Is San Salvador dangerous?
San Salvador Travel Blog› entry 22 of 37 › view all entries
June 19th, 2007 – by: gopackjo
Today as morning broke I tried to figure out what kind of neighborhood my hotel was in. San Salvador has an awful reputation for violence, and for being a dangerous place for tourists, but surely I would be ok in broad daylight. Right? Upon checking online, and in my 4-year old Rough Guide book, I determined that I should be in pretty good shape. The Hotel Happy House is located in the more affluent western suburbs, and very near the biggest mall in Central America, the MetroCentro.
It was about 10am after doing some internet blog updating, so I decided to take a walk down to the mall. It was a short walk down to the mall, and the neighborhood looked pretty nice. As I arrived down near the mall the area looked like it could have been lifted from any American city.
I wandered around the mall for a while, and got some food before heading back to the hotel. I certainly had to decide where I was going next, and although I hadn't planned on going to Guatemala alot of poeple of the trip had been raving about Antigua.
San Salvador in the daytime certainly seemed safe enough, but there was a definite rough edge to the place. Once I passed the MetroCentro I didn't see another tourist for about four hours. The city itself has had some rough times. It is seemingly under constant attack by earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, and the occasional revolution, so little of the place's colonial spendor remains to see. But the people and the city have soldiered on and rebuilt many things, and restored others.
There were a few areas I walked into made me a bit nervous, even in broad daylight, but my worries were unfounded for this visit at least. Without a map on me, I had somehow missed the bus terminal on the walk downtown, so I headed back towards the hotel with my internal human GPS on full alert. I made it to the bus station as dusk started to fall, and there were two options to get to Antigua in the morning. Both were luxury, air conditioned busses to Guatemala City. One left at 6am, and one at 7:30am, so I chose the latter to give myself a bit more sleep. I made it back to the hotel, and did walk to a nearby Chinese restaurant after 9pm, but only after checking with the hotel staff to make sure that I would be safe.
I set my alarm, and tried to get to sleep early.
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