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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

ESPN’s Advice for Surfing in El Salvador

Article Summary:

Hard to beat the simplicity of the surf life in Central America. Long days, good waves and a nightly feed based on whatever the local fishermen bring in, so make certain you take full advantage, indulging in both the surf and the cuisine.

Photo Credit: ESPN Go

Original Article Text From ESPN Go:

Off-season in El Centro

The Mariachi trumpets play down at the restaurant tucked into the bottom of the cobblestone point. The acoustics carry the sound throughout the hotels and surf camps. Hammocks lazily sway in the wind and surfers anticipate the change from the one-foot dribble coming through the point. Slow, relaxed, tranquil, this is the life in La Libertad, El Salvador. Waiting on waves means embracing the slow paced life until conditions dictate otherwise.

El Salvador
Centrally located in the country, La Libertad is a small fishing village with legit pier that houses fun waves and thumpers for local bodysurfers to get their tube on. Fisherman launch boats from the pier and locals pull rooster fish in for dinner. A short walk will allow one to view the catch of the day or move a few streets up to the buzzing mercado area of town where you can buy everything you need for the day or the week. Secluded beachbreaks offer uncrowded barrels and clear water for those wanting to get away from the point and other surfers. The winter months are the “off-season” but with constant offshore winds, small crowds and plenty to do between swells, it’s not a bad time of year for a trip. But it’s not just about surf. There are more than 20 volcanoes that litter the jungle landscape. Lush sugar cane and coffee bean fields blanket some hills. A day’s work in the coffee fields yields about $5.25.

“It’s a short drive to the coffee plantations overlooking San Salvador. But even with the long, hard days of work travelers are received by the smiling, happy locals. They were willing to talk to me with my horrible spanglish,” says California’s Mary Osborne.

A short trip to north to the next town Sunzal reveals another point wave surfed by many up-and-coming kids. Little locals like Marco Alvarez will be one to watch as his surfing is impressive and only getting better. The local surfers are no stranger to larger surf and the open-faced point waves is allowing them to become well groomed and powerful competition out in the water. ISA games, the Masters and other contests are more and more commonplace nowadays and there are many a groms that are showing great form and decision making when it comes to approaching waves.

Further south a series of point waves known as Las Flores await the traveling surfer with both high and low-tide options depending on the swell. “El Salvador has a similar topography as Ventura County, but with warm water, black cobblestone rocks and bright beautiful sunlight. There are point breaks everywhere you look and it’s far less crowded than anywhere in California,” says Osborn.

“We can start with the amount of right hand point breaks all within 40 minutes driving on both coasts,” explains Dave Hall, who’s an avid explorer and owner of Adventure Sports Tours. “El Salvador, unlike many other Central American countries, has a massive infrastructure of paved roads, electricity and uses the United States dollar. It is very easy to get around without the hassle of using GPS and foreign currencies. If the waves are small there are several adventure tours within striking distance: white water rafting, volcano hikes, Mayan ruins, waterfalls, moto and buggy tours, horseback riding and it goes on and on for the eco-travelers.”

“Sure there are problems and the gangs, but when one looks at the bigger picture and understands the biased media, drugs and gangs are everywhere, so why would one just focus on them here? It’s an American colony that works off American currency and El Salvadorians want Americans here and tourists to come,” says 4th generation coffee maker Rodrigo Avila. “El Salvador has come a long way since the civil war.”

El Salvador is a safe country as long as you are not out looking for trouble. Like any trip to anywhere in the world, the best way to stay out of trouble is too keep your cards close to your chest and don’t do stupid stuff you wouldn’t do at home. El Salvador’s future is bright, you just have to see it for yourself.

Link to Original Article:

From ESPN Go

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