Transport and infrastructure in El Salvador

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of El Salvador with the average of all countries in America. The traffic routes have noticeable defects in many places and are often not in particularly good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, El Salvador ranks 135th in the world with zero meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 13 kilometers long.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 307 km of coastline. In 2021, about 294,326 freight containers were transported.

Airports in El Salvador

Back to overview: El Salvador

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 9,012 km. For each of the country's 6.31 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 1.43 meters. This puts El Salvador in 187th place in the global ranking. However, the country's population density must also be taken into account, which is relatively high at around 300 inhabitants per km². The higher the population density of a country, the shorter the average distance traveled.

With an average of 1297 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in El Salvador is considered rather mixed. This corresponds to 20.7 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In El Salvador, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.


El Salvador

 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways9,000 km1,427.27 km428.33 m
Railroads0 km2.06 km0.62 m
Waterways422 km66.83 km20.06 m
Commercial harbors40.630.000

Central America

 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways950,800 km4,294.37 km349.46 m
Railroads31,600 km142.75 km11.62 m
Waterways9,600 km43.32 km3.53 m
Commercial harbors15,67470.790.006

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
El Salvador: AirportsThe Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in El SalvadorMonseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport - the only public airport in El Salvador
El Salvador: ClimateClimate details in El SalvadorA climate analysis for El Salvador incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing