Avianca Airlines now uses the San Salvador International Airport as a hub for connecting flights from North America to South America. Layovers can go from 6 - 12 hours. El Salvador is a tiny country, you can do many things during a layover at the airport. The airport is located 45 minutes away from San Salvador, and its also 45 minutes away from the Beaches. There is Mayan Ruins 2 hours away, great coffee in the mountains 3 hours away so the visitor can choose his tour depending on his layover time. Tours during your layover in the San Salvador Airport have become very popular as its an inexpensive way to visit another country during your layover. You dont need to take your luggage out, you dont need to check-in when you come back to the airport, as you are already checked-in. It takes aproximately 40 minutes to do the procedure through Immigration and Customs, we wait for you outside Customs. Then we follow our planned itinerary and we visit the places we already discussed through email.
We wait for you at the exit of customs, holding a sign with your name. Then we walk to our vehicle and start our tour. Popular places are the Fishmarket, El Tunco, City-Tours, The Volcanoes...and more. Another popular destination is the Pupusa tasting, pupusa is the national food of El Salvador and you can try them during your layover. After we finish, we return to the Airport aproximately 2 hours before your next flight. Email us to customize your trip or choose from mour predetermined tours.
The Most common flight connections are Bogota - San Salvador - San Francisco, Quito - San Salvador - San Francisco, Lima - San Salvador - San Diego, New York - San Salvador - Belize, Panama - San Salvador - San Francisco. All these are operated by AVIANCA Airlines. Its very common to have the people doing the Inca Trail in Peru or visiting Ecuador and Colombia and then visiting El Salvador on their way back home to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or New York.
There could be an AVIANCA fee for leaving the airport, please make sure you get your voucher at their counter. Ask the AVIANCA personnel please. There is a $10 visa fee for US, Canada and Australian Citizens. Europeans do not pay this $10. You dont need to worry about your bags, they are changed from airplanes by AVIANCA.
The tour starts with a visit to the Pier of La Libertad (30 minute drive from the airport), here we can check out the fishmarket and the fishing boats being picked up at the Pier. This is as authentic as it can get, you can have a feel of the local culture, economy and gastronomy all in one place. Then we move to El Tunco, which is the most visited place by foreigners. Its a Surf Town, everything and everyone moves around Surf and here you can see a nice mix between foreign tourism and local businesses. Also a great place to try the local food, PUPUSA. Ideal place to hace an authentic local breakfast. Then we move to a nearby beach so you can spend the rest of your layover laying in a hammock with the music of the ocean playing right in front of you. Some people like to swim in the ocean, this is also possible please come ready with your bating suit on or in your carry on. Book with $20.
City-tours are also a very popular options for visitors that want to experience the real local salvadorean culture. The tour usually includes a visit to the Volcano of San Salvador, its only 40 minutes from the city. There is a short 15 minute walk to the summit, where you can see the Crater. The views and temperature here are very pleasant, there are coffee shops and restaurants around if you want to have a meal with the best view of San Salvador. Then we move to Santa Tecla, to see the downtown area and go check out the markets from the inside. Then we move to San Salvador's downtown where we visit The Cathedral and the Rosario Church, which in our opinion is the most attractive artistically and historically in the whole downtown. Then, if we have time, we can try the local PUPUSA on the way back to the airport. Book with $20.
El Salvador has Mayan Ruins 2 hours away from the airport, San Andres was the most important city in the area between 300ac and 900ac. Joya de Ceren is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in El Salvador. Ruta de las Flores, Cerro Verde and Lake Coatepeque are also very popular options for travellers during a long layover. We can coordinate a hike around the Cerro Verde Volcano park and combine it with either the Ruta de las Flores, Lake Coatepeque or an archaeological site. Please contact us with your interests and we can list you some options to choose. Book with $20.