El Tunco Beach El Salvador, one of the best surf spots in the country

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Sep 9th, 2023
El Tunco Beach El SalvadorSurfing at Playa El Tunco. Image by INDES.

Located along the picturesque Pacific coastline of El Salvador, El Tunco Beach stands as a well-known surfer’s haven; the beach is acclaimed for its world-class waves and vibrant beach culture. El Tunco Beach has consistent swells and a laid-back atmosphere, which attracts surf enthusiasts from around the globe.

El Tunco Beach in El Salvador is one of the top surfing spots in the country and Central America. With only two streets, this surf village is famous for its excellent surfing, striking sunsets, and weekend parties.

Year after year, surfers and non-surfers from many countries visit this Beach to take advantage of the excellent waves and everything else it has to offer. El Tuco Beach in El Salvador is one of the main destinations of the Surf City tourist project.

El Tunco beach El Salvador
Sunset at El Tunco beach El Salvador.

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

About El Tunco Beach El Salvador

El Tunco Beach in El Salvador is in a small beachside town in the department of La Libertad. It is located about 40 kilometers from the international airport and about 45 kilometers from San Salvador, the nation’s capital.

This beach is one of the top surf spots in El Salvador and in Central America. Most people in Central America who like surfing know about El Tunco beach.

El Tunco beach is a popular destination; year after year, the total of international surfers visiting this beach increases. Furthermore, with the launch of Surf City, the beach will become even more popular.

The surf beach is a small surf town; the beach is not as gorgeous with soft sand and long shores like Costa del Sol or El Cuco Beach. Instead, it’s a black sand beach covered in dull grey rocks that move with the tide. This is a beach for surfing!

Surfing at El Tunco El Salvador

Yes, surfing is the top activity at this beach; there is no question about that. As I previously mentioned, people come from all over the world to surf, take surf lessons, enjoy sunsets, party, or watch other surfers.

The Beach has two main surf spots, Sunzal and Bocana. Sunzal is a right-hand point break with long lines that seem perfect for those who want to improve their skills or are at an intermediate level.

On the other hand, Bocana is a more powerful, faster wave with tubular sections perfect for experienced surfers. This surfing spot has more strong waves during high tide.

The Bocana has consistent waves year-round; therefore, people surf here all the time. Furthermore, Bocana has both right-hand and left-hand breaks.

Besides the two main surf spots, El Tunco has two more minor popular breaks, La Bocanita and El Sunzalito. La Bocanita is popular with surfers of all skill levels.

On the other hand, El Sunzalito has softer waves and a sandy bottom, which is perfect for beginners; this is where most of the surf lessons occur.

SEE ALSO: Surf City El Salvador, positioning El Salvador as a top tourist destination

El Salvador Beach
Sunset at Playa El Tunco. Image by Diario El Salvador.

The Fantastic Sunsets

El Tunco Beach is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant shades of orange and pink. Visitors travel to this coastal surf village to witness nature’s masterpiece, creating the backdrop for amazing photos.

The early evenings are for relaxation at El Tunco; people hang around the local bars or the beach before the evening, enjoying local drinks and looking at the fantastic sunset.

The sunsets at this beach are extremely popular; many people come to El Tunco not for the surf but to take photos of the sun setting. The big rock in front and the sun setting in the background is an iconic image of El Tunco and the country.

Sunset at El Tunco Beach El Salvador.
Sunset at Playa El Tunco. Photo by Ministerio de Turismo.

The Beach’s Atmosphere

The best way to describe the atmosphere at El Tunco is to split it into weekdays and weekends. The town seems totally different during the weekends as opposed to weekdays.

During the weekdays, the town is quieter; locals and foreigners spend their time enjoying the surf and relaxing. Of course, there is nightlife, but the nightlife is mostly calm.

However, things change during the weekend as the surf village becomes a party town. El Tunco gets Crowded with local Salvadorans from the nearby cities looking to party and mingle among themselves and with foreigners.

The Beach is well known for its weekend parties; there is live music in almost all the bars. Further, people set bonfires on the beach and spend the night partying under the stars.

As you can see, El Tunco is a different town on the weekdays than on the weekends; keep that in mind when deciding to venture into this beach town.

Best Time to Visit El Tunco Beach

If you plan to visit El Tunco for the surf, the best time to visit is during the wet season, from May to October. During these months, the swells are larger, therefore better for surfing.

If you are visiting for the sunsets or to see the beach, you can do it at any time, but make sure it is not raining. If you want to know more about when to visit El Salvador, read the “Best time to travel to El Salvador” article.

El Tunco Beach

El Tunco is conveniently located in the department of La Libertad. It is about 25 miles from the international airport and the same distance from San Salvador, the nation’s capital.

You can visit this popular beach for surfing, the sunsets, or the parties, it’s up to you. Regardless of your reason for visiting, I am sure you will have a great time at this beach.

El Tunco Beach in El Salvador is one of the top surf spots in El Salvador; it has waves for all types of surfers, from beginners to experienced.

I am sure you will enjoy this Beach! But, if you can consider other beaches to visit, look at the page “Beaches in El Salvador.” It will give you some ideas on what beaches to visit!