The natural beauty of El Salvador includes Lake Ilopango, El Boqueron National Park and Coatepeque Caldera, a volcanic caldera. All provide unique sights, while the National Palace is a staggering man-made attraction.
Travelling to El Salvador
El Salvador is only accessible from the United Kingdom only by airplane, due to the extremely long flight times required.
San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, can be reached from Birmingham in 18 hours, which is roughly the shortest possible journey time available.
Otherwise, flight times can extend to 28 hours depending on where you stop and how long for.
If you are unsure as to how to manage your medication while in the air then you should discuss a plan with your diabetic specialist.
El Salvador is seven hours behind British Summer Time and six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
This may require you to alter your diabetes management, which you should plan for with your diabetes team.
The climate of the El Salvador is what attracts many tourists, which average temperatures remaining around 22°C all-year round
Any planned periods of physical activity, such as walking, could be prepared for by reduced insulin dosages.
The currency of El Salvador is the United States Dollar. ATMs are widely located at malls, petrol stations and banks that are open 24/7.
Otherwise, all major credit and debit cards are accepted at most establishments.
There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter El Salvador, however some are recommended. You should consult your doctor eight weeks prior to your departure in order to receive the vaccinations in time.
All travellers are recommended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid, which can both be contracted through contaminated food or water.
You should also talk to your doctor about how to prevent the contraction of malaria while travelling. Your doctor may prescribe you medication before, during and after your stay and will advise you on what to do to avoid getting malaria.
Some travellers are also recommended to receive vaccinations for other diseases, including hepatitis B and rabies, which can be carried by dogs, bats and other mammals in El Salvador.
There is no risk of yellow fever in El Salvador, although the government of El Salvador requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled from a country with a risk of the disease.
Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.
You should note which syringes are available in El Salvador, with U-100 the most commonly used.
The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.
For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.
Ensuring access to medication
UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in El Salvador. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment.
Diabetic medication is available in El Salvador, but payment will be required from all pharmacies. Urine testing is not widely available, while blood testing equipment will only be on sale in certain pharmacies. For this reason, it is advised to bring a second blood testing metre with you and store it away from your main metre, in case this ends up lost during your trip.
Emergency numberThe emergency services telephone number to be called in El Salvador is 911.
It is worth checking with the manufacturer of your meter in the UK if the particular equipment you require is available in El Salvador beforehand and if it is sold under any different names.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.
El Salvador has one diabetic association that can be contacted prior to your arrival. The address is:
- Asociación Salvadoreña de Diabetes (a member of the International Diabetes Federation) since 2000),
Alameda Roosevelt 2727,
San Salvador 2840,
Tel: +1-503-2245-0205 & 2245-2070
- How is blood glucose measured in El Salvador? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in El Salvador
- What language is spoken in El Salvador? Spanish. Locals will have a grasp of English, but it will pay to learn some basic Spanish phrases to assist in your day-to-day activities.
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in El Salvador? No
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
- What sugar free drinks are available in El Salvador? Diet Coke and Pepsi Max, among others