Getting to El Salvador
Destination airport: airport code SAL
Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport is a 35 minutes drive from Libertad surf camp and a 2h30 drive from Las Flores surf camp.
24/7 airport transfers are included in our surf camp and surf trip holidays in El Salvador.
When you arrive at the airport a staff member will be waiting for you with a placard with your name.
International Airlines flying to El Salvador
You can find direct flights from New York, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, Amsterdam, Madrid and South America. We recommend that you get flights with early arrival and evening departures so you can enjoy more time surfing.
Some of the international airlines that fly to El Salvador (SAL):
To our knowledge all of the above airlines accept surf board check in (for a fee) but airlines do change their regulations at any time so we recommend double checking before buying your ticket. A good place to find flights is at skyscanner.net
Passport & Visa requirements
for entering El Salvador
- You need to have a return or onward ticket in order to enter El Salvador.
- Visa is not required for stays up to 90 days for nationals of the following countries : Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and the UK.
Visa is required for nationals of other countries and can be issued by embassies or consulates.
- Tourist card is required for stay up to 90 days for nationals of the USA and can be issued by airlines, travel agents or embassies.
- Tourist card $10 USD upon arrival
- Departure tax $32 USD at airport upon leaving the country
Note: Monetary unit is US dollar (best carry $20 USD notes).
About El Salvador
El Salvador is located in Central America and it borders the Pacific Ocean to the south, Guatemala to the west, Honduras to the north and east. Nicaragua is to the east, across the waters of the Gulf of Fonseca.
The Republic of El Salvador (literally "Republic of The Saviour") is the smallest country in Central America. The country's capital and largest city is San Salvador, with other important cities including Santa Ana and San Miguel. Its territorial extension is approximately 20,742 square kilometres; with 296 kilometres of Pacific coastline extending throughout the country.
Our Surf Resorts are located in La Libertad and Las Flores. Both locations have waves suitable for any level of surfers. Our surf resorts are in two different locations in El Salvador:
LA LIBERTAD (West coast)
Located in Puerto La Libertad, the Surf Hotel offers 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean and the waves of Punta Roca and La Paz.
While the surf set the scenery from the sea view balconies, the front of the hotel in La Libertad faces a boardwalk with waterfalls, outdoor showers and direct beach access..
LAS FLORES (East coast)
The surf hotel in Las Flores overlooks Las Flores Point is 5 minutes away from the small town of El Cuco in the San Miguel province.
Playa Las Flores ("Flower Beach") and its three famous right hand point breaks is located right below the hotel! The south side of the property offers views of the entire coastline and you can see Honduras and Nicaragua at a distance.
El Salvador's Brief History
The Pipil Indians, descendants of the Aztecs, likely migrated to the region in the 11th century.
In 1525, Pedro de Alvarado, a lieutenant of Cortés's, conquered El Salvador. As with many other countries of Central America, El Salvador declared its independence from Spain on September 15, 1821, and was part of a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898.
For decades after its independence, El Salvador experienced numerous revolutions and wars against other Central American republics. From 1931 to 1979 El Salvador was ruled by a series of military dictatorships.
In 1969, El Salvador invaded Honduras after local landowners deported several thousand Salvadorans. The 4 day war, is known as the "football war" since it broke out during a soccer game between the two countries.
During the 70's discontent with societal inequalities, a poor economy, and the repressive measures of dictatorship led to civil war between the government, ruled since 1961 by the right-wing National Conciliation Party (PCN), and leftist antigovernment guerrilla units lead by Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).
The U.S. intervened on the side of the military dictatorship, despite its scores of human rights violations. Between 1979 and 1981, about 30,000 people were killed by right-wing death squads backed by the military.
Jose Napoleon Duarte - a moderate civilian who was president from 1984 to 1989 - offered an alternative to the political extremes of right and left, but Duarte was unable to end the war. In 1989, Alfredo Cristiani of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) was elected. On Jan. 16, 1992, the government signed a peace treaty with the guerrilla forces, formally ending the 12-year civil war that had killed 75,000.
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, leaving 200 dead and over 30,000 homeless. During January and February 2001, major earthquakes struck El Salvador, damaging about 20% of the nation's housing followed by an severe drought that destroyed 80% of the country's crops, causing famine in the countryside.
In 2004, Antonio Saca of ARENA was elected president. The nation implemented a free-trade agreement (CAFTA) with the U.S. in March 2006. El Salvador was the first Central American country to do so.
El Salvador's economy was historically dominated by agriculture, beginning with the indigo plant and followed thereafter by coffee, which by the early 20th century accounted for 90 percent of export earnings.
Since then it has reduced its dependence on coffee and embarked on diversifying the economy by opening up trade and financial links and expanding the manufacturing sector as well as tourism.
The colón, the official currency of El Salvador since 1892, was replaced by the U.S. dollar in 2001.
Climate & Weather in El Salvador
El Salvador has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons but with very little seasonal change in temperature - annual average temperature is 25°C (77°F). Because of its hemispheric situation, eminently tropical, it is possible to have year-long benign climatic conditions.
Winter's rainy season lasts from May through October and summer runs from November through April.
The best time to visit El Salvador is the beginning and the end of the dry season. During these summer months, air flowing from the Caribbean has lost most of its precipitation. When it reaches El Salvador after having passed over the mountains in Honduras, the air is dry and hot so the country experiences hot weather.
November is one of the best months to surf in El Salvador! It’s the beginning of the dry season so, it almost never rains and temperatures go from 18 ºC (64F) to 28 ºC (82F), Average water temperature is 24 ºC (75F).
Conditions are perfect this time of year because it’s right after the rainy season so you’ll get clean water, nice sand bars on the point breaks and light off shore winds all day long, this makes water and weather unique!
Excellent Food in El Salvador
Both resort's in La Libertad and Las Flores offer restaurants with the best of the local and regional cuisine, with specialities in seafood, chicken, meat, salads, tacos, burros and more... everything is prepared with the freshest and finest local ingredients.
On site cooks can cater for any dietary need so, if you have any food requirements (vegetarian diet, allergies, ...), just let us know at the time of booking so we can be prepared and take it into account when planning your menu.
La Libertad in-house restaurant
The surf hotel in La Libertad has one of the best restaurants in town, offering fresh seafood El Salvador style with a flare of Mexico, USA and other world destinations. The "all inclusive" surf trip and surf camp packs include 3 full meals each day - breakfast, lunch and dinner (non alcoholic beverages are also included). There is a wide choice of specialities but some of the favourites are fish tacos, lobster, fish fillets, beef fillets, chicken and a variety of Mexican food.
The hotel bar offers a selection of refreshing smoothies, natural juices and energy drinks, as well as a full bar service with local and international selection of beers, wines and liquors.
Las Flores in-house restaurant
All meals ingredients are locally sourced and prepared to make sure you get all the "fuel" you need for a great surfing holiday! Breakfast includes coffee, cereals, local fruits and bread. Lunch is served in the dining area around the pool or packed in a cooler if you are heading out for a boat trip to Punta Mango. To close the day, nothing like a nice dinner!
Our kitchen staff uses fresh local foods, including fish and seafood caught on the very same day!