10 Fun Facts About El Salvador
Hey there! Did you know that El Salvador is home to over 100 volcanoes, world-class surfing beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and so much more? This tiny Central American country packs a big punch when it comes to cool things to discover.
Let’s dive into 10 fun facts to help you get to know the amazing country of El Salvador:
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1. El Salvador has more volcanoes per square mile than any other country
With over 20 potentially active volcanoes crammed into this small nation, El Salvador holds the record for most volcanoes per square mile globally. The Santa Ana Volcano is the highest at 7,812 feet. Locals call it “Ilamatepec,” meaning Mother Mountain.
Living on the volatile Pacific Ring of Fire keeps Salvadorans on their toes! Volcanic soil makes the land fertile for farming coffee, however.
2. El Salvador’s flag features volcanos
With fiery peaks defining the landscape, El Salvador’s flag displays five iconic volcanos. They represent the five member states of the former United Provinces of Central America.
The two blue stripes stand for the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Fonseca. White symbolizes peace and prosperity for the people.
3. Unique wildlife calls El Salvador home
Teeny El Salvador contains 10 biosphere reserves and national parks sheltering stunning biodiversity. The marvelous quetzal bird lives in El Impossible National Park, along with pumas, anteaters, ocelots, margays, and spider monkeys.
Along the Pacific Coast, you can spot humpback whales, sea turtles, crocodiles, and 350 species of birds. Nature lovers rejoice!
4. Surfers flock here for the legendary waves
With world-class point breaks and offshore reefs, El Salvador is a surfing paradise. Punta Roca hosts one of the longest right-hand breaks on the planet.
Charging swells up to 12 feet, El Salvador’s waves thrill both amateur and pro surfers. The country hosts several international surfing competitions.
5. El Salvador has ancient Mayan ruins
Did you know the Maya civilization stretched into El Salvador? The Tazumal archaeological site contains the remains of Pre-Columbian Maya structures dating back 2,000 years.
You can check out pyramids, tombs, stone carvings, and ceremonial centers from this mysterious civilization. How cool is that?
6. El Salvador coffee is top-notch
Despite being the smallest Central American country, El Salvador was once the 4th largest coffee producer worldwide.
Growing ideal coffee altitudes and nutrient-rich volcanic soil make Salvadoran coffee beans legendary. Savor the rich, full-bodied taste of a Pacas or Pacamara bean harvested here.
7. El Salvador has a vibrant arts scene
Beyond nature and ruins, El Salvador overflows with artistry, music, dance, theater, and literature. You can experience cultural events year-round in San Salvador, including concerts, plays, gallery openings, and the International Book Fair.
8. Pupusas are the national dish
The quintessential Salvadoran street food is pupusas – thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, pork, beans, squash, or loroco (a local flower). Accompany them with curtido (cabbage slaw) and tomato sauce for the ultimate flavor explosion.
9. El Salvador is soccer obsessed
Like most Latin American nations, El Salvadorans are crazy about fútbol. During the FIFA World Cup, the country grinds to a halt to watch the national team play.
Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador is one of the largest soccer stadiums in Central America. It hosted matches during the 1970 and 1982 World Cups.
10. Salvadorans are extremely friendly
Despite economic struggles, Salvadorans are cheerful, humble, friendly people. Striking up a conversation with locals always leads to smiles and laughter.
Visitors often remark how genuinely kind and welcoming Salvadorans are. Their infectious joy and generosity touches everyone they meet!
Who knew such a small country could contain so much adventure? With world-famous surfing, simmering volcanos, Mayan ruins, delicious food, and vivacious culture, El Salvador offers limitless opportunities to explore.
From riding epic waves to climbing active volcanoes, backpackers and travelers will uncover paradise in El Salvador. Beyond the natural beauty, the Salvadoran people radiate joy and make you feel right at home.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to discover all the phenomenal things El Salvador has to offer!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is so great about El Salvador?
Some of the best things about El Salvador include world-class surfing beaches, magnificent volcanoes, ancient Mayan ruins, vibrant culture and nightlife, incredibly friendly locals, mouthwatering pupusas, and stunning natural parks and wildlife.
What is El Salvador culture known for?
Salvadoran culture is known for colorful folkloric dancing, celebrations like Carnival, delicious food like pupusas, a deep love of soccer, and traditions stemming from Mayan, Spanish, and other influences. Wherever you go in El Salvador, you'll find lively culture.
Is El Salvador a rich or poor country?
El Salvador is considered a developing nation and is poorer than some of its Central American neighbors. However, steady economic growth and lower poverty levels have improved quality of life. Tourism continues boosting the economy.