- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus disrupted the lives of the peaceful Lucayan Indians when he landed on the island of Guanahani, which he renamed San Salvador. Apparently he knelt on the beach and claimed the land for Spain. (Skeptics of this story point to a study published in a 1986 National Geographic article in which Samana Cay, 60 mi southeast, is identified as the exact point of the weary explorer's landing.) Three monuments on the island commemorate Columbus's arrival, and the 500th anniversary of the event was officially celebrated here.
The island is 12 mi long—roughly the length of Manhattan—and about 5 mi wide, with a lake-filled interior. Some of the most dazzling deserted beaches in the country are here, and most visitors come for the peaceful isolation and the diving; there are about 950 residents and more than 50 dive sites. There's also world-renowned offshore fishing and good bonefishing.
San Salvador at a Glance
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe