With 20,742 km2 and 6 million inhabitants, El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. Bordered to the north by Guatemala and to the south by Honduras, it boasts 320 kilometers of coastline and as its neighbors excellent surfing spots that make it an ideal surf trip destination.
The majority of Salvadoran waves are powerful break points that open and unwind in long straight lines. To enjoy these highly coveted waves, head to the world class spot of Punta Roca, the village of El Tunco or even more wild spots where you will be almost alone in the water!
On the climate side, El Salvador is located in a tropical area where temperature variations are low. The water is hot and the surf works all year round. The best season to leave is the end of the year which coincides with the dry season, but the best waves break from May to September during the rainy season.
There are many surfcamps in El Salvador. We have selected for you the best of them to live an unforgettable experience during your next vacation in El Salvador!Discover the surf camps in El Salvador
El Salvador is ideally located with a southern exposure to the swells of Antarctica. Its surf spots are for the most part points breaks, which means that the tide does not affect the waves. These always start at the same point to form long lines very popular with surfers around the world. Schedule your sessions in the morning when the offshore wind smooths and digs the waves to make the most of it. From October to April, the dry season offers visitors very pleasant weather conditions. The weather is nice, it's hot, the water is clear and the waves are good! Only warning: the sun is very aggressive at this time of the year. Experienced surfers will prefer the rainy season from May to September with more powerful and consistent waves. Good to know: the water is muddy because of the rivers in flood.
The most famous Salvadoran spot is Punta Roca, accessible from the village of La Libertad. It's a very fast right where international competitions take place regularly. You will not be alone in the water but it's worth it. For beginner and intermediate levels, many surf camps have made their home in El Tunco, this little local "Hossegor" which has become the reference for surfing and celebrating in a few years in El Salvador. A trendy destination, El Tunco is certainly very popular but therefore has the advantage of being very secure. Go to the water early in the morning to avoid the crowds, on the spots of Bocana, Bocanita or El Zuncal depending on your level. This last wave is very popular with longboarders and we see more and more girls! On the east coast of the country, the most famous spots are Punta Mango and Las Flores. A little more expensive than their neighbors, they offer excellent surfing conditions.
It is easy to move from one spot to another in El Salvador with the "chicken bus", these American school buses repainted and used by locals and tourists for daily trips. The Pan-American Highway along the coast is very well maintained, making the majority of trips easy and fast for very small amounts (about 60 cents per way). With the chicken bus, no need to rent a car. One caveat though: be careful to borrow them before dark to avoid problems of insecurity.
To relax and party, visit the village of El Tunco which attracts many American tourists on vacation but also Salvadorans seeking relaxation on weekends. You will enjoy beautiful sunsets and parties that last all night in an unbridled atmosphere! On the natural side, El Salvador is modeled by volcanoes and offers many opportunities for adventure. The country is home to 25 volcanoes, some of which are still active. There are sometimes impressive crater lakes, such as Santa Ana or Ilopango. In the heart of the country, you can enjoy lush forests, waterfalls, coffee plantations, sugar cane fields or explore the fincas (ranches of Latin America). As in Costa Rica, national parks such as Monte Cristo are home to a rich fauna (spider monkeys, pumas, toucans, white fallow deer, otters, quetzals ...) and culture side, the Mayan heritage is very present in El Salvador including the ruins of Tazumal and the sites of San Andrés, Casa Blanca and Joya de Cerén. You will have plenty to do and spend an unforgettable holiday!
El Salvador has long been ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Marked by a bloody civil war that lasted 12 years, the country has a bad reputation that it has trouble getting rid of, especially as it remains the scene of settling scores between rival gangs. That being said, this violence remains very localized, the tourists are not involved and the police secure the main tourist sites. As in all countries in this part of the world, follow the basic safety instructions, be careful and do not hang around too much after dark.