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The 8 Most Awesome Beaches in El Salvador

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Central America is known for having stunning beaches, yet El Salvador hardly ever makes on anyone's list. However, we love the beaches in El Salvador, because they simply aren't like the others in the surrounding countries!

Did you know that the majority of the beaches in El Salvador have black sand? This is due to the many volcanos that are scattered through the country.

Here you can find some of the most unique beaches in El Salvador, and have them almost completely to yourself. So without further ado, let's show you all the amazing beaches in El Salvador to add to your bucket list.

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Best Beaches in El Salvador #1: El Tunco

This is definitely the most well known of the beaches in El Salvador, and with good reason! For one, El Tunco is famous for hosting the annual surf city competition. On the other hand, it is known for its striking rocks formations jutting out of its shiny black sand.

El Tunco is a backpacker's paradise featuring cute hostels, small shops, and some great restaurants. The town itself is tiny, and also very safe. It is actually completely gated, and it costs $1 to enter with a car.

This beach is great for enjoying the sunset. You can reach it in just an hour from the capital by public bus, or 45 minutes if you decide to rent a car.

El Tunco, places to visit in El Salvador
El Tunco, day trips from San Salvador
sunset at El Tunco, day trips from San Salvador

El Tunco is a backpacker's paradise.

Want to book an organized visit to El Tunco? Here are a few different tours that you can get:

Want to book a place in El Tunco? Check out the different accommodation options on the map below:

Best Beaches in El Salvador #2: Playitas

Let's head further down the coast for the beaches in that are all the way South! Playitas is definitely one of the beaches you will want to visit if you have San Miguel on your itinerary,

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This area is tucked away underneath Conchagua volcano and offers 360 degrees of beautiful views. Look behind you and you will see the giant volcano towering over the sands. Move your eyes over the horizon and you will be have views of the surrounding islands.

Playitas beach El Salvador

Playitas is a great beach in the south of El Salvador.

Playitas also offers a few local restaurants right on the beach. If you want to visit here we highly suggest renting a car.

Best Beaches in El Salvador #3: El Zonte

El Zonte is another one of our favorite beaches in El Salvador. Before entering you can find a quirky little skate park. Walk down and you can find giant rocks that create natural pools to hang out in.

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This black sand beach has the most chill vibes of all the beaches in El Salvador that we have visited, and is great for surfers as well. 

El Zonte, Beaches in El Salvador

Best Beaches in El Salvador #4: Mizata

Want to see another hidden gem? Check out Mizata! This is one of our favorite spots in El Salvador because of the resort perched right along the sand. Mizata has some serious Tulum vibes with its infinity pool, outdoor gym, and cabanas. It even features a giant canopy above the bar with a stunning view of the sandy paradise.

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Every corner you turn in Mizata will make you wonder how it hasn't blown up with popularity. You can stay at the hotel here, or simply purchase a day pass to enjoy the amenities for several hours.

Want to book a stay nearby Mizata instead? You can simply check the map below for options:
MIzata resort, beaches in El Salvador
Mizata, Best Beaches in El Salvador

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Best Beaches in El Salvador #5: Mahahual

This is for those who want to jump into the local scene. Mahahual is our favorite of the beaches in El Salvador for feeling the true culture of the country.

Park your car along the sandy road and you will be welcomed with tons of restaurants lined up one after the other. The smell is intoxicating, and the locals are smiley and welcoming.

Black sand beaches in El Salvador

Mahahual is one of the best black sand beaches for locals.

Head over to the long stretch of black sands and you can also find small carts of fresh coconuts, or locals selling their homemade treats.

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Best Beaches in El Salvador #6: Playa de Las Flores

This is known by locals as the most beautiful of all the beaches in El Salvador. There are actually two beaches called Playa las Flores. But the one that locals rave about is located next to El Cuco (right near Playitas).

Unfortunately, when we went it was pouring rain so we didn't get to experience it in all of its glory. But now we definitely have a reason to go back!

Playa Las Flores, beaches in EL Salvador

Playa de Las Flores is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in El Salvador.

Bonus: Head to "La Ventana" which is just down the road from here. During low tide there is a cave that you can reach. Go inside and it appears to be a giant window into the sea!

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Best Beaches in El Salvador #7: Shalpa

This beach we actually only visited because we met someone who had a hostel there. After visiting, we could not even wrap our heads around the fact that it is not more well known!

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Here is another black sand beach, and it is tucked away between dramatic cliffs. Shalpa is also one of the only beaches that we visited which has plenty of space to sunbathe and relax without tons of rocks.

Shalpa, places to visit in El Salvador
Best Beaches in El Salvador

If that didn't convince you enough, there is a pretty epic hostel just steps away. We know what you're thinking- hostel? Yes- Lagarza Hostel features giant palm trees, an infinity pool, and a mouth watering menu. They have shared rooms with double size bunk beds (great for couples), and also offer private rooms as well. 

Lagarza Hostel, Shalpa, El Salvador

Want to see other accommodation options in Shalpa? Simply refer to the map below:

La Libertad

Heading back North, we have one of the most popular areas outside of El Tunco. La Libertad is the closest beach to the capital, and it straight west off the main highway (before turning right to head towards El Tunco).

La Libertad is a port town known for its giant market and its seafood. Walk around the small streets to enjoy this fishing village, and the tiny stretches of sand surrounding it.

Market in La Libertad, El Salvador

La Libertad is a small beach town that has a large seafood market.

Want to book a place in La Libertad? Just check the options on the map below:

So have we convinced you to go beach hopping in El Salvador yet? How about wanting to see some other cool things that this underrated country has to offer! Check our guides below for waterfalls, local villages, geothermal springs, and much more.

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