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A visit to El Salvador is reminder to never judge a book by its cover.
This tiny country in Central America is laden with a reputation of murder rates and gang warfare. While it is true that little El Salvador has seen its fair share of troubles, and a pretty long civil war, it is also true that the people of El Salvador are of the most welcoming and hospitable in Central America. It is the locals, which bring El Salvador to life. Regardless of the identity of violence placed upon them from years past, just one day in this beautiful country will have you leaving your perception at the door, craving to learn more about the culture and landscape of this tiny Central American country.
While many choose to avoid El Salvador on their Central American trips, I urge you to take a moment to enjoy what the country has to offer. These hospitable people, with their food (particularly pupusas), rolling volcanic landscapes, and incredible surf can make for a memorable experience altering any preconceived conceptions of El Salvador.
It is however, important to travel with care, and to exercise precautions as you would traveling anywhere. Listen to the locals if they speak about no-go areas. Gangs still control specific neighbourhoods within cities and the locals know where they are. The people of El Salvador are working to change their country's reputation and will inform you of the locations of the ‘Fronteras invisibles’ so that you can avoid them and the possibility of any trouble. ‘Fronteras Invisibles’ are invisible borders and are a concept any traveler should be aware of when entering El Salvador.
Do however, take a chance on this tiny country, explore the surf towns, enjoy the landscapes, and meet the people. You might be in for an enjoyable and mind changing experience at the end of the day.