Playa Los Cobanos El Salvador. A Beautiful Beach in Sonsonate!

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Feb 14th, 2022
Playa Los Cobanos in El Salvador
Playa Los Cobanos in El Salvador.

Playa Los Cobanos in El Salvador is a beach located in the western part of the country; it has the largest Pacific coral reef in Central America. Los Cobanos beach is an attractive area for diving and snorkeling. Los Cobanos is part of a small fishing community in the department of Sonsonate; it sits about 11 kilometers east of the municipality and Puerto de Acajutla.

The Los Cobanos protected area is about 264 square kilometers; it includes the beach, the mangroves, and the coral reef. The natural protected space has an ecosystem rich in marine life.

Los Cobanos beach is a charming stretch of golden sand, enclosed by a fringe of palm trees, that makes it perfect for relaxation.

Los Cobanos El Salvador
Los Cobanos Beach. Photo by Oscar Peraza

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

Visiting Los Cobanos Beach

Los Cobanos is a popular beach to visit in Western El Salvador. The protected Marine reef and Natural surroundings give it a unique underdeveloped feel that attracts many visitors.

Due to its coral reef, Los Cobanos beach has gold-colored sand, which gives it a unique look. It is believed that the gold-colored sand is created by the waves breaking the shells part of the coral reef.

The beach, especially during the low tide, is full of large volcanic rocks, which break the waves. The large volcanic stones create water ponds with calm water ideal for enjoyment by all types of visitors.

What to do at Los Cobanos?

Los Cobanos beach is in a remote area in a small fishing village; nonetheless, you can find plenty of activities to keep you busy. Snorkeling, diving, Whale watching, and fishing are some of the most popular options.

Snorkeling and Diving

The biodiversity of fish and other sea life found in these volcanic rocks and the coral reef makes this place ideal for snorkeling. You will not have to venture deep into the ocean to find colorful marine life.

Diving is an excellent option at Los Cobanos; this is the spot where most ocean recreational diving gets done. You can dive deeper into the coral reef and see the variety of sea life. Furthermore, this beach has different shipwrecks for divers to explore.

El Salvador beach
Playa Los Cobanos El Salvador.

By the way, if you are looking to go diving at Playa Los Cobanos, you need to make prior arrangements with a diving company. There is no diving company based at this location.

Relaxing at the Beach

Just like many other beaches in El Salvador, Los Cobanos has warm pacific water ideal for relaxing. You don’t need to be active at this beach; you can simply relax at the beach and enjoy the tropical weather.

Whale Watching

Another activity at this beach is whale watching; this option is best available from October to January. Boat trips will take you about 12 miles offshore. Many times, in addition to Whales, you can see dolphins and giant turtles. Contact a Salvadoran Touring company to determine if whale watching is an option during your visit.

Whale Watching
Whales at Los Cobanos Beach.


This beach is in a small fishing village; therefore, fishing is an option. You can rent one of the many fishing boats found at the shore and spend as much time fishing as you want to.

Los Cobanos Coral Reef

Playa Los Cobanos in El Salvador has the largest Pacific coral reef in Central America; the reef is 157 kilometers long.

The Coral reef, along with the volcanic rocky beach, and the mangroves, help protect an ecosystem that provides shelter for endangered species.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources declared Lo Cobanos reef as a Natural Protected area in 2007.

Playa Los Cobanos in El Salvador
Playa Los Cobanos in El Salvador

Gastronomy at Playa Los Cobanos

In the village of Los Cobanos, you will find plenty of small restaurants that offer excellent fresh seafood options and some of the best typical Salvadoran dishes.

If you stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts, meals will be included in the package. However, you can always venture outside and visit the small food places found along the shoreline.

Where to stay at Playa Los Cobanos?

There is a variety of accommodations available in the area. They range from small privately own hotels to vacation rentals by owners. Here are some options for you to consider.

The Los Cobanos beach area has accommodations for all visitors, from backpackers to those looking for more luxurious amenities

The Beach Location

Los Cobanos is in the western part of the country, in the municipality of Acajutla in the department of Sonsonte.

The beach is about 127 kilometers from the international airport and approximately 92 kilometers from the nation’s capital, San Salvador. Click here to see the beach’s location on google maps.

To get to Los Cóbanos from San Salvador, you must take the Pan-American Highway in the direction of Sonsonate. Then veer off towards Acajutla, passing through the Kilometer 5 detour.

Three kilometers from the detour, you will find the road to Los Cobanos beach. The beach is about seven kilometers from here.

Salvadoran beach
Sunset at Los Cobanos Beach.

Playa Los Cobanos El Salvador

Playa Los Cobanos is a charming stretch of golden sand, surrounded by palm trees, that makes it perfect for relaxation. The colorful reef, protected by the government, is famous for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Even though this beach is located in a remote area, the combination of the beach, the volcanic coral reef, the gastronomy, the activities, and the people, make it one of the best beaches in El Salvador to visit.