Tierra de Joyas

El Salvador

From £749

Explore a new frontier
7 or 10 night trip seeking perfect waves
Tropical waters
Stunning landscapes

Explore the jungled edge of an equatorial surf-rich coastline, where tropical beach breaks rub shoulders with long points, fun sandbars and wicked wedges. Welcome to El Salvador.

Quick Facts

Water Temperature: 28°C
Local Currency: United States Dollar
Language: Spanish
Local Beer: Pilsener Lager Bier
Tropical climate
 Reliable Pacific swell
Surf 2ft-6ft
Gorgeous weather
Great variety of wedge, beach and point breaks
Perfect for riders of all abilities
Bespoke one-on-one coaching available
Epic beachfront surf camp

Upcoming Trips

2020

DATES
EVENT NAME
PRICE
30/01/2020 > 09/02/2020
El Salvador 10 Nights
£1048
30/01/2020 > 06/02/2020
El Salvador 7 Nights
£749

Trip Information

Our Aim

Come and check out the ‘Tierra de Joyas’ – land of jewels – for yourself on this epic bodyboarding trip to one of the more off-the-radar locations in Central America: El Salvador.

The local El Salvadorians are a proud people who enjoy perfect points, peaky pits, powerful coffee, pupusas, papayas, and Pilseners. They are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet – a world away from the criminally loose underbelly of the country’s capital.

This is a great opportunity to come and surf one of the least-visited Pacific coastlines in all of Central America. This relatively short, south-facing stretch is home to countless pumping surf breaks, reeling, peeling, barrelling and wedging their way onto tropical beaches backed by dense jungle and sharp volcanoes.

You’ll get to know some great people on this trip, who all want to travel, score epic waves, enjoy the surf/hammock lifestyle and improve their riding – a recipe of interests which always makes for a great group vibe.

The consistent beach breaks, wedges and quality point breaks so close to camp offer a fun park for bodyboarders of all abilities. From beginners to experienced shredders, get ready for a fun week or 10 days of awesome bodyboarding.

Waves

Despite being the smallest country in Central America with a surfable coastline of just 300km, what El Salvador lacks in length, it certainly makes up for in quality!

It has a unique shoreline, zig-zagging back and forth around a seemingly endless number of headlands, formed by volcanic eruptions of yesteryear. These offer a countless variety of right-hand point breaks, for which this small surfing nation has become so famous for.

These mechanically-long rights roll down cobblestone reefs with clock-setting regularity, so you can practice and refine the same manoeuvres over and over again, all on the same wave. It is perfect for progression, a great way to build your foundations and be well on the way to reaching that next level with your riding.

Just a stone’s throw from our camp is a feverishly fun right-hand point break, which on its day can give 400m rides! If you get bored going right, the camp is conveniently situated in front of a couple of peaky sand-bottomed beach breaks and a super-fun left-hand wedge, which is just tailor-made for bodyboarding!

And if that’s not enough, jump in a vehicle and just 20 minutes up or down the coast you’ll find another half a dozen world-class rights and lefts, with something for everyone.

While it’s easy to find peaks to yourself, on some of the bigger spots you’ll be sharing the water with an easy-going crew of super-friendly local bodyboarders … but don’t be fooled by their old worn-out gear, these guys shred!

Accommodation

We’re heading to an oasis of calm just 45 minutes from the airport; a shabby chic surf camp with an air of sophistication, blending a laid-back beach vibe and 5-star service.

Set among tall palms and the tropical scent of vibrant hibiscus flowers, the camp is elegantly constructed from beautiful local hardwoods. Situated right on the beach, it’s blessed with four top surf spots within walking distance, where the high tide laps up against its decked esplanade and pool area … it doesn’t get much better than this.

Facing south, the camp enjoys inspiring sunrises and spectacular sunsets. It’s a magical experience in the tropics, surfing early and seeing both the sun rising and moon setting simultaneously.

Any pre-trip anxiety about El Salvador will soon wash off the moment you share a welcome drink with the friendly French-Canadian owners and their great team of staff, overlooking a variety of epic waves.

The rooms continue the cool shabby chic vibe; exposed concrete walls, quirky tiled flooring, clean, comfortable and clutter-free interiors, with funky handcrafted hardwood furnishings, AC or fan, and even a bedside board rack in some rooms! Fresh towels and quality bed linen are available daily, and it’s these subtle details that really make a difference.

