El Salvador is known world-wide as a great surf destination and now the country is safe and easy to travel around. El Salvador’s entire Pacific coast is lined with beaches but the best spots are located on La Costa del Balsamo on the west side of the country. The beaches are typically black sand and lined with palm trees.
About an hour south of San Salvador, the small town of La Libertad will be your main jumping off point to see the rest of the Balsamo beaches. Bus 80 will take you west down the coast to all the beaches up to El Sunzal.
It’s the main entry point to the Costa del Balsamo and the largest town on this stretch of the coast. The town is a fairly dingy looking place but it has a few decent places to get food and drinks. The sand is black and tends to have a significant amount of garbage and sewage in and around the water. However this is also the site of the famous right-hand break at Punta Roca. Nearby La Paz is a good spot for beginners.
It’s the epicenter of the backpacker scene in El Salvador. This clean black sand beach with good sized waves is lined with restaurants and bars. People tend to stay here longer than they expect but with parties every night it’s easy to see why.
Less popular for surfing and more of a local place, El Majahual is the same stretch of coastline dotted with tent structures to pack in the weekend crowds.
If you want to escape the chaos of El Tunco, this is the place. It’s a great place to learn how to surf without the distractions of endless drinking.