El Salvador, nestled into the Western area of South America, is a surfer’s paradise. It boasts some of the longest and best waves in the world and is famous for its point breaks. In addition, El Salvador is a great place to visit with lots to see and rich in history and culture.
El Salvador isn’t as touristy as other South American countries, meaning booking accommodation and surf camps is relatively easy, and you won’t have to fight through 100s of tourists on the beach.
However, some areas are busier than others such as beaches with awesome point breaks so don’t expect to be riding the waves alone.
The beaches in El Salvador are unusual, not the smooth sandy beaches you find in California or the Caribbean. The beaches consist of wet and slippery limestone which can create a hazard, so it’s important to be cautious when negotiating the beach.
The area has a good selection of surf camps, so read on for information about what’s on offer.
This popular surf camp is perfectly located near one of the best surf breaks in the area. It’s located just outside Bristol and is a true escape into nature. The surrounding countryside provides a wonderful backdrop for relaxing after a day on the surf.
The camp provides luxury tents that are fully kitted out with everything you need for a comfortable stay. They can accommodate up to 8 people, so it is perfect for a surf holiday with friends.
The camp offers lessons for all abilities and ages. All instructors are fully qualified and supportive and will teach with patience and skill. The club provides a 180 m surfing lake that ensures that there are waves all year round.
You should reserve surfing lessons early as they get booked up quickly.
Las Flores is in an ideal location, with the beach directly opposite the hotel. The area has a fantastic point break and benefits from a sandy bottom. You will be thrown in the deep end (as it were) and learn to surf on some of the best waves in the country.
Waves can reach 50-100 yards, which is fantastic for a crash course in learning. The temperatures remain at a balmy 80F most of the year, so all you need is your board and bags of enthusiasm.
You will learn with expert surfers (Yepi and Mauricio) both native to the area and experienced in handling the local waves. They are experienced teachers and guarantee you the best instruction. They teach all levels from beginner through to intermediate.
They have a variety of surfboards to hire in different lengths and sizes and the experts will happily advise you on the best one for your level.
The resort has a variety of rooms available with gorgeous terraces overlooking the beach; perfect after a day’s surfing.
The El Zonte Pack is on the West coast of El Salvador and offers surf packages with accommodation. There are 2 houses to choose from and both provide spectacular views of the sea and are located a stone’s throw away from the surf camp.
The surf house is a wonderful place to connect with others and relax in hammocks and enjoy the tropical drinks and native snacks available.
In El Zonte you have the Sunzal point break that provides waves perfect for beginners that aren’t too steep, making it a good area for those with minimal experience.
The school provides 4 hours of surf teaching each day 6 days a week for all levels and surfboard rental is included. You will learn with the very best instructors. They also offer an elite surf camp where you will learn with famous surfers such as Shane Dorian.
Lush Palm is another great surf school located in El Zonte. The hotel is positioned on a cliff with breathtaking views of the ocean. Like the others, the waves are famous for their right point break.
They offer lessons and coaching to those that have never once stepped into the surf and those with advanced skills.
All instructors are fully qualified with certificates from the ISA and go through continued learning on site to make their teaching more effective and keep up with the latest developments in the world of surfing.
The hotel is beautiful and well-designed; it has 13 rooms, an on-site pool and a lovely restaurant. The all-in-one packages available means you can spend your holiday doing what you love with the comfort of knowing all your other needs are well catered for.
Not only do Purosurf offer surf lessons, they also run an academy. They apply a holistic approach to teaching designed to take you from beginner level to advanced.
They run a structured learning program that covers theories, content, and techniques with specialized advice on what you need to work on at a personal level.
The founder of Purosurf, Marcelo Castellanos, is invested in providing a unique program for the ultimate progression. Their programs run from beginner through to elite and range from 20 hours learning to 1000.
He will teach you the basics of movement, the best positioning of the feet and wave dynamics. Well worth the investment for high-quality training.
The hotel is super luxurious and offers single/double triple rooms. The all-in-one surf and stay package is extremely popular and takes the stress out of organizing.
There are packages for different budgets with the options to include full board, drinks, treatments, and photo or video sessions. The food provided at the restaurant is highly nutritious, fresh, and tasty; you won’t be disappointed.
The restaurant overlooks the ocean, the perfect end to a day’s activities.
The Surf Camp is owned by Beto Dias, professional surfer and competition winner. He has set up a surf camp that is tailored to individual needs rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The camp is in a wonderful location, right near the ocean and in amongst beautiful forests.
The waves are immense, and the beaches long making it the perfect surfing spot.
The surf lesson will take you through basic safety information, how to use equipment, the environment and surfing techniques. For beginners, initial training will take place on the beach to help develop muscle memory before heading to the real waves.
To promote a healthy lifestyle The Surf Camp offers delicious home cooked food with fresh ingredients, they also cater for vegetarians, vegans and specialist diets. There are a variety of accommodation options, and you are able to customize your own package.
For those who want to learn to surf but have organized accommodation separately, Wayo offers high-quality surfing lessons. With over 10 years experience, they have well-qualified instructors fluent in English and Spanish that are patient and reassuring.