This isn’t a trip where you’ll be spending hours in your room anyway, you’ll be too busy enjoying the El Salvadorean splendour! The camp has a number of hammocks hanging between palms, swaying invitingly in the gentle sea breeze, a yoga hall with enlightening ocean views, a swimming pool, ping-pong table, and a huge decked terrace with comfortable seating, where you can kick back with a glass of local rum and take in the last of the day’s waves.

Imagine taking in the orange hue of the setting sun, ordering a cocktail and sliding past the bar to slip into the illuminated pool to enjoy a star-lit night sky, before waxing lyrical about the day’s waves … yeah, make no mistake, it’s hard times in El Salvador!

Climate El Salvador

Climate

The equatorial tropical climate is predictably constant year-round. We’ll be there midway through the dry season, which extends from November to April, where the average high temperature is 29C and the average early morning low is 19C.

According to our local guide, the rainy season (May to October) on this coast is exactly the same as the dry season, just that it rains during the night! The dominant winds are offshore from the north east, meaning offshores in the morning, and more often than not, again in the evening.

Sitting just north of the equator means the sea temperature in El Salvador is a bath-like 28C to 30C. Even our coach Mave, well-renowned for feeling the cold (and even once spotted wearing a wetsuit in Indonesia) couldn’t resist surfing in boardies. What better way to beat the January blues with boardshort barrels in the tropics?

Food El Salvador

Food

The food in El Salvador is awesome! In addition to the country’s staple diet, a typical restaurant serves burritos, quesadillas, tacos, salads and variety of rice dishes. Simple, clean and bursting with energy.

Nothing says El Salvador quite like a portion of pupusas; thick saucer-sized corn tortillas filled with beans, cheese, veggies, meat or seafood, and served with a marinated cabbage salad, all washed down with an all-natural Pilsener beer.

At the camp they offer an irresistible food and drink package, which is excellent value for money at $35 per day. For this you get a mouth-watering daily menu and genuine service that leaves you feeling like you’re their only customer.

For breakfast you can choose between local dishes and surf camp favourites such as banana pancakes, or à la mode superfood chia bowls and bliss balls. Lunch is typically Central American, with a delicious variety of meat, seafood or veggie burritos, tacos, quesadillas and salads.

However, it’s dinner which is the real pièce de résistance … this is when our host transforms from carpenter to sous chef, and rustles up a three-course feast of European influence. Guests eat together around a beautiful long wooden table (another of the host’s creations) with silver-like service to match the fine cuisine, and good French wine to boot … pack a collared shirt if you don’t want to feel out of place!

Coaching El Salvador

Coaching

Our coaching team offers daily tuition, tailored to your ability with instructors who are in-house qualified and fully insured. Experienced lifeguards, some have 30 years of surfing experience and 20 years of worldwide travel experience, trained by multiple-times British National Champion and Team Coach Rob Barber.

Foundation Level Tuition 

You’ll never be thrown straight into the deep end. We’ve got your back whatever your ability, and that’s a promise. Likewise, intermediate and advanced-level coaching is also tailored towards the individual.

Don’t stress if you haven’t been bodyboarding long – on this trip there’s something for everyone. You’ll be amazed how quickly you master riding good-quality waves, and we’re committed to patiently helping you progress.

To aid with this, we send out a pre-event form to measure your ability before you arrive. If you’ve not attended a coaching holiday before, don’t worry – we can have a surf assessment, get to grips with your riding and help plot you a path of improvements. By the time you fly home you’ll be well on your way to reaching that next level. Improvements are 100% guaranteed.

Intermediate and Advanced Coaching

Our instructors are on hand with groups in the water, able to give extra tips on the beach, and give detailed feedback during our informal classroom video and photo analysis. Our coaching covers all levels of riding, with separate ability groups and instructors to suit your standard, whether you’re a novice or a pro. Each day we’ll split the groups and coach accordingly.

We aim to have one long session or two 2-hour sessions each day, depending on the swell, tide and wind conditions. There will also be both photo and video analysis available following all sessions to help improve your riding, and both will be available to take away at the end of the trip for £30 and £50 respectively.

