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How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

We all needs to cut the negative crap about El Salvador. I live in Riverside, California. El Salvador is a very beautiful country with nice beaches and smiling faces. I visited this country on the 24th of February 2017. After reading all the negative crap on internet and various websites, I too took all kinds of insurances and other precautions before landing in El Salvador. I rented a vehicle from the airport and drove over 2500 km visiting many cities during my stay. El Cuco beach to Santa Ana and from San Miguel to La Libertad to Decameron. I went for a wedding and I enjoyed my stay in El Salvador very much. Much to see and fantastic food. I drove at 1 am across San Salvador going to San Miguel. I drove to see ruins in El Tazumal and stopped and ate roadside restaurants. They were the most friendly people I have met. Less people speak English. To tell you the truth, I am more scared driving in Los Angels down town area during day time than driving in any city any time in El Salvador. If there are gang fights it’s in those gang areas between gang members. Bad areas are Ilapongo and Soyapango. Who wants to go to those areas any way? No tourists are in danger traveling around in this country. I never came across any problems during my 10 days stay. I went with my wife and daughter. Only problem I cannot resolved up till now, is to get my security deposit back from the Budget rent a car company. I rented the car through Rentalcars.com via their website paying for the 10 days in full. I returned the car on March 5th 2017. My $ 1800.00 security deposit which Budget Rent a car took is still not credited to my account after 45 days (20-04-2017) . I have written to Budget Rent a car head office in NJ and will see how it goes. When it’s credited back, I will reply again with the results.

48 replies to this topic
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1. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Yes, I agree.

The people are wonderful, and there is so much to see.

That is not to say it is a perfect country - it is a developing country so sure, there is poverty and crime. Take the same precautions as you would anywhere and you will find it is the undiscovered gem of central America.

Yukon
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2. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

I agree. We spent several weeks in El Salvador in February 2017. We didn't drive, but used a tour/transport company with great service & reasonable prices. We went to several places including San Salvador, Suchitoto, Juayua, Santa Ana, El Tunco, & Bahia Juquilsco. We took the same precautions we do anywhere in Central America & never felt unsafe or experienced any problems.

El Salvador is a beautiful country with much to offer visitors. We will be back!

San Salvador, El...
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3. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Excellent Article will post on my Central America Travel Group, next time hire a driver owner/guide in El Salvador, no deposits nor liabilities - pay by the day and they throw in a free walking tour of the city center "Centro Historico" downtown as well.Hopewfully you can get your deposit back Budget Rent a Car in El Salvador is not teh same Company as in US they are a local franchise that pays to use the logo. Budget Rent A Car International (El Salvador) and contact your Credit Card Company....their FB page https://web.facebook.com/groups/30499202211/… and https://web.facebook.com/ochinchilla?fref=nf Courtesy of https:/…

San Salvador, El...
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4. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

A post from a member of my Central America Travel Group on Facebook about "Budget Rent A Car" - don't use them anywhere in Latin America!!!

Marko Pellegrino I had that same issue with budget rental car in Mexico. But my car disappeared and I was dragged to the police station for about 5 hrs. The car was later recovered 3 months later as they claim it was stolen. The car rental place charged my credit card $3,000 2x at a amount of $6k. I canceled my card ,disputed the charges and recovered my money. It took almost 6 months to get straightened out. Call your credit card company and dispute the 1800 before its too late. Budget rental are the biggest crooks worldwide I've had problems with them everywhere I've rented a car. Your letter will go nowhere. They will claim that each location is independently owned and claim no responsibility. don't forget to go on there websites and leave negative feed back. I copied and pasted my complaint abd blasted them all iver the place. And i told the guy im not someone you wanna ---- off!!!!

Good luck!!! Courtesy https:/…

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5. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Thankyou for your honest first hand opinion.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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6. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Great to hear that. We are also planing on renting a car and explore El Salvador for 2 weeks. Are there any particular areas, cities, villages to be avoided due to crime?

I'm interested in your day-to-day plan, NaradaGa. I'm trying to figure out how much can we see in a day, and some locations for sleeping.

Thanks.

7. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

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Oakland, California
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8. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Looking for feedback on safety concerns, if any. Traveling February with two teenage girls. Thinking of Juayua, Santa Ana and Los Cobanos .

Ponce inlet
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9. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

Hearing all the stories about Budget Rent a car we had a few issues. We would go to Puerto Rico and they were the only car company to rent from. We got in very late. The parking lot was very poorly lit but I did notice a very big ding in the side of the car. With no one being there to report to and they just closed the office we took a photo of it next to our phone with time and date. Thank goodness we did because they tried to charge us for that large ding. Then another time we rented from them in Costa Rica we rented from an Orbitz and when we got there they said we had to pay hundreds more. They said it was an insurance policy that was law in Costa Rica. It was an additional 800.00 and they would not let us have the SUV until we got the insurance through them. Well we had just got on a bus to their off airport location so now we were stuck. We had to get the insurance and called Orbitz. They said they were unaware of that and if there were extra fees that was not their problem. Really!! So we would up having to pay an additional 800.00 for the SUV. Sobheads up do not use Budget. So funny because my husband and I talk about how they are running such a scam and we can't wait to see it in American Greed one day.

Boston...
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10. Re: How Safe is visiting El Salvador in 2017 ?

I traveled to El Salvador in July with a girlfriend. She and I have traveled all of Central America over the past few years and we left El Salvador for last... it is such a beautiful place it was probably my favorite of all. The key to traveling in El Salvador is hiring a driver/guide for your entire trip. Unless you are a native and know where you're going you don't want to make a wrong turn and end up in a bad neighborhood. Your guide will make sure you're always in the safest places. You should do obvious things like not walking around San Salvador at night... but in smaller towns you will be fine. I never felt unsafe while I was there. The El Salvadorian people are lovely and you will feel at ease there. There is violence there especially in bad parts of San Salvador and the border with Honduras, but I truly think the big warning against Americans traveling there have more to do with US/El Salvador relations than actual issues for travelers, esp for those with no ties or relatives in El Salvador. The nice thing we found about El Salvador was the lack of the "hustle". They don't seem to have enough tourists to have a desire to rip them off - they are just kind and happy your are there to explore their beautiful country. They see you not as a dollar sign but as an ambassador who can hopefully tell your friends what a great time you had there. At least that's the vibe I got...

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