El Salvador’s 5 Most Instagram-Worthy Beaches
EL SALVADOR’S 5 MOST INSTAGRAM-WORTHY BEACHES
Arguably El Salvador’s most popular attraction, the stunning Pacific coastline wends its way for some 300 kilometers (186 miles) past isolated crescent coves, broad tourist beaches, dramatic cliffs, and some of the world’s best surf breaks. The sand shimmers a deep volcanic gray, the legendary waves crest and crash, and the Western-facing shoreline sets the stage for mesmerizing sunsets. The hard work comes in choosing between all of the magnificent stretches of sand. Is your goal relaxing? Surfing? Exploring a surf town? Whichever beach—or beaches—you choose, you can’t go wrong…and your Instagram fans will undoubtedly approve.
Party people looking for the best little surf town in El Salvador can begin here. Surfers and backpackers come to hang loose on this beach of dark-gray sand and smooth pebbles; you’ll make friends as waves crash around the iconic rock formation just offshore. But it’s not all serenity—you’re also here for the nightlife and festive atmosphere. Accommodations for every budget are plentiful, tour outfits and restaurants cater to foreign tourists, and English is widely spoken, making El Tunco the perfect playa to begin your exploration of the Salvadoran coastline.
Costa del Sol
San Salvadorans escape the city heat and noise at this long, broad, pearl-gray beach that’s perfect for swimming, walking, or playing a little volleyball. The relaxed shore is lined with fabulous vacation homes and hotels for every budget, along with excellent seafood restaurants. Once you’ve filled your camera roll with beach photos, pop over to check out the bay and take a tour of the mangrove forests that fringe Estero de Jaltepeque (Jaltepeque Estuary).
The soft, golden sands of Los Cóbanos—with its palm-shaded coves and colorful local fishing boats bobbing in the turquoise water—make up what is arguably the country’s most beautiful beach. But don’t limit yourself to the land. A protected coral reef lies just offshore, playing host to vibrant sea life and setting the scene for the best snorkeling, diving, and deep-sea fishing in El Salvador. Arrange tours through any area hotel (many of which are truly excellent).
The other nominee for El Salvador’s most beautiful beach is in the wild east, which means it’s less accessible and therefore less crowded. Dark sands and brightly painted fishing boats make El Cuco—really a collection of three beaches—incredibly photogenic. The break at one of them, Las Flores, brings in serious surfers and features some of the country’s finest resorts. But there are calmer stretches of glittering ocean where you can swim, paddleboard, hire boats for mangrove tours, or simply soak it in from rustic beachfront restaurants serving cold beer and fresh seafood.
Peninsula San Juan del Gozo & Corral de Mulas
When you really want to get away from it all, hire a boat across the Bahía Jiquilisco, a mangrove-fringed UNESCO Biosphere Reserve known for its incredible birding and sea turtle nesting sites. The barrier that protects this rich coastal estuary from the open sea is called Peninsula San Juan del Gozo, and it’s where you’ll find a broad, sandy, almost empty beach where you can walk for miles.