State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2

El Salvador Travel Advisory Reduced by the US Department of State

El Salvador travel notices issued by the Canadian, United Kingdom and USA governments

san salvador, el salvador

The US Department of State has issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory for the Republic of El Salvador, which is located in Central America.

This ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Travel Advisory was updated on October 1, 2019, and is actually a reduction from the previous Level 3 notices. Both advisories were related to crime in El Salvador and the local police’s inability to effectively respond to serious incidents.

Additionally, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Travel Advice updated on September 30th, saying ‘El Salvador has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America so you should take extra care, particularly in downtown San Salvador and on roads outside major cities, especially at night.’

If you decide to travel to El Salvador, the US State Departments suggests the following actions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • 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 backcountry areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for El Salvador.
  • US citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.

The US Embassy in San Salvador is located at Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur, Urbanizacion Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlan, La Libertad, San Salvador, El Salvador. 

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, with a population of 6.3 million people. During 2017, El Salvador welcomed about 2.25 million tourists, which is an increase from 2.05 million in 2016.

From a health perspective, the Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travelers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while visiting affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to El Salvador.

Previously, on August 2, 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said to ensure you are up-to-date on several Routine Vaccinations before visiting El Salvador. This alert includes the measles vaccination since El Salvador is included in the CDC’s worldwide measles alert issued during June 2019.

Additionally, the CDC suggests additional travel vaccinations such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

And, if you are traveling from a country with a risk of the Yellow Fever virus transmission and are older than 1 year of age, proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination must be presented. The Yellow Fever vaccine, Stamaril, has limited availability in the United States.

If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance.

These vaccines and related medications can be found at most travel pharmacies in the USA. Pre-trip, vaccination counseling appointments can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel.

Travel information is published by Vax-Before-Travel