Did you know that since 2001 El Salvador is using the American dollar as its currency?
The currency change made everything a bit pricy. El Salvador was the most expensive country we have visited so far this trip, we saved money where we could and couch-surfed for over a half of the visit. This kept our spendings down as we had bbq most nights instead of eating out. We averaged $22 per person and most of this was entertainment. We had surf classes and climbed a volcano along with boat trips, and some restaurant meals. Groceries prices in the supermarkets are horrendous. We were asked to pay $4 for 2 peppers, where at the outdoor market stand you can get a whole bag of veggies for the same amount.
You can see a massive influence of America in El Salvador – shopping malls, a significant number of fast food chains and even a waltamart supermarket. While driving around the capital we started missing Belize, where all the franchise are banned and all you can see are local comedores (canteens) and food markets.
☄we took an air conditioned bus (always bring warm clothes with you as they are freezing!) from San Salvador to Leon for $25 each. Initially, Transporte del Sol said it would cost us $50 pp, but after some negotiating we ended up paying $50 for the two of us – great deal, and it had breakfast, horrible lunch and drinks included.
☄ border crossings to Nicaragua were really slow, we ended up waiting for about 2 hours until our passports went through. You will be asked to pay $3 to enter Honduras and $12 to enter Nicaragua.
☄public transportation (chicken buses) are extremely cheap in El Salvador, ex. 60c for an hour journey.