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The Best Beaches in El Salvador

El Salvador is Central America’s only country without a Caribbean coastline, so head westward, where you’ll find miles and miles of Pacific shore. Don’t pine too much for the calm Caribbean, especially if you’re a surfer or water sports enthusiast: There are lots of breaks and wild water here. But if you’re not into the sportier sider of the ocean, no matter, you can still throw down a towel and relax on one of these beaches.
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Bahía de Jiquilisco, El Salvador
Many Central American countries have coasts dotted with mangroves, a brackish ecosystem that is a sheltering habitat to numerous flora and fauna. Visitors can kayak through many of the mangrove systems, getting an eye-level view of the mangroves’...
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El Tunco, El Salvador
One of El Salvador’s great surf spots, El Tunco is a beach whose crescent of sand is reached by scrambling over sea-smoothed stones. When the tide’s just right, you can explore beach caves, which are tall enough to walk through.
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Playa El Sunzal, El Salvador
Water sports aficionados will want to head straight to Sunzal, a beach where surfing, snorkeling, and shallow scuba diving are the most popular activities. Local outfitters offer surfing lessons for beginners, though proceed with care: Sunzal has...
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El Cuco, El Salvador
Calm waters and beach sports are the main draws of El Cuco. Don’t worry about packing a picnic: there are plenty of kiosks where vendors sell snacks and simply-prepared seafood and fish. Be sure to bring cash (small bills) as it’s hard to find an...
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Playa Las Flores, La Libertad, El Salvador
Las Flores is a surfers’ beach, with whipping waves and a break point, as well as a hippie vibe—you can even camp on the beach (though notifying the POLITUR, the tourist police, of your intent to do so is recommended as a safety measure). Surfing...
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Acajutla, El Salvador
Los Cóbanos is a picturesque stretch of golden sand, framed by a fringe of palm trees, perfect for relaxation. The waters here are home to colorful reefs, which are protected by the government, so the beach is particularly popular as the point of...
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Playa Costa del Sol, El Salvador
Easily El Salvador’s most popular beach, the “Sun Coast” is equally popular among locals and visitors, particularly during the vacation time of Holy Week, or Semana Santa. The 15-kilometer long beach has many services, including restaurants and...