“Home is not the place where you happen to be born. It’s the place where you become yourself.” –Pico Iver
El Salvador has been my accidental home for over two-and-a-half years. I came to explore her for two weeks and before I knew it, the place was in my veins and I was cancelling my flight home to Australia. In Australia there isn’t as much stigma around El Salvador as there is in the States and Canada. Mainly because Australians sense of geography about the American continent is, to put it generously, terrible. For example, when I called my Australian bank to transfer money to a friend in Guatemala, the customer service rep said “Where is Guatemala? Can you spell it for me?” So, by the time my mum googled ‘El Salvador’ and her search results was flooded with all the negative media fuckery and she called me saying ‘GET HOME NOW’ it was already too late. I was in love with the place, and there was no turning back.
So, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way.
“What about… you know… the gangs and the violence and stuff. Aren’t you scared?”
I am actually more fearful walking around Adelaide or Perth CBD than I am of walking around alone here, as I hear more and more stories of people wigged-out on meth attacking innocent people in Australia’s cities. As with any city, you use your common sense, you exercise caution, there’s dodgy places you avoid in every city. Also, chances are if you’re visiting El Salvador, you’re more likely going to be spending most of your time in the Coastal Region, surrounded by other tourists. If you walked past a gang member you likely wouldn’t even know it. It is not a reason to not visit this epic country. There is a reason Salty hosts their retreats here, has had over 300 girls visit and participate in retreats since 2015. Co-founder Erika Drolet has even brought property here, and considers this country her home base. Would we be doing that if we thought there was a high chance we could, you know, die?
No, is the answer you’re looking for.
So, here are 5 other reasons El Salvador should be your next travel destination:
1. The surf
Sweet baby Jesus, the waves. This alone is a reason to come to El Salvador. Even thinking about it now gets me teary-eyed.
Look at this.
LOOK AT IT.
There’s about 15 right hand point breaks smooshed into a small coastline, as well as left handers, river mouths, beach breaks and reefs. The waves work consistently almost year round. The waves range from suitable for beginners (El Sunzal) to one of the best waves in Central America when the swells hit (Punta Roca.) It’s still relatively uncrowded depending on where you surf, so if the jam-packed line-ups of Bali aren’t your thing, consider El Salvador instead.
At Salty, we offer 1:1 coaching in the water, plus 3 theoretical classes. We got ya covered!
>> Watch here one our Saltyz getting the longest wave ever in Sunzal !
2. The people
Salvadorans have to be some of the most hospitable people on the planet. They are passionate about their country and eager to share it with you (and everything else they have too). They’ll share their knowledge, their inside jokes, their joint, their family, their waves (as long as you’re respectful) their home, half their beer, if it comes down to it. Here, it’s about community and the interests of the collective. And that can be an awesome exercise of self-growth, coming from an individualistic culture where we all want to stay in our little shells.
3. There’s other stuff that is not the beach
If the beach and surf isn’t your thing (I mean, what’s wrong with you, but whatever) there’s a whole other bunch of cool places scattered across the country. There’s one of my favourite towns on the planet, Suchitoto, a colonial town with a strong feminist collective and every building stencilled with the message ‘en esta casa queremos una vida libre de violencia contra las mujeres’ (in this house we want a life free of violence against women) which is also a short drive away from the Cascada Los Tercios waterfall (it’s dope.) There’s the small mountain town of Ataco, which is bursting with contemporary street art on the walls of the Spanish colonial buildings and has a strong artisan culture. Not far from that is Juayua (why-ooh-ah) a good place to get a sense of El Salvador’s thriving coffee producing industry. Check out Lechuza cafe to learn everything there is to know about the farming, processing, roasting and brewing of that magic bean juice. There’s also a tonne of gems hidden in this country. You just gotta get here and ask.
4. Carver Skate a unique concrete wave!
El Salvador is home to a very special concept that is a concrete wave (with ocean view!) at Puro Surf Academy. Carver Skate is a special type of board set up that allows you to generate speed by “pumping” and it’s the closest thing to surfing in terms of weight transfert and turns. Not only is it really fun to skate with ya girlgang, it’s also a great way to step-up your surfing game! “Whoever is riding, they’re not just skating the street, they’re surfing the urban wave. Make Waves.”
5. It’s our home
Ya. We live here. The Salty Souls Experience is a 9-day all-inclusive transformative Surf, Yoga and Empowerment trip for women/ femmes in El Salvador and Ecuador. Learn to surf or step up your surf game, push past your comfort zones, find and refine what truly makes you vibe with a gang of soul-thirsty humans like you. Learn more here.
6. Less is more
It’s literally sunny and warm e’ryday, from November to June. Don’t even bother looking at the weather forecast. Monday: Sun, Tuesday: Sun, Wednesday : Sun….
MagicSeaweed forecast is the only one we check. Even though is wavy all year round!
More soul. Less shoes.
More freedom. Less boredom.
More passion. Less decision.
Have you booked your ticket yet?