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The areas of Santa Elena (where the US Embassy is located), Antiguo Cuscatlan, Nuevo Cuscatlan, Ciudad Merliot and their surrounds are newer, where the country's modern and more luxurious shopping malls can be found (conveniently within walking distance to each other) and a steadily increasing number of gated communities and residential towers popular with expats, along with international hotel chains. Informal settlements ('communidades') have sprung up alongside creeks and blocks of land in many suburbs, some larger than others, squeezed in between gated communities and larger estates. For security reasons, it is advisable not to enter these areas.  
 
The areas of Santa Elena (where the US Embassy is located), Antiguo Cuscatlan, Nuevo Cuscatlan, Ciudad Merliot and their surrounds are newer, where the country's modern and more luxurious shopping malls can be found (conveniently within walking distance to each other) and a steadily increasing number of gated communities and residential towers popular with expats, along with international hotel chains. Informal settlements ('communidades') have sprung up alongside creeks and blocks of land in many suburbs, some larger than others, squeezed in between gated communities and larger estates. For security reasons, it is advisable not to enter these areas.  
  
There are middle class areas close to the wealthier neighborhoods, such as Colonia Flor Blanca, which showcase stunning examples of art deco and architectural oddities (like the Castillo Venturoso building), an ode to the city's golden era prior to the civil war. Poorer areas are located in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's eastern fringes, which are best avoided due to gang activity.
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There are middle class neighborhoods and residential areas close to the wealthier neighborhoods, such as Colonia Flor Blanca, which showcase stunning examples of Art Deco and architectural oddities (like the Castillo Venturoso building), an ode to the city's golden era prior to the civil war. Poorer areas are located in the northern and eastern districts, along with an abundance of shanty towns sprawling along the city's eastern fringes, which are best avoided due to gang activity.
  
 
San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm.  Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.
 
San Salvador's climate is tropical, although the weather can vary; the nights may be cool (especially in December), however, most of the time it is sunny and warm.  Wearing t-shirts, jeans, and possibly a light rain jacket is usually sufficient.

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