The school comes with good recommendations and is a good option if you live or are staying locally.
The lessons are affordable, and all equipment is provided. You can have one lesson or buy 5 or 10 at reduced price.
This surf club is run from Wrightsville Beach and offers lessons from 8-10am over four days. It’s ideal if you are holidaying locally or live nearby. At the beginning, you spend a significant amount of time on the beach as the instructors go through the safety aspects of surfing.
By mid-week you will be spending more time in the ocean, mastering the techniques of good surfing. You will learn how to balance on the board, stand firmly, turn and the like.
You don’t have to limit lessons to 4 days, you can choose to add extra weeks or you can spend the entire summer dedicated to becoming a proficient surfer. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the instructors will show you how to develop advanced skills and truly rule the waves.
Uniquely named, Salty Souls is an immersive experience that combines surfing, yoga and fresh sea air for the ultimate trip of self-love. For those that want to lose themselves in feelgood activities Salty Souls has it all.
The professional surf coaches will teach you all you need to know to become a skilled surfer. 1-1 lesson means you get exclusive attention, enabling you to learn faster than in a group setting.
You’ll receive 4 practical lessons, 3 theory based classes as well as a surf skate class and board rental.
The addition of Yoga means you have the opportunity to strengthen your core and relax muscles that are used for surfing. It will also help you wind down and stretch after physical activity.
Included in the packages are some empowerment workshops designed to unleash inner power and learn to be free of fear and negative emotions that limit us.
The team of girls that run Salty Souls will inspire you and provide a wonderful break from reality, providing new connections and lifelong friendships.
The food at the resort is delicious, fresh, and nutritious and the perfect addition to activity packed days to refuel and top up energy levels.
10. Surf Sister
For a specialized organized trip, why not book a surfing break with Surf Sisters? This 9 day Surf and retreat is the ultimate adventure for sea loving surfers. They pick the best beaches with incredible surfing conditions.
The ladies-only trip includes instruction from surf professionals and daily yoga from a fully qualified yoga coach.
The package is all-inclusive and includes 7 nights at a super eco hotel on Los Mangos, daily surf and yoga classes, excursions, meals, and airport transport, all you need to do is turn up. Bliss!
So, here you have some of the best Surf Camps El Salvador has to offer, let’s take a look at what else you need to prepare for the ultimate trip.
Making a budget will help ensure you don’t overspend on your trip and cause difficulty after. Sticking to a budget will help you enjoy your trip without the worry of financial stress when you return home, so what do you need to consider?
Meal Price Range
Food in El Salvador is relatively cheap. If you choose an all-inclusive surf package option you can eliminate food from the budget, but if not then expect to pay $10-20 for a meal depending on the establishment.
Supermarkets are cheap so if you’re self-catering food won’t be a massive expense.
If you choose a school that doesn’t include rental hire in their prices, then expect to pay around $10-15 per day.
Prepaid SIM Cards
To avoid high mobile charges when in another country buy a prepaid SIM card, it’s more cost-effective.
The bus system is the cheapest way to get around El Salvador, and buses run every 20 mins and will cost no more than $1 one way. You can also use Uber which is good for short journeys and a bit more comfortable but be careful the locals don’t rip you off.
Hiring a car is a good option In El Salvador, and gas prices are fairly reasonable at 1.028 dollars a liter.
Types Of Risks
It’s important that you pay attention to information about safety from the surf instructors as surfing does come with risks as does any sport.
El Salvador has several beaches made up of limestone as mentioned earlier,so you must ensure you remain cautious to avoid slipping and causing an injury.
How To Prepare
If you decide to go to El Salvador for more than a holiday and intend to stay longer than 90 days, you will need a long term resident visa that can be easily obtained from the embassy. You must ensure you have 6 months or more left on the passport.
There are several vaccines recommended in order to travel safely to El Salvador. Generally you should make sure you get: Tetanus, Rabies, yellow fever, Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Be sure to get vaccinated with plenty of time before your trip.
You should also take some mosquito protection and ensure skin remains covered when outside. There is a risk of getting Zika in El Salvador and is spread through mosquito nets and although the symptoms are fairly mild it can cause problems for pregnant women.
It can also be spread through sexual contact, so be sure to practice safe sex when travelling.
Language And Currency
The main language spoken in El Salvador is Spanish,, so you may want to brush up on some basic Spanish phrases to impress the natives. Most people speak English but only at a basic level. The currency in El Salvador is the US dollar.
Checking Surf Forecast
During your surfing break, you will likely learn how to check the surfing forecast. It can be confusing at first, but once you’ve grasped the basics you will be able to check for yourself what the surf is like before stepping into the water.
If you are a seasoned surfer, be sure to check the forecast before each session, so you are prepared for wave conditions.
The right insurance is crucial when travelling but even more so when engaging in sports due to the increased risks. You must check the small print to check if insurance covers water sports and if not you may need to pay extra to add it on.
After a year of restrictions due to the global pandemic, it isn’t surprising people are seeking adventures and a surfing holiday is an exciting pursuit. With good planning, the right school and a great location, your dream could become a reality in no time.