Photo: Santa Ana volcano

El Salvador's highest peak, the Santa Ana (Ilamatepec) Volcano, erupted in 2005.

Photograph by Galen Rowell/CORBIS

The smallest and most densely populated nation in Central America sits at the edge of the Pacific Ocean between Guatemala and Honduras. • Beautiful beaches and a sizzling nightlife top the list of attractions, but serious surfers have begun descending in ever larger numbers. • Unlike some of its neighbors, El Salvador doesnít rely on ecotourism but instead emphasizes its dollar-denominated economy, ease of getting around, and warm, welcoming people.

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