PHOTO: El Salvador’s beaches run the gamut from swimming to surfing. (Courtesy El Salvador (Tourism)
El Salvador is known as a surfer’s paradise thanks to its diverse coastline, some of Latin America’s finest surf breaks, and a wealth of budget-friendly accommodations.
But there’s more to El Salvador’s beaches than surfing. Non-surfers will find plenty to love as well, thanks to pristine beaches, warm waters and quaint villages. Planning a visit but not sure where to start? Here are our five top choices:
La Libertad: This region is home to El Salvador’s most popular beaches especially among surfers, thanks to La Punta which is known the world over as having among the best surf breaks. Just 30 minutes from San Salvador, this vibrant port town is still relatively untouched by the hordes of tourists that can be found at other Central American beaches, and attracts primarily a bohemian crowd of locals and backpackers. Among the top activities are a walk on the pier, fishing trips and enjoying the local ceviche, for which the region is known.
Costa del Sol. Popular as a year-round tourist destination, this long, narrow strip of sand welcomes El Salvador’s luxury travelers. Featuring an array of vacation rentals, fashionable beach homes and oceanfront villas, the region is comprised of three beaches: Costa del Sol, San Marcelino and Los Blancos. Among the more popular activities is a three-hour boat tour of the Jaltepeque estuary, where tourists are taken through mangrove tunnels to where the Rio Lempe meets the Pacific Ocean.
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Playa El Sunzal. This peaceful beach is known for its sparkling black sand, numerous luxury accommodations and fantastic waves. Conveniently located near the Parque Acuatico El Sunzal, a local waterpark, the stunning stretch of beach attracts families as well as surfers. Waterslides, playgrounds and beach food make for a perfect day no matter your age.
El Tunco: Named for a rocky point, this black-sand beach attracts surfers the world over and is a particular draw for budget travelers. Its classic right point break means that surfing is the name of the game here, making it among the region’s most visited towns. While not ideal for swimming, thanks in part to its strong surf, party-goers will have no end of activities to keep them busy—the town is known for having the northern coast’s best nightlife. This beach town is also conveniently located just 40 minutes away from San Salvador.
Playa El Cuco: Swimmers rejoice! While most of El Salvador’s coastline is ideal for surfers, they aren’t always swimmer friendly. Not so with Playa el Cuco whose peaceful waters are perfect for taking a dip. With plenty of watersports on offer, a wide array of seaside eateries from sit-down restaurants to beach shacks make this area an ideal spot for families looking for a relaxed day at the beach.