Playa El Sunzal

For my first night in El Salvador I want to get into Parque National El Imposible, described as one of the great remaining wilderness areas in Central America. The two guide books once again differ in their advice although both are equally cryptic with their directions to the entrance. Both suggest the best entry is via the small town of Tacuba, and then go on to describe something completely unrelated. I try my best to get in, at one point going up a gravel road so steep the Jeep will not physically climb it in regular first gear, I have to use low-range. That’s a first.

I meet a truck with some locals who tell me there is no way to get in from where I am and I’ve gone completely the wrong way. Hmm. I backtrack a long way and spend the night in a nondescript hotel near the town of Ahuachapán. My level of tiredness, hunger, my inability to communicate in Spanish and a long day leaves me feeling really lonely and a bit lost. Probably the loneliest I have felt for the whole trip.
I start to wonder what I’m doing with my life.

I feel much better after a good nights sleep and move along the Ruta del las Flores, a very famous mountain road in El Salvador that is fairly nice. El Salvador uses the US dollar as it’s national currency and things are absurdly cheap, probably owing to the $1.10 minimum wage.

The minute I pull into the Surfers Inn in Playa El Sunzal I know I’ve found a great place. Camping is $2.50 for a night, a big meal of pupusas which are kind of sealed over taco is $1.35 and cold beers are $1. There are a few surfers hanging around, some who have been living here for months and months they love it so much. A hundred meters away is the beautiful beach which has a great point break that rolls into the sandy beach.

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The main beach at Playa El Sunzal

I stay for just over a week, attempting to surf, swimming, hanging out with all the guys and eating really well and exercising every day on the beach at sunrise. I also pay $125 for 20 hours of one-on-one Spanish lessons which help immensely. The guy really knows his stuff and we cover an insane amount of material. That’s not to say it all stuck in my head, but with practice over the coming months I really hope to get around a lot better.

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Camping at the Surfers Inn


13 Responses

  1. Melissa says:

    Right Arm! For the days when you forgot why your doing this…. Your doing this because this is your dream and you’ve got everyone supporting you and living their dreams through you! Enjoy the sun beach and beers! :) Hope you find El Imposible.

  2. Brian from New Jersey says:

    I’m happy to hear that you ended up having a great time man after a rough start! That beach looks amazing!

  3. David says:


    Perhaps, however those of us following you vicariously are wondering what we’re doing with ours! :)


  4. Brian12566 says:

    “The minute I pull into the Surfers Inn in Playa El Sunzal I know I’ve found a great place. Camping is $2.50 for a night, a big meal of pupusas which are kind of sealed over taco is $1.35 and cold beers are $1. ”

    I think you found a little slice of heaven.

  5. George says:

    I was thinking the same thing! The Surfers Inn sounds like the place for me… and I can’t even surf! lol

  6. Ioana says:

    Spanish is not difficult at all, believe me. You can learn this language with patience and interest!

    • Dan says:

      I agree – 99% of things make sense and can we worked through with patients and practice. I’m so happy I don’t have to learn English – what a nightmare’

  7. Konstantin says:

    “I start to wonder what I’m doing with my life.”
    You´re doing the right thing – live your dream.

    Thanks again for sharing your stories.

  8. luke says:

    Good to see you were working on the Spanish. It sounds like it is absolutely essential for south America. Reading your blog so far it seems like the language is quite a problem – particularly at border crossings :)

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