Nicaragua or El Salvador

Discussion in 'Global Surf Talk' started by LongIslandBound420, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. LongIslandBound420

    LongIslandBound420 Active Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Me and my buddy plan on going international and i wanna get a head start soo which is better?
  2. MDSurfer

    MDSurfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2006

  3. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    ES. It was straight up sick this past week. And dirt cheap.
  4. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    El Salvador is incredible
  5. pcsurfer2

    pcsurfer2 Active Member

    May 15, 2013
    How safe is El Salvador and where are some good places to stay?
  6. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    El Salvador = Right Point Breaks
    Nicaragua = Offshore winds all day long, mostly lefts, some rights.
    Same swell hits both places, but different setups.
    The main place to surf in El Salvador, La Libertad, is a town where you can more easily travel around. In Nicaragua, its much harder to travel, and more then likely you will be staying in your surf camp unless you have someone to drive you around.

    PS. I've been to Nicaragua, but not to El Salvador.
  7. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Plenty safe near or at the surf camps. Tourism is a new thing to them because if the civil unrest until the past decade so they can use all the promotion they can get. Security is high around the surf camps. El Tunco (near Sunzal and Bocana breaks) has a ton of adjacent surf camps and hostels for very cheap. It's 10 minutes from La Libertad which is the city area and known to be rough at night but you'll see none of that if you're safe at rest in a surf camp. Punta Roca (site of ASP tour event) and La Paz are two superb breaks in La Libertad. Mizata and K59 as well as El Zonte are all within 30-45 minutes of El Tunco and have great breaks and good cheap places to stay. Three hours away on the Nicaragua side is Las Flores and although remote to all the other breaks, it is awesome. Finished the trip there yesterday.

    Happy to share details on PM and there's others on here with experience visiting ES. So underrated and your money goes miles there.
  8. wavehog1

    wavehog1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2013
    Both are pretty good as far as surf and scoring waves. If you are looking to rent a car and drive around to different breaks I would recommend Nicaragua. If you go to El Salvador you will really need to hook up with a local guide. In El Salvador its tough to just pull up and paddle out without knowing someone. Its relatively safe but don't go at it alone and I would advise against going out for nightlife. Nicaragua is a lot safer and friendlier to drive around to different breaks. Nicaragua is just like Costa was 20 years ago!

    Just recently went to Nicaragua and the surf was insane! Outer reef in Popoyo was easily 25' plus! Unless you are very hard core you will be watching from the cliffs above! The beach break and inside reef is where to go! Also Playgrounds and Colorado's is sick! Need a boat to get to though.

    In El Salvador k59 and Roca in La Libertad are the sweet spots! Edgar has a nice place right there on the beach in k59 and is also a good guide.

    El Salvador is perfect for a shorter trip! The airport is close by to the beach and is easy coming and going. Nicaragua is great but the beach is a few hours of mostly dirt roads from the airport (Managua). During the rainy season you may some river obstacles to overcome.
  9. 15stwr

    15stwr Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    El sal... Was down there in august and had a great time. Split time between Las Flores and La Libertad. Surfed las flores, punta mango, punta roca, k59 and a number of other breaks up north. People were friendly, roads are solid. At no point did we have any trouble. Considered Nica, but the right points and logistics in ES pushed us in that direction. Could not have been more pleased with the trip. PM me with questions.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  10. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    We're you there early or late August? Nice pic! Which break was that at? I'm assuming Flores/Mango given the water not being brown haha. Sounds like you hit just about every break in the country. Mizata included and El Zonte? Very glad we finished up the last day at Flores/Mango after Sunzal/Bocana being good but needing a change after 6 days. Glad you scored!
  11. 15stwr

    15stwr Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Late July/early August. That's Mangos. Surfed Mangos on the AM for barrels and the point for up to quarter mile rides later in the day...went up North to chase the swell and surfed a number of breaks primarily punta roca... Love those right points.
  12. wavehog1

    wavehog1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2013
    Definitely right about the roads, they're all brand new!

    Flores and Mangos is another option but is quite a distance. If you are going for a couple weeks I would definitely do that. For a short in and out trip though just hitting around La libertad will stoke you. I would say most breaks are all within 20-30 min of each other.

    I have always scored way better in El Salvador and Nicaragua then I have Costa, but then again most spots are a little more for the advanced surfer. If you are just going to surf go to El Salvador. If you want a little more freedom to do stuff go to Nicaragua.

    Everyone's experience will be different but I do advise to use caution in El Salvador. Also on a sidenote....they are much more stricter and have a no tolerance policy to drugs. There are make shift check points set up all over! It is certainly not like Costa in which you will get away with a bag of weed or something. Nicaragua also but more so El Salvador! You will definitely notice a difference.

