El Salvador
Locals know their country has a bad rap internationally: The civil conflict that spanned 1979 to 1992 may be more than 20 years in the past, but the violence of that period still contributes to a perception of instability and insecurity. And international news reports about current gang activity in the country don’t help ease travelers’ anxieties. But locals also know that the average Salvadoran is unfailingly hospitable, welcoming and warm, ready to show you all of the cultural and natural beauties of their country.