Get Lost: Surf El Salvador

Dec 3, 2009
Outside Magazine
La Libertad, El Salvador

Waves at El Salvador's La Libertad    Photo: Courtesy of Alvaro Calero

Surfers have a knack for scoping out adventure hot spots, and El Salvador is a great place to look: Along the La Libertad coast, just 35 minutes from the capital, San Salvador, small lodges are popping up to cater to the international wave seekers flocking here. Another plus: Surfer chic means surfer cheap. Overlooking two of the region's best breaks—El Sunzal and La Bocana—is Tekuani Kal, a six-room, Nahua-influenced guesthouse with thatch-roofed patios (doubles from $84; The villages along the coast still have a rustic feel—I visited last year and was blown away by the friendly mingling of local and global surfers—but it won't be long before fancier places move in. For now, it pays to get insider intel. Call on San Salvador–based Cadejo Adventures, which rents boards and offers guided day trips for beginners and experts alike (from $85 per person; When you've had your fill of surfing, consider the singular experience of scuba-diving inside a dormant volcanic crater at Lake Ilopango, exploring caves and vertical rock walls that drop 600 feet ($90).