If you’re already a ripper and are just looking forward to tackling some Pacific swell in good company, you’ll love El Salvador – a daily routine of seeking out the best breaks in the area, pulling into tropical tubes and boosting out of barrels in the sun.

Travel

You need to make your own travel arrangements to get to San Salvador International Airport in El Salvador. We arrange airport pick-ups and drop-offs to and from the bodyboard camp, which is just 45 minutes away.

There are two pick-ups arranged per day – one at 10am in the morning, the other at 7pm in the evening. As such, please try to land as near to 9am or 6pm as possible. If your flight arrival time isn’t near either of these times, you can pay for a taxi to the accommodation. We will organise this for you, but you need to cover the cost. It’s $80 per vehicle. If there are other group members who can share the taxi you will split the cost. 

If you are flying from the UK, we work closely with the good people at Dial-A-Flight, so get in touch and they can hook you up – just give them a call and ask to speak to our bodyboarder-friendly agent, Lee (020 7295 1556).
Alternatively, check out SkyScanner to find the nearest flights to your location. When booking, make sure you check the airline’s baggage charges by weight and number, so you don’t get hit with any nasty hidden fees on the day.
If you have a stop, please ensure you have sufficient time to make your connection and allow for short delays. If you’re flying from Europe, this will often be in New York, Miami or Atlanta. It’s best to book a ticket that transports your luggage directly to El Salvador if possible.

Once you’ve collected your bags we’ll meet you at the arrivals area. Our representative will have a clipboard that clearly states your name, and we’ll be looking for people with bodyboard bags. Once everyone has been located, we’ll check you in.

You may have a short wait at the airport as the rest of the group assembles. If this is the case it is worth bringing a good book, a Kindle or an iPad.
Once we’ve all made our way to the accommodation, you’ll be shown to your rooms, after which we’ll have a group meeting to chat about the holiday ahead and start getting the boards waxed up.

Price

7 nights with shared room – £749

7 nights Private room – from £899

7 nights for non bodyboarding partner – from £550

10 nights – £1048

10 nights private room – from £1249

10 nights for non bodyboarding partner – from £799

Photography £55 per week (Your image selection to take home with you)

Video £35 per week (All unedited footage to take home with you)
We will use taxi’s to travel to the beach ($5 to $15USD), Please budget $40 USD for taxi costs for the entire trip and it is likely that you won’t spend it all.
If you choose not to join our airport pick ups you should budget $80 for the transport from the airport. We aim to group you up with others who also may want to share. Please see ‘Travel’ tab for further details.

Area El Salvador

Area

Gripped by civil war and unrest until the early 1990s, El Salvador has firmly found its tourism feet in recent years, and offers so much for the intrepid bodyboarder. It’s a fascinating country with a multitude of natural, cultural and historical marvels, such as spectacular volcanoes, tropical flora and fauna, expansive lakes, breathtaking waterfalls, numerous Mayan archaeological wonders, and most importantly a surf-rich coastline!

Beyond bodyboarding and hammock life, there are a plethora of daily activities and local tours also available, including volcano hikes, a waterfall splash and dash, coffee plantation visits high up in the mountains, beachfront yoga, and a once-in-a-lifetime visit to an ancient Mayan archaeological site.

Just along from our camp are stunning cliffs, topped with the luxury villas of the who’s who of El Salvadorian high society. At the other end of the scale, over the hot, dark volcanic sands, lies a friendly little nearby village, built from a mix and match of weaved palms, corrugated iron and brightly-painted 1970s concrete.

Here the local people’s hospitality is as warm as the nation’s sunshine, where every welcoming pearly-white smile is met with a fist bump or a high five. Friendly both in and out of the water, it’s the El Salvadorian people who are the true jewel in the country’s crown.

Kit List

Bodyboarding is one of life’s great pleasures, and we’re convinced if you haven’t already, you’ll want to get fully kitted out to get the most from the waves.

Bodyboard

The equatorially-warm waters of El Salvador make boards melt. If you have an older PE board it’s likely to get very flexible in the heat, so we recommend boards with a stringered PP core. Also look for warm water waxes.

Shorts and rash vests

On any tropical trip, it’s important to invest in a good pair of high quality, lightweight, stretchy board shorts, and a good lycra vest to help keep the sun off. In fact, make that two pairs of shorts – it’s not worth risking getting caught short if you rip a pair.

