Having spent two weeks in El Salvador, we firmly believe that no visit to the country would be complete without checking out one or more of its beautiful beaches. We were lucky enough to visit two while we were there: Sihuapilapa and El Tunco.
On our first weekend in the country George and his family took us to stay at their beach house on Sihuapilapa beach, about an hour and a half away from San Salvador. We felt like we had walked straight into paradise when we arrived – the gorgeous property is situated right on the beach, and if you don’t fancy a dip in the ocean you can relax on the deck or swim in the refreshing pool instead. As I’m not the best swimmer and am quite nervous of the sea I decided to restrict my oceanic adventures to paddling on the shore, but Dan and George dived right into the waves as soon as we arrived. The house is in quite a secluded spot, and we hardly saw anyone else on the beach both times we visited.
Not only did we get to enjoy the stunning scenery, watch the sun setting over the black volcanic sand, and – in Dan’s case – drink some beers on a boat ride along the coast, we also got to try some of the freshest and most delicious seafood we have ever eaten. On our first visit we were treated to oysters, which in El Salvador are customarily eaten with lime and – to our surprise – Worcestershire sauce! Turns out the old Lea & Perrins is really popular in El Salvador! We also got to sample another local delicacy: iguana eggs. I am always up for trying new foods and tend to like most things, but unfortunately I couldn’t really get on board with iguana eggs – which was lucky for Dan, who loved them and ate the one I didn’t finish!
As well as Sihuapilapa, we also spent a couple of nights down in El Tunco. George told us that our night out in El Tunco wasn’t nearly enough time to spend in the little beach town, so we booked ourselves into a lovely beachfront hostel called Hotel Mopelia and headed down there during our second week in El Salvador.
On our first night we tried some food from the Hotel Mopelia menu – they do amazing pastas, burgers and other great comfort foods – and took a little wander into the town. The town itself consists of just one street lined with restaurants, souvenir and clothing stores, hotels and hostels, but it has a great beachy vibe and is packed with travellers who have come to El Tunco to learn how to surf. On our second day we had a leisurely lie-in before trying the Hotel Mopelia breakfast – a must have even if you don’t stay there! – and then spent the day alternating between the beach and the pool, before heading back into town to try some of the local seafood for dinner.
In the end we decided against surf lessons – for me this was an easy decision due to my aforementioned dislike of the sea, but Dan’s reasoning was that he only had one full day in El Tunco, so just having one surf lesson would be costly and ultimately a little bit pointless. So he decided he would try surfing somewhere else on our journey, perhaps when we get to the beaches in Nicaragua. But according to everything we have heard, El Tunco is a fantastic place to learn to surf if you have the time to stay a little while, and if we had been staying for longer Dan would definitely have given it a go.
We returned to San Salvador for a night after our stay in El Tunco, before visiting the beach house in Sihuapilapa for our second and final weekend in the country. Then it was time to pack our bags and get ready for our next country: Honduras!