    Like I said.... go with a guide and you will be fine. You want have to even think about it. '

    If Edgar is booked at K59 I really recommend Las Olas. Place has an insane view and its right between k59 and punta roca. "Beans" is the local guide there and I have never had a guide like him!

    Also if you are ever in need of a doctor there is an american doctor that lives right there at the soccer field in Sunzal. Great guy too! Fixed all our lumps and bumps!
  13. badon

    badon Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    I go to es every year I have family down, there. that's where I learned to surf, I can tell you right now, there hasn't been a day I've been there that it wasn't good to surf, and I've been going every year since I was 14, la libertad is the place to be for surfing, go to a little beach area there called el tunco, you can find rooms there for like 8 bucks a night sometimes, theres a ton of hotels there, its like a small surf community there mostly foreigners, also a 3 min walk to sunzal which is an amazing break, its pretty safe around that area, however you always gotta be weary of anywhere central America theres always places where you don't wanna make a wrong turn. idk too much about nica, but everyone I've talked to has only good things to say about it.
  14. nynj

    nynj Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Wanna go right or left???
  15. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Lots of rights in ES but there are some A-frames too Bi-Stater.

    This thread is turning out to be great and must be very helpful for those looking for the 411. It's great to share thoughts with others who have been there.

    El Tunco is a great area to post up and if you're charging day and night, you really aren't in place to run into any funny stuff. It seemed to me to be entirely surf-based and I couldn't find the least bit of rowdiness even on Saturday night. Everyone seems to be in bed by 10 or so and if they are up after, it is just chilling out. Maybe things are different in the "summer" season when it doesn't rain most nights.

    Now, I was only there 7 days and that's a decent chunk of time but by no means enough data to make absolute statements about the place. But Flores/Mango were entirely worth the drive from Tunco and it was a great drive past volcanos and other awesome sights you don't get around here.

    Everyone who is endorsing getting linked up with a good guide is right on. They have the lay of the land and if you set up some good deals with them for carting you from spot to spot, you can see most all of the breaks ES has to offer and with the inside info.

    Keep the dialogue coming. This is awesome.
  16. wavehog1

    wavehog1 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2013
    One of my favorite things about El Salvador is the ease of flying in and getting to the beach. You land, grab your bags and boards, go through customs which is, no bull, a traffic light! If it turns green you go outside, if it turns red they look at your bags. Just that simple! La libertad is about 25 minutes max from the airport and the roads are all brand new. Probably because they were bombed out! In Libertad you can actually still see the naval building all bombed out! While you're there walk the pier. Never seen such a variety of seafood in my life! At the end of the pier is where you can get a boat to the breaks but like I said before you should really have a guide. A lot of the breaks down there require you walk through people's private lands and or house lots. Places like k59 and Punta Roca, you would never know how to get to or where to go. K59 requires you park at local's house (pretty much a thatched hut with dirt floors) from there its a trek through the jungle and crossing a couple streams in order to get down to the beach. If you stay at Edgar's place he has a private driveway that you can use. Its basically a four wheeler or atv rough cut path but it makes things a little easier. Edgar's place is sick! Its right on the beach directly in front of the break. He has a huge two story observation type deck with a thatched roof right on the beach. I believe there is picts if you look up his place on the web. Next door to his place there is a house in which you can rent for long term but its probably a little pricey. You really can't beat Edgar's deal. Everything is included and for a very fair price. The advantage of staying there is you can be the first one in the water and last one out. If you're not staying at his place you want to leave with day light left to make the hike back.

    Another really good place to stay is Las Olas. Its just outside Sunzal. Very secure and perched up on a cliff over looking the water. Has a killer bar/restaurant and also has a couple pools. You can walk down the stairs carved out of the cliff and at the bottom is a man made type tidal pool which is sweet to sit in at midnight with a beer and let the waves crash over you! There is a break out front depending on swell and tide but you must access from down the road and paddle up the coast. Its a little too tricky just jumping in from the hotel.

    At Las Olas they have some really good guides. One of the guides "Beans" or Javier is the best! He hung with us like we were long lost friends and did everything and anything for us. He speaks perfect english and has even lived in the states for awhile.

    Both El Salvador and Nicaragua are killer places to visit. You definitely need to check out both. Like I said before if you are just going on a short trip and its just you and guys then El Salvador would probably be your best bet. If you have more than a week and maybe want to bring your girl and rent a car, travel around, etc.... then Nicaragua would be better.
  17. nynj

    nynj Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    You right.. I actually surfed a really fun beach break about 20 min from Mango.. Bet the best waves are going to be rights.
    I've been to Flores 6 times and got sick waves every time. I always recommend going there.. And the way they feed you there is awesome too. Great chef that makes great meals. Every time I go I feel like I put on 10lbs of muscle from eating so good and surfing all day.

  18. Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor

    Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Go to New Jersey. Left and right beach breaks. Lots of culture. Dont need a passport.
  19. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Just a HAZ-MAT suit!