Monday, April 30, 2012

Some travel safety tips

As a blogger writing in English about El Salvador,  I often get questions about the safety of traveling in and about El Salvador.    My usual advice is that travelers should rely heavily on Salvadorans they know and trust who can counsel them on when, where and how to go places in the country.

I may also point people to some practical advice written by a "gringa in El Salvador" at El Salvador from the Inside titled Colorful Safety Guidelines for visiting El Salvador (or moving here).   Here's her tip about shoe choice:

Tennis Shoes / Sneakers
Men: leave expensive Adidas, Nike, and Air Jordan (or latest $150 craze) where they belong: at home in your closet, thousands of miles away from El Salvador. Buy a cheapo pair, and replace them with a standard brand that non-ostentatious people wear here after you arrive. It’s ok to look ‘cool’ at home, but here looking cool means “come steal my wallet.” Or the very sneakers you are wearing. People do wear converse style brand and knock-offs here.
Ladies: it is still not common practice to walk around with “exercise/walking” sneakers as a female in El Salvador unless you’re going to the gym, or wearing the “converse” style that are all the rage. Anything outside of that usually means, “Hey everyone, I’m NOT FROM HERE!!”
Example: At the Fiestas Patronales recently, it appeared a woman at the next table was ‘visiting.’ Looked like a Salvadoran, as she was among them; who else comes to the boonies in Agua Caliente, Chalatenango? The shorts she wore were shorter, but fair game for El Salvador. It was the paper-white legs inside them, along with American style walking sneakers at the bottom (eeeek! stop sign!) that were a dead give away. That, along with constant camera-clicking, and taking pix of poor children in the snack area. I wondered how many years those legs have gone without proper Tropical sunshine to have turned that hue.
The rest of the tips are here.


Esmerelda777 said...

Tim, thank you for re-posting. I hope it helps a few people coming to visit.

Travel said...

Great tips. Thanks for the share. It was very interesting and informative.

Travel Tips

mayailana said...

For the traveler looking to get off the tourist track, eat tasty food, meet welcoming people, and visit historical and natural sites El Salvador is a must visit. I spent 6 wonderful weeks there and was very happy with all my experience.
The small mountain town of Cinquera was a particular treat. Close to the tourist destination Suchitoto, Cinquera is a small, tranquilo (calm) community perfect for a tourist looking to rest and rejuvenate in a beautiful place. The local community organizing and development organization, the ARDM, has a variety of tourist ventures that make visiting Cinquera comfortable and interesting. Their hostel is affordable, cool, and quiet with hammocks on lovely shaded porches. Attached to the hostel is a delicious restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to locals and travelers alike. Over the week that I spent there the food never failed to satisfy.
Cinquera is also home to a beautiful Ecological Park. The tour of the park is well worth its $10 price tag. Over the course of a couple of hours knowledgeable local guides take you to see beautiful vistas, historic sites, and explain various ecological features. With extensive focus on the history of the civil war in this community I left this tour with an increased appreciation for the human and natural history of this place.
Other tourist attractions include an iguana farm, butterfly exhibit, and historic museum. There are also several local artists that make beautiful artisan crafts, including a woman named Ivette who makes incredible (and super affordable!) jewelry. All and all Cinquera has a wide variety of things to do and ways to stay entertained. It’s also incredibly safe in a country known for not always being the safest place to visit. I spent many nights sitting in the town square and wasn’t ever bothered at all. If you take time to visit Cinquera you’ll be sure to enjoy it!
The ARDM’s website has lots of helpful information and is:

Jade Graham said...

But, there are numerous budget booking sites, and retailers are increasingly offering low price guarantees. cheap flights to Jeddah