San Salvador, with well over two million inhabitants, is an excellent place to visit if you want to discover both the ancient and recent history of Central America. The city, founded in 1525, is the capital of historic El Salvador. San Salvador is tropical, with a rainy season from May through October -- the coolest time of the year is from November through February. The temperature very rarely goes above 100°F (38.5°C), and never falls below 45°F (8°C).
The country of El Salvador has a history of Spanish conquest and Salvadoran rebellion. You can find details and artifacts of these histories in several historically-relevant museums in the city. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia de El Salvador (MUNA) specializes in the Salvadoran identity, with many ancient Mayan and Pipil artifacts. The Museo de Arte (MARTE), which opened in 2003, is oriented more toward Salvadoran art. The Museo Militar, also near the zoo, located in the 1895 "El Zapote" barracks, has Salvadoran military uniforms and weapons from 1600 to 1900.
Within the city of San Salvador, Parque de los Pericos and Parque Cuscatlan are two large elegant urban parks, well-lit, with tree-lined paths for relaxing walks. Visit the botanical gardens of Parque Saburo Hirao, and see the animals in the Zoologico Nacional, both in the southeast region of the city, near the old Presidential House. Museo de Historia Natural, near the National Zoo in the southeast corner of the Parque Saburo Hirao, has many early mammal fossils, including a giant sloth and a mastodon.
If you must leave the city of San Salvador, then be sure to visit the mountaintop destination of Los Planes De Renderos, which offers a wonderful scenic view of the city.
The European domination of the country can be seen in several magnificent buildings: - The National Palace, completed in 1911, is built on the ashes of the original, which burned to the ground in 1889. - The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior is the central church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador. - The National Theater of El Salvador was built in French Renaissance style between 1911 and 1917.
If you wish to shop for some local arts and crafts in San Salvador, go to the Mercado Cuartel, or to the Ilopango markets east of the city. A Gastronomic Festival, where people sell both art and food, is held at the Las Fuentes de Bethoven Park every month.
If you wish to try the local food , be sure to visit the "Pupuserias," where you can buy Salvadoran Pupusas: a thick corn tortilla, stuffed with either quesillo con loroco (mozzarella cheese), chicharrón (fried pork rinds), or refried beans.
To find the trendiest nightspots in San Salvador, visit the Zona Rosa, only about one square mile in area. Besides the best hotels, you'll find many exclusive upscale nightclubs and bars (for example, Code, or Los Alambiques), and the best restaurants (503, Paradise, or A lo Nuestro). For a more laidback nightlife, visit the Stanza and the Envy clubs at Las Terrazas in the Multiplaza Mall, or try the bohemian university bars in San Antonio Abad.
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