Our two days in El Tunco were lovely. It is a quiet little beach town known for its amazing surf. Therefore, there are hundreds of travelers who trek to this small village on the coast of El Salvador to go surfing. Locals and foreigners alike paddle out to sea each day to catch a few good waves. Even though it was the wet season (May to October), dozens of surfers were in the sea. Since coastal areas are warm all year round, El Salvador is a great place to enjoy the beach, whatever the season. (Temperatures average between 72 and 90°F all year – or between 22 and 32°C.)
Playa El Tunco is 100 percent a beach town. It is absolutely tiny. This is the main strip that leads to the beach. Everywhere you look, people are walking around donned in only a swimsuit with a surfboard in hand. The beach town itself is dotted with a few hostels, bar/restaurants, and shops to buy touristy trinkets or beach gear.
At night, different bars take the limelight. A different venue every night has a “ladies happy hour” – usually from 10 PM to midnight, where ladies drink free – as much as they want. It’s crazy. As you can imagine, every night the bar with the special is absolutely packed!
In El Tunco, you can buy as many coconuts as your heart desires.
Even though the beach is rocky, it is still absolutely beautiful.
One great thing about being in Central America for the wet season was being there when the storms rolled in. It was pretty incredible how fast it could go from sunny and clear to dark and stormy – the weather would change in a matter of minutes. However, on the flip side, that was also a negative thing. That afternoon we were walking along the desolate coast and suddenly a huge storm rolled through.
We took shelter at a little bar with only a little tent-type thing as cover. We still got soaked, but it was better than nothing. It’s a bit hard to see, but you can see the rain clinging to the chairs and to the surfer if you look closely. This local was always surfing.
As soon as the storm cleared, he was back in the water again.
While we were at the little bar, Audrey and I had a nice chat with Ricardo, the bartender. It’s always interesting trying to chat when you know little Spanish and your new friend knows little English. Hang signals are a must, but generally you get the point across. :)
Before we went back to our hostel, we decided to use the bathroom. I’ve had quite a few interesting experiences with bathrooms in Central America, and this one adds to my ever-growing list. The wooden door on the left is for women. I should add that it does not lock. Obviously, the urinal on the right is for men. Imagine my surprise when I was using the toilet and I hear a man come in, pee right next to my stall and then leave. It was a very interesting bathroom design to be sure!
Our final night we found a pupusa stand. Pupusas originated in El Salvador, and they are delicious! They are a corn tortilla filled with your choice of ingredients: cheese, pork, chicken, beans, jalapeños, mixed, etc. A cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar goes on top. We first had pupusas in Honduras, and were ecstatic to have them again in El Tunco.
The following morning, we packed our bags and headed to the capital, San Salvador. Even though the hot, sticky nights were less than pleasant, we were sad to be leaving this lovely town. Nevertheless, it was time to continue the adventure. Check back soon to read about San Salvador!