Barra de Santiago El Salvador. Ocean, estuary, and river mouth.

By Eddie  |  Mar 1st, 2022
Barra de Santiago El Salvador
La Barra de Santiago in Ahuachapan.

The Barra de Santiago is a fascinating place where the ocean, estuary, and river mouth, come together. The Barra de Santiago has a beautiful beach and a protected wetland area that is surrounded by different types of mangroves.

This area, which is a top tourist destination in El Salvador, is located about 106 kilometers from the capital city of San Salvador, in the municipality of Jujutla, department of Ahuachapan.

Locals and foreigners alike visit the Barra of Santiago to appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna found in the wetland; but, also to enjoy the spectacular views and relax in the warm Pacific ocean waters.

SEE ALSO: Best Beaches in El Salvador. Discovering El Salvador’s Pristine Beaches!

Barra de Santiago wetland.

The Barra wetland has an extension of about 2,000 hectares that is surrounded by different types of mangroves. This natural protected area is part of the coastal marine reserve of El Salvador.

Barra de Santiago El Salvador
La Barra de Santiago beach.

This mangrove forest is one of the most extensive mangroves in Central America; they feed on the freshwater from the El Imposible national park.

The wetland is home to a vast array of local and migratory birds; also, it includes marine life such as crabs, shells, and shrimp. Furthermore, the wetland is home to reptiles such as alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and many others.

Barra de Santiago El Salvador
Beautiful view of the Barra de Santiago beach.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Tourism: A Journey Through Pristine Beaches, Colorful Towns, and Enchanting Parks

The Barra de Santiago beach.

The beach at this location is your typical Pacific ocean beach with warm water, nice sand, and a relaxed atmosphere. The beach area is a suitable environment to spend time with family and friends.

This beach is located in an undeveloped area; therefore, the activities, places to stay, and food options will be more limited. Nevertheless, it is still a pleasant beach to visit!

Tourism at the Barra de Santiago.

The tourism in this area is open the entire year, it does not matter if it is summer or winter. Obviously, the area has specific months that get more visitors. The months of March, April, August, November, and December are the ones that get more visitors to the area.

Visitors go to the Barra de Santiago to enjoy the beach, venture into the wetland, appreciate the Flora and Fauna, and to relax.


The local food in the Barra de Santiago includes all your typical Salvadoran dishes, such as pupusas and Tamales. But, you will also find different types of local dishes that include fresh catch from the river or ocean.

As always, Mariscadas are the dish that most Salvadorans look forward to eating when visiting the beach. All of the local restaurants will offer their own version of this dish.


As previously stated, this area is considered underdeveloped and in a protected zone. Therefore, most of the accommodations are going to be small mom and pops hotels and hostels.

Don’t get me wrong, this small boutique hotels are fantastic and offer excellent service. Capricho beach house and La Cocotera hotel are two lodging places that have good reviews online.

The atmosphere.

The atmosphere at La Barra de Santiago is of relaxation; this is not a party town at all. Most of the people that visit this beach area do it to explore nature and unwind.

The tourism at the Barra de Santiago is for those who are looking for an underdeveloped area where nature can be enjoyed in its purest form. If you are looking for shops, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, or chain hotels, this is not the beach for you.

Baby Turtles

Turtles nesting.

The Barra de Santiago is one of El Salvador’s most active turtle-nesting areas. Starting in August, all the way through November, you can witness giant sea turtles laying eggs on the shore of the beach.

During the turtle nesting months, many families visit this area so they can help release the baby turtle into the ocean.

Getting to La Barra de Santiago.

It depends on your starting location, there are different ways of getting to this area.

The Barra de Santiago is located at kilometer 98 from San Salvador, going south to the town of Jujutla in the department of Ahuachapan. Highway CA-2W is the main road near the beach.

So, if you are not familiar with the area or this is your first time in El Salvador, please use the services of a reputable Salvadoran tour company, or visit with someone who knows how to get there.

Barra de Santiago El Salvador

The Barra de Santiago El Salvador.

This is a nice area to explore nature and relax at the beach. The area is, by all means, underdeveloped; so, don’t visit with the expectations of finding proper infrastructure; you will be disappointed.

Undoubtedly, for many people, the wilderness of the beach is what makes the area attractive. Enjoying excellent waves, in an underdeveloped area, at the edge of a preserved area, with plenty of flora and fauna, is worth it.