Best Beaches in El Salvador. Discovering El Salvador’s Pristine Beaches!

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Sep 22nd, 2023
best beaches in El SalvadorSalvadoran beach.

The best beaches in El Salvador are La Costa del Sol, El Cuco, El Tunco, La Libertad, El Zonte, San Diego, El Sunzal, Los Cobanos, El Espino, and El Majahual. Also, Las Flores, Barra de Santiago, Punta Roca, and Mizata.

El Salvador beaches welcome all visitors, surfers, families, couples, singles, etc. The country has some of the best beaches for surfing in Central America. It also has fantastic beaches perfect for relaxation and enjoyment.

The vast majority of El Salvador beaches are in underdeveloped regions of the country. Some visitors see the underdevelopment as a charming reason to visit them; in contrast, others don’t seem to like it as much.

El Salvador Beaches
La Libertad beach, El Salvador.

1. La Costa del Sol Beach

When it comes to the best beaches in El Salvador, La Costa del Sol is one of the most popular. The beach is within a tourist area with the same name that includes three beaches: La Costa del Sol, San Marcelino, and Los Blancos.

La Costa del Sol Beach is located in an area considered the most developed coastal region for tourism in the country; it has a vast array of excellent hotels, hostels, restaurants, stores, and activities.

Luxury travelers in El Salvador head to La Costa del Sol because it has beautiful oceanfront villas, vacation rentals, and upscale beach homes.

La Costa del Sol is an excellent option for foreigners visiting the country. For one thing, the international airport is about 24 miles away. Also, the beach area has plenty of accommodations and plenty of everything for tourists to enjoy and do.

SEE ALSO: La Costa del Sol El Salvador, a perfect Beach Area for Relaxation

This Salvadoran beach is popular among locals and foreigners, particularly during the Holy Week, the August vacations, and the Christmas holidays.

El Salvador beaches
Costa del Sol Beach in El Salvador.

2. El Cuco Beach

Without a doubt, El Cuco Beach is one of the best beaches in El Salvador; therefore, it’s also one of the most visited. This beach is in the eastern part of the country in the San Miguel department.

Playa El Cuco would be more popular if it were centrally located and had more infrastructure. Because of its underdevelopment and difficulty getting to it, this beach is popular mainly with locals; however, it is not uncommon to see foreigners visiting.

El Cuco Beach has everything a top-notch beach should have, such as a soft sandy shore, smooth waves, a relaxing atmosphere, and more. Also, Las Flores and Punta Mango, two top surf spots in El Salvador, are near El Cuco.

The dark sandy beach with vendor huts and seafood restaurants attracts visitors from all parts of the country and some foreigners. El Cuco Beach is about 140 kilometers from the international airport and around 175 kilometers from San Salvador.

SEE ALSO: Playa El Cuco in El Salvador, the Ideal Beach to Relax in Eastern ES

Beaches in El Salvador
Playa El Cuco El Salvador.

3. El Tunco Beach

El Tunco beach is a surfers paradise and a popular destination for backpackers and travelers on a budget. This incredible beach is one of the top surf spots in El Salvador and a big part of the Salvadoran Surf City project.

In addition to being a superb surfing spot, this beach is also famous for its exceptional sunsets and wild weekend parties.

SEE ALSO: El Tunco beach El Salvador, one of the best surf spots in the country

If you are looking for a beach to relax and enjoy, this beach is not the one for you. However, if surfing and hanging out with backpackers is your thing, then El Tunco might not be the place for you.

Best Beaches in El Salvador
El Tunco beach in El Salvador. Photo by @ElSalvador

4. Port of La Libertad Beach

Puerto de La Libertad, or Liberty Port, is a beach located within the city of La Libertad in the department of La Libertad. It has a beach, a pier, and the Malecon or boardwalk.

The beach is an excellent option to spend the day relaxing or enjoying with family or friends; there is plenty to do and see here.

The beach area is excellent to spend the day. The pier is an open-air fish market great for purchasing fresh fish. The Malecon is a modern tourist area along the beach; it has many amenities, including restaurants and souvenir shops.

