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International driving permit in El Salvador

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

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International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

How to get your IDP


Fill in the forms

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Do I need an international drivers license in El Salvador?

There is no such thing as an International Driver’s License. The official document used to translate your home country driver’s license is called an International Driving Permit. This is highly recommended for incoming tourist drivers that want to take a road trip using a rented motor vehicle around the country as per the convention on road traffic.

Can you drive with a US license in El Salvador?

As mentioned, it is possible to drive in the country with a US license as long as you have a valid National Driver’s License, along with a valid IDP. You can easily apply for one by clicking the “Start My Application” button on the upper right corner of the page. Fill out the application form, upload a copy of your valid national driver’s license and passport-size photo, and pay for hte IDP fee.

What countries recognize International Driving Permit?

Our IDP has received positive reviews from Trustpilot from our clients and is recognized in 165+ countries worldwide, including the following:

  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Congo
  • Cyprus
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Ghana
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Argentina
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Estonia
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Venezuela

Top Destinations in El Salvador

El Salvador is famous for its volcanoes, some of which you can even hike and see for yourself its craters. However, the country is more than just housing volcanoes in its territory; for surfers and beach lovers, you can find great locations where you can do water activities or just relax at the beach. And to fill your curiosity about El Salvador, the museums and archeological ruins will take you back to the Salvadoran past.

El Boqueron National Park

El Boqueron is a national park near San Salvador, the country’s capital. If you plan to take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, you can opt for a day trip here. With an elevation of 5,095 feet, you can get a panoramic view of San Salvador City and the distant yet marvelous sight of Lake Ilopango and Izalco Volcano. The park sits on top of San Salvador Volcano, so one activity you must not miss is hiking down to the crater, which is 5km in diameter.

Hiking trails can be a challenge but will offer an excellent workout for you, but there are several trails where you can choose from depending on your preference. The lush vegetation that surrounds you will make your hiking much enjoyable. There is a town at the foothills of the volcano called Santa Tecla that you can explore. The national park is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

National Museum of Anthropology

While you are in San Salvador, you can visit one of the country’s most famous museums. The National Museum of Anthropology, which opened back in 1883, gives a glimpse of the eventful history of El Salvador and its people. You will see five different halls in the museum, and each hall holds treasures and ancient artifacts of pre-Columbian settlers, from the Maya and Olmec to the Pipil tribes who once lived in El Salvador.

The museum is open Tuesdays until Sundays from 10 AM to 6 PM and closed on Mondays. Explore El Salvador’s agriculture, human settlements, religion, arts, and trade through the museum. You can learn some good stuff about the Salvadoran artifacts’ facts and gain ideas on what souvenirs to shop for in local villages.

Santa Ana Cathedral

Santa Ana Cathedral sits at the heart of the second-largest city in the country, Santa Ana. It is a notable attraction in the city because of its Neo-Gothic architecture style. Finished and opened in 1913, the Santa Ana Cathedral presents ornate moldings covering the church’s front, and as you head inside, interior pillars and high arches are painted in slate and pink stripes. The cathedral is open 24/7 on weekdays and limited hours on weekends.

Lake Coatepeque

The lake is also called “Caldera Coatepeque,” which sits at the heart of a volcanic crater. With about 16 kilometers in diameter, it is one of the largest lakes in El Salvador. A series of volcanic eruptions and collapses created this lake 72,000 years ago. You can get up close to the lake’s clear blue waters by taking a kayak or boat. The lake is a popular getaway for Salvadorans and tourists alike during the weekend. You can best visit the lake during the dry season in the country.

Playa El Tunco

Playa El Tunco is a two-street beach town that is more popular with backpackers and surfers. With El Salvador’s location near the Pacific Ocean, you can expect beaches here to have good waves. Consistent waves here are mostly found during the wet season between May and October, followed by March and April. Besides surfing, tourists can spend beach caving, beach hopping, and eating authentic pupusa, El Salvador’s popular delicacy.

Most Important Driving Rules

Once you gathered all the exciting destinations in El Salvador and polished your itinerary, don’t forget to consider some essential things. Since you are driving in El Salvador, you should familiarize the essential driving rules to prevent any unfortunate incidents on the road like accidents or getting fined by authorities for not following traffic laws. Here are some basic and essential rules you have to keep in mind.

Obey the Speed Limit Rule

Overspeeding is one of the causes of road accidents and road deaths in El Salvador, so unless you want to jeopardize your vacation, always follow the speed limits. Authorities in El Salvador impose the same speed limit of 90 kph on motorways and rural main roads. Meanwhile, for cities and other urban areas, maintain your car speed at 50 kph.

Don’t use your Mobile Phone While Driving

You might want to use your phone to answer urgent matters; you can do so by using a hands-free system. Undivided attention while driving on a foreign road is very much required to avoid collisions and hitting pedestrians. If you need to answer some messages, you can opt to park your car somewhere safe and navigate your phone.

Wear your Seatbelts while on the road

You may be very complacent as you will only drive to short-distance destinations in El Salvador, wearing seatbelts will be of minimal importance. However, no matter the distance of your trip, remember to use seatbelts, not just for you but also for the passengers inside a moving vehicle. You might not get caught by authorities but, you never know when accidents will happen. So it is best to be ready and alert.

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