ACCESS AND RESOURCES
Weeklong trips from $2,640 for two (lodging included); cadejoadventures.com. HOW TO GET THERE: American and Taca offer nonstop flights to San Salvador from major U.S. hubs. WHEN TO GO: November to May. ALSO CHECK OUT: Wakesurfing in the mangrove-lined tributaries of Estero de Jaltepeque. Ask Cadejo’s owner, Roy Beers, to take you. SAFETY UPDATES: Read the State Department’s current travel advice at travel.state.gov.
THE CIVIL WAR is long past, but ongoing gang violence—though it rarely affects travelers—means robberies can happen. Which is why you’ll see armed guards at the supermarket and why we recommend going with a guide. But don’t wimp out, because this tiny country is packed with empty surf, 7,000-foot active volcanoes, and killer pupusas—fresh corn tortillas filled with refried beans and cheese. Plan a multisport trip with the locals at Cadejo Adventures. Start 30 minutes south of San Salvador on the La Libertad coast, where uncrowded Pacific breaks range from mellow El Sunzal to perilous Punta Roca, a legendarily long and bone-crushing right. Luxury can be had for less at Casa de Mar, a series of hillside cottages overlooking El Sunzal. After a few days of guided wave hunting, head inland to El Imposible National Park for two days of hiking and canyoneering through epic gorges, with rare emerald toucans and aardvarks for company.