Index


Introduction



El Salvador, a small country of Central America, has a tropical climate, hot all year round along the coast and below 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), which are called tierras calientes, with little difference in the temperature (only a few degrees) over the seasons. The real difference is found in rainfall and humidity: there is a rainy season from late April to October which is also definitely muggy.
In inland areas, there are volcanoes, plateaus and mountains, where the weather gets cooler with altitude. At intermediate altitudes, cloud forests are found; at high altitudes, above 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), it can get cold on winter nights. The highest point is Cerro El Pital, although the summit, 2,730 meters (8,957 feet) high, is located in Honduras; from November to March, you can see the snow on the top.

From December to March, El Salvador is sometimes affected by the Norte, a cool wind from the United States, which, in the plains, can bring at most a bit of cool weather in the evening and at night, while in San Salvador, it can bring a bit of cold at night, with lows around 10 °C (50 °F).

San Salvador

The capital, San Salvador, is located at 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, so it's still in the tierras calientes, but the altitude makes the heat more bearable, in fact, the maximum temperature ranges from 29 degrees Celsius (84 °F) between September and November to 32 °C (90 °F) in March and April, which are, though slightly, the hottest months, before the rainy season. The night minimum drops a few degrees below 20 °C (68 °F) from November to March. Anyway, even here, the rainy season, from May to October, is sultry. Here are the average temperatures.
San Salvador - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)161718192020191919191817
Max (°C)303032323130303029292930
Min (°F)616364666868666666666463
Max (°F)868690908886868684848486

In San Salvador, 1,750 millimeters (68 inches) of rain fall per year. From June to September, it rains a lot, about 300 mm (12 in) per month, distributed in 20 days; on the other hand, it almost never rains from December to March. Here is the average precipitation.
San Salvador - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)5293615029031531035021535101735
Prec.(in)0.20.10.41.45.911.412.412.213.88.51.40.468.3
Days111513202020201642123

Rainfall occurs mainly as downpour or thunderstorm in the afternoon, so the amount of sunshine, which is great in the dry months, remains acceptable even during the rainy season. Here are the average daily sunshine hours.
San Salvador - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours10109876886799

Acajutla

Along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, the heat is more intense, so much so that lows range from 22 °C to 24 °C (72 °F to 75 °F) and highs from 31 °C to 33 °C (88 °F to 91 °F). However, there can also be very hot days, with temperatures reaching 35 °C (95 °F). During the rainy season (which occurs in the same period as in San Salvador), the weather is hot and muggy. In the inland valleys located at low altitude, the distance from the sea makes the heat even more uncomfortable because they are not reached by the sea breeze.
Here are the average temperatures of Acajutla, located in the western part of the coast.
Acajutla - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)222223242423232223232222
Max (°C)323233333232323231323232
Min (°F)727273757573737273737272
Max (°F)909091919090909088909090

For a beach holiday, the sea in El Salvador is warm throughout the year, in fact, the water temperature ranges from 28 °C (82 °F) in January and February to 30 °C (86 °F) in April and May, as we can see in the following table.
Acajutla - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)282829303029292929292929
Temp (°F)828284868684848484848484

El Salvador

Hurricanes



In the period from June to November, but especially between August and October, El Salvador can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricanes coming from the east, ie from the Caribbean Sea, release most of their energy over Honduras, but they can still bring heavy rains in Salvador, especially in inland and mountainous areas. Then, there are depressions and tropical storms that can be formed on the Pacific, as early as in mid-May; they are usually not intense because they affect the country in the early stages of their formation, but they can still bring heavy rains, which can in turn cause landslides and floods.

Best Time



The best time to visit El Salvador, whether you intend to visit cities and to go on excursions, or to go to the beach, runs from December to mid-April, since it is the least hot and the driest period of the year. In the plains, December and January are preferable because they are less hot.

What to pack



All year round, in the plains, bring light, summer clothes, and a light sweatshirt for the evening from December to March; in San Salvador, add a sweater for the evening. From May to October, possibly a light raincoat for thunderstorms.
For the mountains: bring hiking shoes and a jacket.

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