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A Dose Of Palm Trees: The Beaches Of El Salvador

Patricia Trigueros takes you to her favorite beaches of El Salvador. The best way to cope with the grind of San Salvador city life is to get out sometimes.

There’s room in the smallest, most densely-populated country in Central America for a vast and diverse coastline. The beaches of El Salvador may surprise you.

From one end of El Salvador’s coastline to the other, you get palm trees aligned by the shores of sandy volcanic beaches. Some beaches stretch out, and the palm trees don’t manage to hide the setting sun in fading colors.

Playa El Zonte / Fromhomeparacasa / Flickr / Commercial use allowed

This time of year, every bit of the road is ornate with the leafy green colors of the wet season. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a daily dose of that?

Sneaking a trip to the beach is how you make the best of living in El Salvador. Everything here – from jobs to entertainment – revolves around the city of San Salvador. To get away from the daily grind one needs to get away from San Salvador. And among the best-kept secrets is how close the beach is.

Depending on what you have on your plate, it’s possible to take a peek at those beaches, a view that comes with a side of waves and seafood.

The Beaches of El Salvador for Surfing

“The early bird gets the worm”, and the surf lessons, too. I’m usually reluctant to get up before… well, I snooze my alarm a lot. But it takes will and the right mood to head down to Kayu Surf Resort, in El Sunzal. Start the day with a class (they provide the board) and enjoy the rest of the day in the shade of the palms. Kayu has a great menu, for any moment of the day. Between surfing and eating, there’s also a pool you can swim in.

Watching the waves at Kayu / Facebook

Pull out a chaise lounge and sunbathe, if you’re not into swimming a few laps. Use your towel as a replacement for a yoga mat, if your limbs are tired from the urban sedentarism.

The backdrop, next to this pool, is the vast blueness of the Pacific. Look at it too long and it will make you think twice before driving back. It’s only 40 minutes away, so why not do it on a regular basis? On Saturdays or weekdays or whenever.

The Beaches of El Salvador for Relaxing

Say you decide to spend the night, on a Sunday, in El Dorado, right on El Zonte beach. You’re in for a quiet evening, with warm weather that feels cooler as the night progresses. Toss the book you’re reading and stare at the sky. Let the feeling you get from long conversations and good company sink in. You’ll wake up early enough to have a smoothie for breakfast, on the main strip of El Tunco. The place that says Pupusas and Bar de Jugos is where I go. Mondays are better when they start at the beach, and you get away with prolonging your weekend a little bit more.

Playa El Zonte, El Salvador / Mike Vondran / Flickr / Commercial use allowed

You can also try getting away to the beach right after work. The sun won’t set until almost 7:00 PM, and La Bocana, right on El Tunco, overlooking the rock structure that emblematizes the given name… This is the place to start your early evening.

The Beaches of El Salvador for Partying

I’d stay away from tequila, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone at the table suggests we suck on a lemon and salt. The weather’s hot and sticky, so the burning Mexican liquor might make sense. There are many options for food, drinks and a few laughs on terraces in this beach town. You’ll be relaxed by the time you’ve scruffed down a meal and drinks, and have listened to live music at La Guitarra. It’s always a good idea to know who’s playing, in case you want to drive there and back, for a change of scenery.

The calm before the storm at La Guitarra / Facebook

It is an unspoken rule that when you go out for brunch you have time to spare. No one rushes you to be on time, in this off-schedule; anytime between 9:00 AM through 3:00 PM. So if you have time to spare, and a craving for oysters, you should drive down from San Salvador to Playa El Obispo. Take a beachfront seat at the spot where the sign reads Blanchy in bold letters. Order the freshest oysters, brought right to you from the neighboring port. Leave room for local beer and bite-sized servings of garlic shrimp. I hear this is the recipe for a successful Saturday, which is usually a cue for cars to form traffic jams in the city.

And if you’ve come this far, why not go a little further outside the city? Ignore everything along the way, continue until you reach K-59. Located on the side of the road, on a cliff, it’s a simple joint that serves good food. What else do you want? The view of palm trees, waves and bluish hues of the ocean.

Anywhere I go, my homesickness kicks in after a couple of months of not seeing the sunset from the beaches of El Salvador.


Patricia Trigueros is a free spirit, writer, and translator from El Salvador. She has the habit of drinking too much coffee and writing in English, French, and Spanish. Check out her blog here and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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