La Libertad Beach is the central area in President Nayib Bukele’s Surf City project. The People’s Republic of China built a theme park (Sunset Park) and is in the process of completing a brand new pier.

RECOMMENDED: Visit our “La Libertad Beach” page to get more information on the area and the beach.

El Salvador beaches
Sunset Park in La Libertad. Image by Sharon.

5. El Zonte Beach

Playa El Zonte is a secluded surf spot popular with local and international surfers. It is located at kilometer 53 of the Litoral highway in the Chiltiupan municipality, La Libertad.

Many surfers prefer this laid-back location instead of the hectic El Tunco beach or Punta Roca. The crowds are minimal, the surf is always good, and accommodations are affordable.

Anyone looking for a beach town with pristine beaches, great surf, tasty local food, and a relaxed atmosphere should visit El Zonte beach.

RECOMMENDED: Visit the “El Zonte” page to get more information about this fantastic surf spot in El Salvador.

El Zonte Beach La Libertad
Playa El Zonte in La Libertad. Image by Enrique Mendez.

6. Playa San Diego

San Diego Beach is about 4.3 miles long and is located in the department of La Libertad, about five miles from the La Libertad pier.

This beach is attractive because of the white sandy beaches and the long shoreline that leaves plenty of beach space to enjoy.

Despite being very accessible, San Diego Beach is not very crowded. Therefore, you visitors can enjoy their time here with plenty of privacy.

San Diego Beach is surrounded by private ranches and homes. However, access to the beach is open to the public.

El Salvador beaches
Playa San Diego in La Libertad.

7. Sunzal Beach

El Sunzal is a top surf spot located near the famous El Tunco beach. They are about half a mile apart. Playa El Sunzal is part of President Bukele’s Surf City project. This beach regularly hosts top-notch international surf competitions.

At this beach, you will find plenty of activities other than surfing. And to make it even better, the beach is easy to access. Furthermore, El Sunzal is near other prevalent Salvadoran beaches.

RECOMMENDED: To learn more about this small but fantastic surf spot, visit the “El Sunzal” page.

El Sunzal Beach El Salvador
El Sunzal Beach Longboard Surf Tournament. Image by Surf City.

8. Los Cobanos Beach

Los Cobanos Beach is located in the western part of the country in the department of Sonsonate, near the Port of Acajutla. This beach has a coral reef of about 150 kilometers in length; it’s the longest reef on the Pacific Coast in Central America.

Scuba diving is a popular activity at this beach; you can observe coral formations in addition to all the marine life. Other popular activities include whale watching, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and relaxing at the beach.

RECOMMENDED: Take a look at the “Los Cobanos” page to get more information on this beautiful beach.

Best Beaches in El Salvador
Playa Los Cobanos El Salvador.

9. El Espino Beach

El Espino Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the country and one of the favorite beach attractions in eastern El Salvador.

The main characteristic of El Espino is how long the beach is; it has more than 10 kilometers of continuous beach, perfect for relaxation and fun.

The gentle waves, warm weather, and beautiful sunsets make this beach one of the preferred destinations by many Salvadorans.

This beach, just like El Cuco beach, would be even more popular if it were centrally located and the area was more developed.

RECOMMENDED: Take a look at the “Playa El Espino” page to get more information on this beautiful beach.

Beaches in El Salvador
Playa El Espino El Salvador. Photo by Juan.

10. El Majahual Beach

El Majahual Beach at La Libertad is one of the most active beaches in the country, primarily because of its proximity to the capital and other large cities.

RECOMMENDED: Visit the “Playa El Majahual” page to get more information on this beach.

This beach gets crowded, especially on the weekends and national holidays. El Majahual Beach is a top touristic destination for Salvadorans who want a family-oriented relaxing atmosphere at a low cost.

El Majahual El Salvador
Playa El Majahual.

11. Las Flores Beach

Las Flores Beach is a fantastic surfing spot in Eastern El Salvador; it is next to El Cuco Beach, another famous beach in El Salvador worth visiting.