Fins

It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins to get the most from the awesome waves on the trip. 

Leash

It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget a leash – it’ll save you a whole load of unnecessary swimming. 

Bodyboard travel bag

A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected throughout your journey, especially when you consider the brutality of some baggage handlers. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better protection you get. The best on the market is the Creatures wheelie bag, it’s heat-reflective, padded and you can wheel it around, saving your arms and shoulders for paddling.

Board sock

Board socks perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the sun, and drying you off as it’s a handy towel. The humble board sock is a great all-rounder. 

Heel shields

If you don’t wear wetsuit socks and want to prevent rub around your heels, it’s worth considering a set of heel shields. They make fins comfortable, stop chafe and have different thickness levels to suit the snugness of your fin. 

Fin tethers

Don’t let a lost fin ruin the rest of your trip. Bag a set of tethers and know you’ll pop up from every duckdive and wipeout with both fins still attached.

Sun protection

There is a range of sun creams geared specifically for bodyboarding, and we can attest they actually stay on in the water!

On this trip we can virtually guarantee bright blue skies, and there’s nothing worse than having to sit out on an epic session because your sun cream washed off yesterday and today you’re painfully crispy.

What’s Included

  • One week’s awesome beachside accommodation
  • Airport welcome, meeting and airport drop-off
  • Daily surf guiding to find waves to suit your ability
  • Video and photo analysis to advance your riding
  • Expert tuition tailored to your ability from Rob Barber’s elite coaching team
  • Guaranteed good times!

Every day we’ll be exploring the region’s top breaks to track down the best waves for your ability, getting up early, grabbing a snack and suiting up for some fun waves in the light offshores.

After a couple of hours, we’ll have some breakfast and refuel. Once done we’re straight back on it – if it’s been pumping we’ll head back out, or check out different spots to make the most of it before tides drop or swell shifts.

We’ll then go through a photo and video analysis session, then people’s time is then their own to chill, make friends with the nearest hammock and crack open a good book.

There’s always the chance of a sneaky third session before dinner, then kicking back, witnessing a stunning sunset over the Pacific, or winning the ping-pong tournament before bed.

Photography and video analysis will be available throughout all sessions to help improve your riding, and each of these will be available to take away and keep at the end of the week too, for an additional £30 and £50 respectively.

Dates

2019

7 nights 31st January – 7th February

10 nights from 31st January – 10th February

2020

7 nights from 1st February – 8th February

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about our El Salvador Trip.

Is El Salvador a safe country to travel in?

El Salvador has an unwarranted bad reputation for crime. Of course there is no smoke without fire, but these criminal statistics are concentrated to particular impoverished areas of the capital city.
Meanwhile the rest of the country is very safe to travel in – particularly the coast where we will be based. For more and up-to-date information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/el-salvador.

Do I need a visa?

British nationals can visit El Salvador for up to three months without a visa. However, entry may be refused and airlines may turn you away if you have less than six months left on your passport, or if you don’t have an onward ticket out of the country. If you’re from a country other than Britain, please check the international travel requirements for your nationality.
As you’ll find with other Central American countries, there is also a $10 USD entry fee to pay when you arrive. For more and up-to-date information, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/el-salvador.
If you’re travelling through America you’ll need to also complete a Visa Waiver form. Take a look at the ESTA Visa Online website and follow the simple instructions. The cost for application is $14 USD. This must be organised well in advance of your trip.
Please contact your travel agent or airline if you have any further questions. It’s a good idea to carry photocopies of your important documents and guide books, and pack them separately. We also suggest scanning copies and emailing them to yourself for extra reassurance.

I’m a silver surfer, will this be a problem?

If you’re over 60 years old – or will be turning 60 on the trip – we need to chat on the phone prior to booking. Please email us to arrange a time for a call or ring the office on +44 1637 879571

Can we contact you if we have travel problems?

On the day that you travel please keep your mobile phone handy so that we can stay in touch in case of delays and flight changes. Please inform us at the airport if you’re early or delayed for any reason. If you need help to book your flight then just drop us a line.

If you can’t find our representative at the airport, stay there and wait, they won’t be far away, having tracked your arrival time.  However, if you’re having real problems finding them, please call the office on +44 1637 879571 or follow the instructions in your pre-flight email, and one of us will be sure to locate you.

