Central America's pint-sized country is no mouse on the surf spectrum. There isn't a beach to see in El Salvador where you'd be able to hide from good surf, and when there's swell... well....
So if you’ve never been, have been, or are toying with the idea of going, here is the way to do El Salvador right, straight from the wave - infested enterprises of a group of traveling beatniks.
1. Two World - Class Waves Are Better Than One
There’s no shortage of dependable surf spots in El Salvador. Instead of limiting yourself to the same terrain for a week, get a well-rounded experience jumping between a 200-yard-long peeler at Las Flores and a slabby, rocky point at the aptly named Punta Roca.
After a few days in Las Flores, the waves of Punta Roca and it's little sister - softer La Paz in La Libertad - fling you into colorful city streets abound with merchants and markets. A short walk from the handsomely modeled (seriously though, this place is a beaut) AST La Libertad is a pier veiling of every kind of fish you can imagine, and the sounds of the waves lapping against the building at night is a surfers ultimate lullaby.
2. Eat Every Kind of Pupusa. Then Eat Them All Again.
That age old question. If you were stranded on a desert island what’s the one food you would eat for the rest of your life? No contest. Pupusas are God's gift to stomachs.
Being the birthplace of this pick-your-filling stuffed corn delicacy, you can’t stop in El Sal without trying some home cooked pupusas. Paired with a spicy slaw, your $1 meal might induce confusion, because it will be both the best and cheapest thing you ever ate.
3. Trust Your Guides
If you’re doing a surf tour with AST, you’ve been put under the wave-finding care of the surf guide of the century. They know these spots. Local knowledge trumps everything you think you may know. So if Emilio tells you to go, you go because that wave will now be the wave of your life. We all landed at home with our minds on a few of those.
4. Yoga On The Beach Is Better Than Yoga Anywhere
Midway through a surf trip, your body asks you if it's going to make it to the end. The answer? Yoga.
In Las Flores, there is a pristine flat stretch of beach that will be calling your sore muscles. Grab a towl and your AST instructor and catch the sunset while you reinvigorate for your last few days.
5. Do The Waterfall Hike Because.... Culture!
6. If You Break Your Phone, Go To The Mall In San Salvador and Eat Ice Cream
My phone had a crack in the screen. And it happened to rain one day. And I happened to leave it in the rain. And I work from my phone. And I was working on the trip. So to the mall we went.
And while the El Sal version of Drop – Smash – Fix tinkered away at my screen, we circled the mall and eventually landed in the food court, where Nevieras were as plentiful as Starbucks on a city block. The rest went exactly how you'd imagine.
7. Before The End Of Your Trip Put A Quarter In The Wave Machine
You always want to end a trip on a good note. We must've done something right in a past life, cause we ended on the best note.
Do whatever you must. Sacrificial lamb, sacrificial surfboard, whatever can bring you waves for the close of your trip. Because putting a lid on the trip with mega-firing double OH Punta had the boys skipping down the street.
In short, you should really, really experience both the East and West side of this country (I know it sounds weird, but look at a map). Don't stay put! There is so much to do and see at both places, and the contrast will give you the ultimate El Salvador immersion excursion.