San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, approximately in the center of the country in a valley near the base of the San Salvador volcano. The city has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil tribes.San Salvador lies in the “Valle de las Hamacas” (literally “Valley of the hammocks”, as it was named by the colonizing Spaniards, due to its intense earthquake activity) at the foot of the San Salvador volcano. It covers an area of 600 square km and is home to nearly 2 million people. It is home to one-third of El Salvador’s population and one-half of the country’s wealth. The people of San Salvador are generally friendly, though as in any large city, less inclined to engage in conversations with strangers on the street as opposed to other parts of the country. The established suburbs of Colonia San Benito, Colonia Escalon, Colonia San Francisco and Colonia Maquilishuat were traditionally the enclaves of the country’s elite, with large estates and beautiful tree-lined avenues. These areas and their surrounds were largely untouched during the civil war that ravaged the country, but became the epicenter of the ‘Final Offensive’ in 1989 when anti-government forces launched a surprise attack on the capital, a move that signaled the beginning of the end of the brutal war. Due to rapid population growth, these areas have become high-density in parts, where older houses have given way to modern residential and commercial towers. While many older mansions remain residential, others have been turned into boutique cafes, small bars, restaurants and foreign embassies. Most tourists choose to stay in these areas as they remain the more pleasant, leafy and safer parts of the city. Museums, Art Galleries and Theaters are located here.The areas of Santa Elena (where the US Embassy is located), Antiguo Cuscatlan, Nuevo Cuscatlan, Ciudad Merliot and their surrounds are newer, where the country’s modern and more luxurious shopping malls can be found (conveniently within walking distance to each other) and a steadily increasing number of gated communities and residential towers popular with expats, along with international hotel chains. Informal settlements (‘communidades’) have sprung up alongside creeks and blocks of land in many suburbs, some larger than others, squeezed in between gated communities and larger estates. For security reasons, it is advisable not to enter these areas. There are middle class areas close to the wealthier neighborhoods, such as Colonia Flor Blanca, which showcase stunning examples of art deco and architectural oddities (like the Castillo Venturoso building), an ode to the city’s golden era prior to the civil war. Poorer areas are located in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city’s eastern fringes, which are best avoided due to gang activity.San Salvador’s climate is tropical, although the weather can vary

Airport: SAL Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport Cities in Egypt

Country: El Salvador