What’s the best way to transport my bodyboard and kit?

Remember to check the baggage size and weight allowance with your airline, as well as read their guidance for carrying bodyboards. Baggage handlers can be unforgiving, so a tough bag and intelligent packing are a must.

 

Firstly, pack your board(s) in a protective, padded board bag, and write FRAGILE and TOP LOAD ONLY on it with the largest, most permanent marker you can find. Make sure you wrap your towel and clothes around your board inside the bag for added protection. Place your shampoo and other wet toiletries in a separate sealed bag in case of leakage. We also recommend locking your bag zips with a padlock.

Do I need personal travel insurance?

Please advise our coaching staff of any medical complaints or conditions prior to your trip.

We will ask for travel insurance details upon booking, so please organise this nice and early. We will also ask you to fill out an enrolment form with these details before the holiday.

How can I find out about medical advice for travelling?

Health and safety medical advice for travellers can be found at www.doh.gov.uk. Otherwise, contact your GP or the Department of Health (DoH) for further information.

 

Alternatively, from the UK you can call the helpline on free phone 0800 555777. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues up-to-date information on safety issues for countries world-wide. Contact the FCO travel advice line on 020 7238 4503/4504 if you have any concerns.

What currency should I take?

Since 2001, El Salvador helpfully incorporated the United States Dollar as its national currency. You can pick up US dollars from travel agencies, banks or post offices before you come, or there are exchange facilities in airports as well as ATMs.
It is better to get your money changed before the trip, as the banks and ATMs in El Salvador charge a lot for changing and withdrawing money, and on top of this, the nearest ATM to the camp is a $10 taxi ride away, so please come prepared!

How much should I budget for the trip?

We would encourage everyone to take advantage of the bodyboard camp’s food package – it is $35 per day and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, all accompanied with a soft drink.

 

Extras at the bar include alcohol and smoothies, which are put on a tab and paid for at the end of the week. Sunday evening the kitchen is closed, so we’ll enjoy an inexpensive evening out in the local village.

 

We’ll split the taxi fares if we travel to other breaks, budget $30USD total for this, and don’t forget that extra $10USD to be let in the country at the airport! The excursions to the waterfall, coffee plantations etc should be budgeted at around $35USD each.

Can I make contact from abroad?

If you are based outside of the UK and would like to chat through the trip details, we can be contacted through WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype, just let us know by email and we can arrange this with you.

How do I pay?

Payments are all made via our online invoicing system called Simple Invoices. Once you have confirmed you wish to join a trip we will send you an online invoice via email. Within this email there will be a link where that will take you to our secure payment system where you will need to enter your credit or debit card details to make the payment. In some circumstances we can facilitate a payment plan, just let us know if you wish to discuss this. Full payment must be made 12 weeks prior to the holiday start date.

What happens if I want to cancel my booking?

If you can no longer join the trip please let us know as soon as possible via email, your cancellation will be effective from the date which it is received by Bodyboard-Holidays. Cancellation charges are payable as follows:

Over 12 weeks – deposit only (one third of the total trip price)
36 days to 12 weeks – 50% of total cost
21-35 days – 75% of total cost
Under 20 days – 100% of total cost

However if your cancellation is within the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to make a claim. Further information here. https://bodyboard-holidays.com/terms-conditions/

How to book

Once you have read all the info and made your selection. Book your holiday in 3 easy steps

Booking Steps 1

Enquire

Fill in the enquiry form below

Booking Steps 2

Confirmation

We’ll confirm availability and explain payment plan options.

Booking Steps 3

Completion

Pay your deposit, book your flights and complete the enrolment form. You’re on the trip!

Tripadvisor

“Drop dead gorgeous but very private little resort only 40 minutes from the airport, right on the sand, with some of the best and most consistent waves that I have ever seen straight out in front. And best of all, Rob and Mave did an unbelievable job of helping each and every member of the trip greatly improve their bodyboarding skills while simultaneously encouraging us to just have fun. Just an awesome trip!!!  “

Ranch Surfer’

“What a fantastic trip! The resort where we were based is fantastic – right on the beach, the hosts and staff are wonderfully friendly and the food is really great too. The coaching was great and the waves were perfect for improving. A great destination and a great trip that I’ll definitely visit again.  

Simon C

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