Cruising to El Salvador
El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.
Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between
Guatemala and Honduras
Territorial sea: 200 nm
Tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador has the third largest economy, but growth has been minimal in recent years. Hoping to stimulate the sluggish economy, the government is striving to open new export markets, encourage foreign investment, and modernize the tax and healthcare systems. Implementation in 2006 of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, which El Salvador was the first to ratify, is viewed as a key policy to help achieve these objectives.
The trade deficit has been offset by annual remittances from Salvadorans living abroad - 16.6% of GDP in 2005 - and external aid. With the adoption of the US dollar as its currency in 2001, El Salvador has lost control over monetary policy and must concentrate on maintaining a disciplined fiscal policy.
Airports: 76 (2005)
Rio Lempa partially navigable (2004)
Ports and terminals
Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco
In 1992, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras boundary, but despite Organization of American States (OAS) intervention and a further ICJ ruling in 2003, full demarcation of the border remains stalled; the 1992 ICJ ruling advised a tripartite resolution to a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca advocating Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not identified in the ICJ decision, off Honduras in the Gulf of Fonseca
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
Argentina - Belize - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Ecuador - El Salvador - French Guiana - Guatemala - Guyana - Honduras - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Peru - St. Pierre and Miquelon - Suriname - Uruguay - Venezuela