Las Flores Beach is just like other beaches in the eastern region of the country. It has smooth black sand and a long sandy coast. However, this beach is peculiar as it has impressive waves ideal for surfing. Additionally, Las Flores is surrounded by dense tropical vegetation, which gives it a unique setting.

RECOMMENDED: Visit our page “Las Flores beach” to get more information about this surfing spot.

Playa Las Flores
Playa Las Flores El Salvador. Image by @ComunicacionSV

12. Barra de Santiago

Barra de Santiago is a beautiful beach worth visiting in Western El Salvador. The beach is located about 106 kilometers from the capital city of San Salvador, in the municipality of Jujutla, department of Ahuachapan.

The Barra de Santiago sits in a protected wetland area surrounded by different mangroves. Locals and foreigners visit the Barra of Santiago to appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna found in the wetland.

The ocean, estuary, and river mouth come together at the Barra of Santiago. This beach is excellent for enjoying the spectacular views and relaxing in the warm Pacific Ocean waters.

RECOMMENDED: Visit our page “Barra de Santiago” to get more information about this spectacular beach area.

Barra de Santiago
La Barra de Santiago in Ahuachapan.

13. Punta Roca Beach

Punta Roca Beach is a popular destination with locals and foreigners for either surfing or relaxation. This exceptional beach has consistent waves for surfing. Also, it has warm Pacific Ocean waters, perfect for relaxation or fun.

Punta Roca Beach is another of the best surf spots in El Salvador. It is not that far from El Tunco and El Sunzal, two other top surf locations in the country.

The Punta Roca beach is one of the principal beaches in the Surf City El Salvador Project. Every Year, this beach hosts top-of-the-line international surf competitions; in 2023, it hosted the Central American and Caribbean Games and the WSL Surf City El Salvador Pro.

RECOMMENDED: If you want to know more about this surf spot, visit our “Punta Roca Beach” page.

Playa Punta Roca
Surfing at Punta Roca El Salvador. Photo by @ArtKosten

14. Mizata Beach

Mizata beach is another beautiful top surf spot located in the department of Sonsonate. This beach is excellent for anyone looking for a more secluded environment to either surf or relax.

Mizata beach has exceptional surfing conditions the entire year. Also, it offers a tranquil environment ideal for families, couples, or friends to have fun unwinding or surfing.

RECOMMENDED Visit our “Mizata beach” page to get more detail on this great surf spot.

Playa Mizata
Mizata Beach El Salvador.

Beaches in El Salvador Locations

Beach Location
from Airport
from San Salvador
La Costa del Sol San Luis La Herradura
La Paz
29 km 64 km View on Map
El Cuco Chirilagua
San Miguel
124 km 138 km View on Map
El Tunco Tamanique
La Libertad
41 km 44 km View on Map
Port of La Libertad La Libertad
La Libertad
34 km 37 km View on Map
El Zonte Chiltiupan
La Libertad
52 km 53 km View on Map
San Diego La Libertad
La Libertad
33 km 42 km View on Map
El Sunzal Tamanique
La Libertad
43 km 44 km View on Map
Los Cobanos Acajutla
124 km 89 km View on Map
El Espino Jucuaran
122 km 157 km View on Map
El Majahual La Libertad
La Libertad
124 km 89 km View on Map
Las Flores Chirilagua
San Miguek
140 km 174 km View on Map
Barra de Santiago Jujutla
164 km 129 km View on Map
Punta Roca La Libertad
La Libertad
34 km 35 km View on Map
Mizata Teotepeque
La Libertad
85 km 86 km View on Map

El Salvador is a small country. It is called the Pulagarcito de America or America’s thumb and the 45-minute country. El Salvador has earned the nickname “El Pulgarcito de America” for being the smallest country in Central America and on the continent. However, it has plenty of things to offer visitors.

The 45-Minute Country comes from its small size. It’s a play on the fact that you are around 45 minutes from San Salvador, wherever you are in the country. It’s an exaggeration, of course. But not much of one.”

Do not let its size fool you; El Salvador has some fantastic beaches worth visiting. Also, living in El Salvador is becoming an option many people are considering.