Cost of Living in El Salvador

Updated On January 20, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Live In El Salvador?

The Republic of El Salvador in Central America has lots of beautiful small and big lakes, one of the deepest rivers in the region, and an active volcano.

The citizens of this country just like the tourists coming here on a vacation, visit the capital city San Salvador.

It’s full of churches, parks, and monuments.

These are the light sides of the country.

But there also are dark sides like corruption, weak courts, and a high level of unemployment.

How do ordinary people live here and how much does it cost?

Cost of Living Index:
* Based on Research & User Data

El Salvador FlagEl Salvador : Cost of Living by City



El Salvador can be named a rather poor country, although everyday products and services are not so cheap.

A cup of a regular cappuccino can cost an average of $2.65 while the prices for Coke and Pepsi are equal to water.

A combo meal at fast food costs $6.50 against $30 for a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant.



Markets in El Salvador are diverse.

Every city and town has streets loaded with huge piles of clothes and food commodities.

The most expensive products are cheese, meat, and wine.

Fruits and vegetables cost less than two dollars per 500 g of each item, so if you come from a rich country you won’t feel a shortage of anything.



How do local people travel across El Salvador?

There is also a possibility to travel by water, air, or railway.

The most frequently used means of transport is the bus because the prices of bus tickets are fairly cheap, a monthly pass for public transport cost about $25.

Prices for new cars like Volkswagen or Toyota Corolla are lower than in the rest of America – $18,000 – $22,595.



El Salvador is a country where the really hot days with a temperature of 30 – 34 degrees Celcius switch to the wet season with rainy days.

That is why the bills for heating and cooling differ from month to month.

On average, people here pay around $66.24 for the basic home comforts and $44.26 for the Internet connection.

Sports and leisure


Soccer is the favorite kind of sport for most El Salvadorians.

They have their national team, as well as different small clubs.

The capital city of San Salvador has the largest stadium in Central America, so you can spend your leisure time going to see a match.

Some regular working out in the gym costs around $30.00 for a monthly subscription.

Clothing and shoes


Since this is a tropical country where the hot season changes with the rainy one, people in El Salvador usually wear unpretentious light clothes and cover their heads from the sun.

Sunglasses are a must-have when you visit in the hot season, as well as a raincoat for the wet days here.

You can buy everything in the markets or in the chain stores at low prices.

Rent per month


El Salvador is no different from other countries of the world in terms of rental.

They rent everything to everyone, starting with the commercial areas, and office rentals to beach homes and city apartments.

The prices differ according to the district, the city, the number of rooms, and the quality of the furniture.

Average prices can be seen below.

Cost of Living Averages Table for El Salvador

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$7.25
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$1.50
Water (0.33 Liter)$0.70
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$1.74
Loaf Bread (500g)$1.63
Eggs (12)$2.31
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$0.30
Monthly Pass$25.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$66.24
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.17
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$43.26
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$28.35
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$21.88
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$5.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$51.44
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$41.08
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$81.88
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$596.88
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$428.85
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$880.56

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in El Salvador?

It is said, that El Salvador is one of the most dangerous countries where corruption and the level of criminality are extremely high.

Many tourists claim that this is not actually so, but the criminals do not usually touch the tourists, they just have many problems to solve with the locals.

Nevertheless, an average El Salvadorian comes from a large family of two-three generations.

The largest item of expenditure for them is shopping.

Both men and women work and can allow themselves to spend 23.9% of their income to rent a spacious apartment in the center of the city where they live or in some nice districts.

The least money is spent on clothes and shoes.

Average Costs Breakdown


El Salvador: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The average monthly salary after taxes is $398.21 per capita.

This is often not enough to pay the bills, buy food, visit restaurants or go to a fitness club.

Young families are offered to take a 20-year mortgage when they can’t afford to buy a house.

The rate is 9.08% yearly.

There was a drop noticed in the housing crediting, especially for used homes, so the living premises become affordable.

The minimum wage has been increased for the past year to $304.2 around the country.

The highest wages can be gained in the large international companies and at their factories producing gum, textile, furniture, etc., so people in El Salvador do not mind working there.

Average Salary$1710
Minimum Wage$242.4
Mortgage Interest Rate9.08%

El Salvador Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: El Salvador Safety Review

Safety Index:

Cost of Living by City in El Salvador

CityCost of Living Index
San Salvador47.22

Where to Next?

See these related locations:

Or, browse the country/city indexes:

Cost of Living - Country Index Cost of Living - City Index

4 Reviews on El Salvador

  1. b
    bigrick503 says:

    doesn’t make any sense if the Minimum Wage
    $ 304.2 how they pay rent food etc., etc.,

    1. G
      George Barber says:

      Just like in the United States, we are husband and wife both after work

  2. j
    justin case says:

    a labor person. or the average makes $8.00 per day and thats when he find a job to do. so $40.00 a week $160.00 a month. ebrybody i a home helps with expenses.

  3. J
    Jonah Lemus says:

    5 bucks a day, extreme labor. You’re considered real rich working at McDonalds making 1k+. Top notch surgeons make 19k a year…

El Salvador Rated 3.5 / 5 based on 4 user reviews.

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