The US Department of State has issued an official warning for all United States travelers whose routes or destinations go into or through El Salvador. While Americans do not seem to be specifically targeted, violence in the country at large is exceptionally prevalent, and crimes against tourists of all nationalities are frequent.
There are dangerously high levels of kidnapping, extortion, assault, and theft, especially of passports, is a particularly significant risk. There have also been tourists that were the victims of more serious violent crimes, which, though less common, are deeply troubling nonetheless.
Every year thousands of Americans travel to El Salvador to do business, volunteer, visit family and friends, and enjoy the local sights and culture. Most have safe and enjoyable experiences, however it is important that when traveling to El Salvador that steps are taken to stay safe for the duration of your stay.
Travel in groups whenever possible, avoid walking alone at night or in deserted areas, and use a local guide or service when hiking in remote locales. Avoid wearing jewelry and taking out large sums of cash in public. Internet connections can be unreliable, so it can be helpful to arrange for wireless Internet service beforehand. Remain vigilant and avoid the highest-risk areas and you should return home from El Salvador safely and happily.