Bar Hopping & Pub Crawling In El Salvador


You’re visiting El Salvador and you want to go out. The only problem is that you don’t know where to go. Like me, you probably don’t want to be constrained to only one bar. You like options. Maybe you want to go bar hopping in El Salvador, also called a pub crawl. Maybe you’ve already partied at the best beaches in El Salvador and you’re ready to explore new options. Regardless of your plans, you’re ready to party.

Look no further.

Paseo El Carmen is a STREET with 20+ awesome bars for Bar Hopping In El Salvador

Paseo El Carmen in Santa Tecla is a hotspot for nightlife. In fact, second to El Tunco, Paseo el Carmen is THE hotspot. It’s a street in El Salvador that has a lot of bars and nightclubs immediately next to each-other. The street is well lit by street lights, has a really cool atmosphere and everyone is there to let loose. Additionally, you’ll see no shortage of beautiful latin people and attractive visitors like yourself.

Paseo El Carmen is the best place to do a pub crawl in El Salvador. It’s a strip of numerous bars playing different types of music. Each bar tends to have it’s own theme: electronic music, hip hop, reggaeton, latin music, classic rock, heavy rock and everything in between. They’re playing good music and they’re playing it loud. If you’re looking for a quiet or romantic night, consider Los Planes De Renderos, because this isn’t the place for you.

Drink Prices, Cover Charges & Food

You can expect to spend $2 per beer and $4 per mixed drink. If you buy a fancy mixed drink or a frozen alcoholic beverage, you might pay up to $6. The bars at Paseo El Carmen are reasonably priced. Remember, locals often party there too, and they often can’t afford crazy high prices.

Cover charges

Some of the bars have a cover charge to enter. You won’t pay more than $5 for a cover charge. Most of the bars are free to enter. If anyone tries to charge you something crazy to enter, like $20, walk away and find another bar. Nobody pays prices like that. They’re just taking advantage of the situation because you’re foreign.

Late night food

There are numerous places to buy late-night food in the immediate area at Paseo El Carmen, so don’t worry about that. Latino people know how to party and food is part of the their partying culture.

What to wear while Bar Hopping in El Salvador

There’s no official rules. The scene is laid back for the most part. However, you’re not at the beach anymore, so lose the beach clothes and try to keep tattoos covered up. Tattoos are perceived differently here.

Dudes, jeans and t-shirts are ok if you look presentable. No flip flops. No hats. Collared shirts are best, if possible.

Ladies, you already know how to look good. Just be careful, if you wear clothes that are too revealing you might get unwanted attention. Be careful, you are in a foreign country.

Paseo El Carmen Is Safe (For The Most Part)

Paseo El Carmen is located in Santa Tecla, which is considered to be a safe town in El Salvador. Santa Tecla is a town about 15 minutes west of San Salvador, it has expensive properties and it has more security. It’s more developed than other areas of El Salvador, although not as developed as some areas, such as Zona Rosa.

Even though Santa Tecla is safe, still be careful and use common sense like you would anywhere else. Don’t go out alone and don’t be overly flashy in your appearance (money, jewelry or very revealing clothing). Be respectful. Look good but don’t attract unwanted attention. This is Central America.

How to get to Paseo El Carmen

Paseo El Carmen in Santa Tecla is only about a 15 – 20 minute drive from downtown San Salvador. From The beaches of La Libertad, it’s about an hour drive, depending on traffic. From the Airport, it’s about 40-45 minutes. Regardless of where you’re coming from, you first need to get to Santa Tecla.

Here’s a link to the exact location: Paseo El Carmen on Google Maps

If you have trouble finding Paseo El Carmen, here are a few reference points:

  • Hard Bar – An upscale bar that’s well known in the area.
  • Bar Medieval – A popular heavy metal bar in the area.
  • El Cafetalon – This is a large soccer field immediately nearby. I’m not suggesting you go drinking at a soccer field (although that could be fun too), this field is just a good reference point for your GPS or Uber Drivers.

ATM’s Are Available

In El Tunco it’s difficult to find an ATM. There’s only two or three and sometimes they don’t work. At Paseo El Carmen, you won’t have this same problem. There’s numerous banks in the area and some ATM machines are located inside of the bars too.

Keep in mind, you can use cash or card at the bars.

Parking might be difficult to find

One reason that I recommend using Uber is because they’ll drop you off. You don’t need to find a parking place if you use Uber. If you’re driving your own car (or a rental car), you’ll need to find a parking space. It’s annoying sometimes, but not too bad. Quick note: try to avoid using taxis. Taxis are sometimes known to be shady in El Salvador. Uber is the best option if you don’t have a car.

When we were looking for a parking spot, we just drove around the area for 15 minutes until we found a parking space. I think we paid $1 for the parking space. There’s a lot of street parking spaces, you just need to find one. There’s also parking lots, but sometimes they’re full.

Busses don’t run at night

This article is about nightlife. Busses in El Salvador don’t run at night. If you’re thinking about taking a bus to Paseo El Carmen during the day, I’m sorry, I’ll be honest that I don’t know of the busses that go to Paseo El Carmen. They certainly exist.

Have fun! El Salvador has an awesome nightlife scene. El Tunco and Paseo El Carmen are the two places to go if you haven’t yet. Both have a fun and vibrant atmosphere for drinking, socializing and dancing to good music.

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