8 Best Places To Retire In El Salvador

Even though El Salvador had a reputation for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world in previous years, strides have been made to reduce the crime and violence by the current administration. An increasing number of people choose to make a home in one of the country’s beautiful cities.

El Salvador has a comfortable tropical climate, low living costs, and welcoming people. Whether you decide to settle in San Salvador or Antigua Cuscatlan, the selection of neighborhoods varies, and there will be a location that suits your style and pace of living.

If you are thinking about retiring in El Salvador, you will be one of the lucky people that will experience the abundance of gifts this country has to offer. If you’re not sure where to go yet, let me help you decide.

The 8 Best Places To Live In El Salvador.

  1. San Salvador is the country’s capital city and expanding rapidly, with about 550,000 people. The city is located roughly forty-five minutes from the international airport and is filled with shopping malls, museums, restaurants, and government buildings. It is perfect for someone searching for an urban environment, even though the price of living tends to be a bit higher than the rest of El Salvador. Including the selection of historical sights and ancient churches, there are also breathtaking national parks.
  2. If you are in search of a more coastal town, La Libertad might be for you. It’s a popular location with only 36,000 residents, but with surfers from all over the globe stopping over right through the year, it always seems busier. It has some of the most famous surf spots. However, if you’re not an avid surfer, there are numerous beaches for you to visit or the waterfront where you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants and shops.
  3. For those who like the urban setting, but the main cities like San Salvador and San Tecla aren’t for them, you should consider settling in Santa Ana, which is about $273,000 USD. This city is rich with cultural sights and tourist nature spots like Santa Ana Volcano, Tazumal Ruins, and Coatepeque Lake. However, traffic and living costs are much less than in San Salvador, with the added benefits of modern shopping centers and restaurants.
  4. Santa Tecla is another urban city next to San Salvador with a population of about $139,000 USD. Apart from the museums, churches, shopping, and nightlife, the city prides itself on wonderful parks for people who enjoy the outdoors. There are admirable residential areas, but the cost of living is similarly escalated like San Salvador.
  5. A smaller city near Santa Tecla, is Antigua Cuscatlan. A beautiful city with all the amenities like shopping centers and three of the best universities in the country, and a population of $48,000 USD. The neighborhoods are somewhat more expensive because they are upscaled and exclusive with security gates. Moving to this city will mean extra expense, but security will be much better.
  6. Suchitoto is a little colonial town about an hour from the capital, but the most popular tourist destination in El Salvador with only 24,000 people. You will find a small city environment with welcoming neighbors when you move there. The natives are always ready to invite foreigners and newcomers. Traditions are celebrated with colorful events throughout the year, but the cost of living is low, and the employment rates are dire.
  7. Juayua is west of San Salvador if you prefer more small-town surroundings, surrounded by mountains and a cool mountain climate. It’s a basic town with no nightclubs and movie theaters but has the most magnificent parks and waterfall and a selection of colorful murals painted by the local artists. If you adore coffee, this part of El Salvador is famous for its coffee plantations, but, just like Suchitoto, it’s a rural area with low living costs and few job opportunities.
  8. Another surfers’ paradise is the tiny town of El Tunco, with a population of a mere $15,000 USD. During the week, the town is deserted, but crowds of people visit in search of parties or to ride the waves over the weekends. It is a well-known destination for surfers from across Central America. El Tunco prides itself on some of the best beaches in the country and has an overall relaxed atmosphere.

5 Reasons Why You Should Move To El Salvador.

El Salvador is not nearly as dangerous as it used to be. In the last five years, the murder rate has been dropping drastically. Most violent crimes can be accredited to gang violence and petty crimes. Even though poverty is still a solid issue in El Salvador, the locals are always friendly and inviting. Here are five reasons why it’s a good idea to retire in El Salvador.

  1. Cost of living. El Salvador is one of the least expensive countries for you to retire. Compared to Costa Rica and Panama, El Salvador is further behind in its developmental stages and is, therefore, cheaper to retire there. Depending on the lifestyle you desire and the area you want to reside in, the cost of living can vary but remains relatively low.
  2. Tropical weather. The weather in El Salvador is tropical all through the year. It alternates from wet winters (during May to October) to dry summers (from November to April). The fluctuating weather doesn’t limit your outdoor activities, though, and you are free to participate in any event most of the time.
  3. Endless activities. Thanks to the wonderful weather conditions, the options for activities are practically boundless. In every town, there are many fun things to do either in hot or cold weather, during sun or rainy days. It all depends on how active you want to be.
  4. Great customs and traditions. Living in El Salvador means you will be witness to the colorful celebrations and festivals held all over. Some of the customs reach as far back as colonial times, and each city has its own festivities and traditions. Many of the festivals involve some religious aspect since El Salvador’s religion, Catholicism, played such a huge part in their nation’s history.
  5. Friendly people. Lastly, the best reason to retire in El Salvador is most certainly its people. They are known to be some of the warmest and friendliest people, and tourists and ex-pats alike can only praise their hospitality. They are a family-orientated nation and are welcoming to newcomers in their community.

What Do You Need To Move To El Salvador?

If you want to stay in El Salvador for more than ninety days, you will require a U.S. passport valid for no less than six months and a long-term stay visa. After you have been in the country for one year, you will apply for permanent residency. Since medical care in El Salvador is still underdeveloped, you will need proper medical insurance for ex-pats in the case of a medical emergency. If you have a terminal illness, it’s not advisable to move all your belongings to El Salvador since their medical system is not equipped to handle terminal care.

You can also check Retire To El Salvador: Costs, Visas and More to discover all you have to know for your stay in El Salvador.

10 Tips On Retiring In El Salvador.

It is rarely a good idea to jump impulsively in a huge decision like emigrating to another country. Here are some good tips to keep in mind while planning your retirement in El Salvador:

  1. Do your research. Be informed of all the avenues your decision might take you.
  2. Find a cultural mentor when you are there, someone who will guide you in their way of life.
  3. Choose your neighborhood with extra care because you’ll be living there for a while. If you can, spend two or three weeks in the town before moving your entire existence there.
  4. Take things easy in the beginning. El Salvador has a completely different pace of life compared to the U.S.
  5. Don’t judge the book by its cover. Try not to assume generalizations about the locals.
  6. Expect that there will be a testing period for people to accept you into their community.
  7. Lower your standards and try not to expect too much. Life is not going to be what it was.
  8. Accept that you are in a different country and refrain from complaining too much.
  9. Appreciate the good in your new surroundings.
  10. Don’t forget your humility.


Whether you choose to live in San Salvador, Santa Ana, or Santa Tecla, El Salvador is a friendly nation with lots of activities to offer for your retirement.

Here Are Some Other Great Places You Can Retire On A Budget

Here are some other places with similar low costs of living that are safe and offer great lifestyles with large expat communities that you might want to consider looking at.



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