El Salvador Surf Spots & Information

El Salvador is basically a series of world-class rights that break for several hundred yards. And if you're a little bit adventurous, you can enjoy a good number of breaks with only a handful of surfers in the lineup.

El Salvador has great waves and warm water, but it’s not exactly a top choice for family getaways. As in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras, the government and police are ineffective and poorly supported. A civil war raged in the country from the 1980’s until the early 90’s, leaving the country in a state of poverty. Crime remains a problem as the country strives to develop. So when in El Salvador, be careful. But don’t let a few risks scare you away from this great surf destination. Like anywhere else, a bit of street smarts goes a long way here and the majority of travelers have problem-free trips.

The best time to go is during the wet season between March and October. During the wet season, rainy days are actually partly sunny before or after a downpour. During the dry season, November through March, you can also surf smaller waves in the 3- to 6-foot range. Year-round the water temperature is between 80 and 85 degrees; air is in the 80’s and low 90’s.

There are two separate surf areas on El Salvador’s Pacific coast. The La Libertad is the most popular area and features numerous quality breaks. Punta Roca and Suznal in La Libertad are two of the best breaks in the country. But Punta Roca has a somewhat of a bad reputation, so talk to other travelers to stay out of trouble.

The second area, the “Wild East,” also has some world-class breaks. The area is growing in popularity. And as the quality of accommodations improves, the crowds grow. However, if you make the appropriate preparations, you can find yourself with just a few people on world-class breaks.

Find a surf school in El Salvador.

El Salvador Surf Breaks


Sunzal (some spell it Zunzal)

Surf Location Half hour from La Libertad
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality Ranging in size from chest high to a few feet overhead, this right break is very consistent
The Surfers Some locals and tourists are usually in water on the weekends, but not super crowded
Boards Big wave gun, shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Difficult
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Rock
Watch Out For… Sharks, rocks
Water Condition Mostly clean, but slightly dirty from river mouth
 

Punta Roca & La Paz

Surf Location La Libertad
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Any, shallow at low tide though
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality This is the best wave in El Salvador. It is a word-class right that is hollow and runs for up to a quarter mile. The inside section, called La Paz, is separated from the big wave break and is ideal for beginners.
The Surfers There are usually quite a few people surfing here
Boards Big wave gun, shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Difficult
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Rock
Watch Out For… Rocks, a large bolder in the takeoff, undertow and rip current, urchins, thieves
Water Condition Clean
 

Playa Conchalio

Surf Location Just north of La Libertad near El Zonte
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality During the peak season the waves are fast and hollow. In the down season, this is the place to check because it holds rideable waves even when other breaks are flat.
The Surfers There are people, but it’s not very crowded
Boards Shortboard, fish, fun shape, longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Thieves on the route to the beach
Water Condition Clean
 

La Bocana

Surf Location Half hour outside of La Libertad
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction East, Northeast
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality This is the left break of El Salvador. It’s long and powerful rivermouth break. It is occasionally hollow on a falling mid tide.
The Surfers There are people, but it’s not too crowded
Boards Big wave gun, shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderately difficult
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… A little bit of localism
Water Condition Rivermouth dirty, besides that clean
 

K59 & K61

Surf Location West of Sunzal. Past a gated community on a private beach accessible if you ask around or find a guide. K61 is a bit north of K59 and is best traveled by paddling to avoid urchins in the rocks.
Best Swell Direction South
Best Tide Incoming mid
Best Wind Direction Offshore north
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality This is a very consistent and world-class right point break. It is best in the morning and thousand-foot rides are possible.
The Surfers Just a few locals on the weekends
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate, can be tough
Skill Level Experienced
Bottom Rock
Watch Out For… Sea urchins
Water Condition Clean
 

Zonte

Surf Location West: North of La Libertad
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality Consistent and fast right point break. Sometimes there are two lefts.
The Surfers There are usually people but it’s not super crowded
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand and rock
Watch Out For… Rocks and riptides
Water Condition Clean
 

Las Flores

Surf Location The Wild East
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality Flores is a quality right point break featuring a hollow outside section and long rides
The Surfers More and more people every day, but less crowded than La Libertad area
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Sand, rock, banditos
Water Condition Clean
 

Punta Mango

Surf Location East, accessible by boat from Las Flores
Best Swell Direction South, Southwest
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction North, Northeast, Northwest
Best Surf Season March-October
Wave Quality Powerful, fast, and hollow, Punta Mango can be exciting and large.
The Surfers Growing in popularity, usually 15-20 surfers at peak
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand and rock
Watch Out For… Rocks and riptides
Water Condition Clean
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