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Costa del Sol, El Salvador

Sun, Seafood, and Serenity: A Perfect Sunday Escape to the Costa del Sol, El Salvador

Escape San Salvador for a sun-kissed Sunday day trip to the Costa del Sol, El Salvador. Enjoy fresh seafood, serene boat tours, and traditional pupusas!

It was a friend’s birthday, and I was out drinking craft beer – a regular Saturday ritual for us young-at-heart San Salvador dwellers. As for my Sunday plans, they were still up in the air.

It was either March or April, that time of the year when you catch glimpses of blue skies from San Salvador and know it’s time to get out of town. I craved the feeling of sand beneath my feet and the sun kissing my skin.

Who’s up for a beach day?” I asked.

A friend of a friend said yes, but it wasn’t until a few beers later that two others chimed in, saying, “Alright, count me in. Let’s go to the beach!”

The next day, everyone made it to our meeting point, tired and hungover from the night before

Our plan was to drive to the Costa del Sol, the longest stretch of beach in El Salvador with 15 kilometers of sand and waves. After taking a Tylenol and drinking some water, we were in better shape to discuss our next step. Where on the Costa del Sol should we go?

Let’s see, we could spend a day on the beach at either La Ola or Las Joyas del Pacífico, or enjoy fresh fish on a deck above the estuary.

Two very different plans, both appealing options. We decided on the seafood-by-the-water plan at Mar y Sol, a place overlooking the Jaltepeque estuary.

I ordered their special: fried fish with classic sides – rice, salad, and tortillas (the fresh kind, thick with real corn).

The price of your fried fish plate depends on the catch of the day and how much you want

An eight-ounce corvina or twelve-ounce robalo – it’s up to you. The fish comes whole, and eating it while navigating its thorny bone structure requires a certain dexterity. Practice makes perfect.

Feeling adventurous, we decided to try the shrimp platter, and we all shared that. The guacamole and cuajada starters didn’t disappoint either. A couple of cold beers refreshed our palates between the appetizers, the fish, and the shrimp. Later, we ordered two of those platters to go – jumbo shrimps in a decadent oil and garlic mixture.

It was all as fresh and tasty as it gets.

Oh, and have you ever noticed that lunch on the water usually means a wait?

Good things take time, but it’s okay when you’re on the deck of Mar y Sol

The sun was transitioning from high to low, and nothing beat that golden hour above the blue waters that caress the mangroves. We talked and drank, reminiscing about everything we’d ever done and wondering about everything we’d never do…

Over there, by the islets, there’s wildlife and unique flora – we’d need a boat to go there. But then Christian approached us and offered us a ride on his boat. We split the fare four ways and got a little over an hour – a tour, a trip, and a peaceful swim. We saw the Puntilla, got close to the mangroves, and almost touched those birds – herons of all kinds – unperturbed in their habitat.

After circling the estuary, we found a natural pool where ocean water meets river flows and floated. The islet sand pulls you in, the cool water brings you back to the surface. In and out of the water, we kept talking and laughing. This is what everyone needs: a glimpse of what can flourish in isolation.

On our way back, we had to stop in Olocuilta, a place described as the spot where rice dough pupusas originated – a must if you ever visit El Salvador.

I went for a couple of classics, and those flavors – pork, beans, and cheese mixed into one pupusa revuelta – never tasted better.

The shared joy of a genuinely good time covered us all with a blanket of satisfaction. Man, we should do that again.

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 or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Patricia Trigueros

Patricia Trigueros

Patricia is a free spirit, writer, and translator from El Salvador. Has the habit of drinking too much coffee and writing in English, French, and Spanish. She works as a freelance consultant. Studied French Literature in l'Université de Bordeaux and Integrated Marketing Communications in Escuela de Comunicación Mónica Herrera. When not traveling, she lives in San Salvador, El Salvador.