of  barb wire everywhere in San Salvador

The soldier on the left has a cool grenade launcher riffle :D

I like how they manage to make old cars up and running again.

Basketball court in close to the San Salvador city center.

If I had leather shoes with me, I would have polished them in that shoe polish studio.

Coming closer to the city center, the market started to grow.

I was fascinated by this shop :)

The distance to the center was easy to estimate by the increasing noise.

Busy market in San Salvador

Many people in the market and it's very hot and humid.

When the sun starts to go down, people go home quickly.

Arriving in the city center of San Salvador.

Metropolitan Cathedral Of San Salvador

Plenty of old taxis are good for photography

The main square in San Salvador

The so-called Parish Dunharrow (Rosario), a church, in the background.

The monument in the central square

This is the most central point, Plaza Libertad.

Shoe polishing around Plaza Libertad.

Shoe polishing all over the central square.

Old gang members?

When the sun sets the streets in San Salvador get empty

This man walks with his squirrel on the head. I found out its is common for people here to have such a pet.

Here an example of a medium sized shopping mall squeezed into a boutique.

Old cars in San Salvador.

The sunset. Its time to disappear out of the city center.

Police is heavily overlooking Plaza Libertad.

Police Squads wearing black masks. They are around to kill gang members.

Under the roofs are markets.

Day 2 - Visiting the big neighbor city "Santa Ana"

Went up early in the morning to take the public bus for a visit in Santa Ana. This city is said to be much nicer and safer than San Salvador and so it was. Ok, it was the same heat but the streets were more clean and open and the buildings contained some culture in its architecture.

I like these old cars.

Impossible to see such cars in Europe, except maybe in a museum.

Still in San Salvador, on the way to the bus station for searching the bus to Santa Ana.

Arriving in Santa Ana. Its also busy like San Salvador but not that narrow.

Guns not allowed in the markets.

Some locals told me that two weeks ago someone threw a grenade in this street.

Gang Members maybe?

Walking through the old streets of Santa Ana

Old cars in Santa Ana.

The main attraction of Santa Ana. A nice church. The church Catedral de Nuestra Señora Santa Ana.

The government building Palacio Municipal de Santa Ana.

The parque right before the government city hall.

Invisible heat in these streets, it felt like 50 degrees.

The market area of Santa Ana.

Local bus.

Piñata under construction. Soon gets filled with candy.

Locals of Santa Ana.

Day 3 - Continue to the beach in "El Tunco"

El Tunco is a small beach town on the pacific coast. I didn't go swimming, but I wanted to see something else than just the cities of El Salvador. As the recently erupted volcano didn't have any flowing lava anymore, I didn't go hiking and visit the volcano. So instead, I went to the beach to walk around and eat :).

It was easy to get there by public bus from San Salvador.

After arriving in El Tunco, I ordered fish and rice.

Walking around in El Tunco.

This hill or stone is the trademark of El Tunco.

A long beach with not so many tourists.

Big waves. El Tuno is supposed to be a surfers paradise. Too bad I cant surf.

Beach life in El Tunco.

Wall paintings in a restaurant.

Some El Salvadorian Art

On the way out of El Salvador the next day. Back to Guatemala.

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