Adventure Surf Travel (AST) - El Salvador
One of the biggest influences in reforming my life was to spend more time outside - adventuring & surfing. So in February 2018, I went on my first international surf adventure to La Libertad, El Salvador with my surf buddy, David.
We first started talking about a surf trip in November with a number of destinations in mind, until we stumbled into a killer 2 for 1 Black Friday deal with AST adventures ( www.astadventures.com ) in El Salvador at Punta Roca. We knew it was a world class wave with warm water, so we booked it right then and there.
When we arrived we quickly realized the trip had a lot more to offer than just a great wave and warm water but also fantastic people, adventures, multiple surf spots, and comfortable accommodations.
One of the best aspects of any trip is the people you meet along the way - and this trip was no exception. Part of our trip included a surf guide named Juan, who ended up being the biggest addition to our trip with his vivacious vibe and passion to maximize fun. He took care of us like family; showing us new places, rad waves and taking photos of us along the way to document the good times. The rest of the staff was unbelieveably accommodating and made us feel truly at home.
We also met a handful of new friends who shared our same stoke for surf and adventure, which added to the trip with plenty of laughs and good times. We will stay in touch with these friends for a lifetime.
As a part of any trip, its always amazing to immerse yourself in local culture - which led us on a several day adventures into different towns, and the outdoors.
La Libertad is the beach town where the resort was located. A quick walk out the front door and we were free to explore the beaches, food and fish markets and hang with the locals.
As soon as we arrived it was obvious that El Salvador was full of beauty and lush nature - so we made the request to explore it. Our guide, Juan helped put together a trip for us to a small mountain town called Juayua where we hopped into some Tuc Tucs and off-roaded to a cascading waterfall with epic swimming and jumping areas filled with tons of green and clear water.
Juayua Street Fair
As part of our trip to the cascading waterfall we visited the town of Juayua, which had a street food fair the day we were in town. It was a full display of food, joy and local culture.
Nature Parks, Caves and Pools
With winds picking up in the afternoon, we looked for some local adventures while the surf was blown out. So 3 different days - Juan took us to nature parks, caves and some of the most epic tide pools I've ever seen.
We knew that there were good waves in El Salvador, but weren't sure what to expect given swell can be unpredictable (besides the fact we would be surfing mostly rights). Everyday we found surf between 3'-5', which was fun and playful - especially in 83 degree water.
This wave sits directly out front the AST Surf Hotel - so naturally we ended up surfing it the most. I found some of my longest rides ever here. The wave had big open faces and shreddable shoulders.
Punta Roca is the break just outside La Paz but is arguably the most famous wave in the area. It can be walked to in 10-15 minutes from the AST hotel. Getting to the wave is a little tougher - with a entry over some cobble stone rocks, but the wave is well worth it once you get in the water. Steep drops and potential for barrels.
With only 2' -3’ waves locally one day, Juan made the call and took us to Mizata - as it generally picks up more swell. We ended up at a little resort, with a large shaded area with dining, a pool, outdoor showers, bathrooms and hammocks. The spot had 2 surf options; a beach break and point break. Each were around 3’- 4’ and playful. We ended up hanging here all day.
With winds picking up in the afternoon we would search for protected areas to surf - which led us to K61. The wave packed some heat - quick drops but clean in the afternoon. Also a little surf shack where we got some beers and found shade after a few hours session.
The AST resort was cozy - which made it feel like home (with only 7 rooms in total). The resort is a self contained unit, with comfortable sleeping accommodations, WIFI, great food (included), a pool, and other community areas to get a break form the sun and rest in-between sessions.
Our room had 4 beds, and a hammock overlooking the surf right out front of our sliding door, which kept us stoked on the surf and ready to rip. We barely hung in the room and most nights we were surfed out so we passed out hard and early. The room had everything we needed to crash comfortably.
Every morning we would wake up to fruit with granola and coffee before the morning session. After, we would return for a full breakfast (omelettes, breakfast bagels, burritos…etc), lunch (salads, sandwiches, tacos, burritos … etc) and dinner (pastas, chicken bowls, skewers, burgers…etc). We ordered off a menu which provided plenty of options to keep us fueled and stoked.
Pools & Community Areas
In between surfs we would hang outside, either by the pool, in the hammocks or on the outdoor furniture in the shade. This allowed us to maximize our time spent outside.
Overall, I had a rad time, scoring waves, going on new adventures and making new friends. I definately will be returning and going on more AST trips in the future.
I hope this inspires you to get out there on your own adventure! If you’re interested in going on an adventure like mine to El Salvador, click here for more info on a trip to Punta Roca. If you don't want to surf that many lefts or adventure somewhere different, AST has more locations in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Fiji, Western Samoa and the Mentawai Islands.
Get out there and live your adventure!