Travel description // El Salvador, the good surprise (part 1)

Who would have thought that a few years ago El salvador would end up imposing itself as a world-class surfing destination?

Last November, we set off to discover the country, its beaches, its surf spots and its inhabitants. To the apartment, Gaspard Larsonneur left his Brittany natives to take with us on an exotic journey. Trip with the Canarian loader Laura Coviellacolleague of Gaspard at that point in the team Protest. To immortalize these moments of life, who is better than the photographer Bastien Bonnarme to accompany us? He becomes the 3rd Musketeer.

It is with this team that we get started November 9 to a destination that for most of us was totally unknown to us.

From Biarritzonly bastien and Surf Session. The three of us made the first two flights Paris first, then Mexico City. This is where, in the Mexican countries, we want to be Laura Coviellaleft her since Canary Islands where she lives most of the year when she is not surfing a big swell somewhere. Despite all the health limitations associated with an endless global pandemic, what a pleasure to rediscover the taste of travel.

Bastien Bonnarme will not be tired on the spot.

It’s set once again Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero and Galdámez International Airport of El Salvador, which we will join Gaspardcame to him from UNITED STATES a few hours before us. The team is reunited, the journey can begin.

When leaving the airport, the climate shock is not long in being felt. Barely outside we exchange pants, sweaters and jackets for a pair of board shorts and an old t-shirt. Also finished the shoes that we will find first at the end of the journey to return. As soon as we switched, we swallowed the first coconut of the stay. The first of a long series.


On this first day we are heading towards El Zontea place located about 1 hour by car from the airport (the latter itself is about fifty kilometers from the capital).

Although we arrive late at night, the last light of day combined with the last waves of the day suggests a bright morning. It’s exciting and impatient to finally get in the water, as we end this first day, not without having already tasted Pilsnera famous Salvadoran beer. Gaspard who knows is conquered!

Palo Verde, in El Zonte

The next day you wake up at 5 in the morning in heavenly surroundings.

The accommodation of Palo Verde keeps all its promises, between idyllic setting, incredible food and waves at the foot of the room. After a first morning session, we enjoy one world class breakfast made with avocado toast, scrambled eggs, beans and rice. The basis here. The opportunity to find Gaspard who, despite having already broken the stain, got out of the water a little earlier … Yes, when you do not change winter wax before arriving in a country where the water is on average around 27 degrees all year round, you can slide or even melt! Gaspard will remember that El salvador it is not Finistere. His competition boardbag always in transit between The Azores and El salvadorit is armed with a hood of sun stick, which he will spend 1 hour dewaxing his board.

By Bastien Bonnarme

By Bastien Bonnarme

By Bastien Bonnarme

Barely time to digest that we are moving forward with a 2nd session. It must be said that we have our feet in the sand and that the call for hot water at 7am cannot be rejected.

On this 2nd day of travel, and after getting the best out of these heavenly surroundings, we are heading east, where “the country’s most beautiful wave” awaits us: Punta Roca !

Unfortunately for us, when we arrived, the wave did not work as we had hoped. Not to mention that we arrived at the place at the worst time of the day, between 6 p.m. 11.00 and 14.00 …. But despite the heat, Gaspard and Laura We get in the water a little further east in the bay. It’s certainly not the wave we see breaking on video, but the duo will be happy with it. They did not know it yet, but the best had not yet come …

By Bastien Bonnarme

In the afternoon we arrive at Surf City, place where many international surfing competitions have been held in recent years, including the world championships held in May 2021, an important step for the Tokyo 2021 qualification for the Olympics. of the individual title Joan Duru as well as the French team by team.
It’s here at Papaya Surf Garden of SurfCity, that we put our boardbags for two days on site. Two days where Gaspard and Laura is going to try his hand at the hollow wave of La Bocana (one of the few left in the country) that they want almost to perfection! A chance when you know that the best season for surfing is rather from May to October. However, Gaspard and Laura come to enjoy a special world-class session. The ability to verify the backside Gaspard is actually one of the very best French surfers, and that Laura, despite her recent injury during a trip to Postage Escondidotruly represents the future of women’s surfing in the Canary Islands.

Meanwhile, the decor has not changed. The water is still at 27 degrees, the sun and the blue sky are still there and the coconut trees are still growing. We can never remember enough luck in mid-November by swapping it 4/3 out with the board shorts.

By Bastien Bonnarme

By Bastien Bonnarme

The view from Papaya Surf Garden is impregnable.

100 meters to the left you can see the place for bocanareaches 300 meters to the right, instead of El Sunzal unfolds before our eyes. El Sunzal where we will still treat ourselves to a session before departure, although the wave, more accessible, softer and more conducive to longboarding, will not be the preferred choice of Gaspard.

It must be said that he and Laura will have offered himself one bocana of dream, which will undoubtedly remain (for them in any case), the most beautiful session of the trip. For us, Bocana will above all be synonymous with a broken string and a great fright on the rocks. As for El Sunzal, we will remember it as the place where we had the chance to see a few meters from the edge, a sacred Marlin who would have reminded us how amazing the place is rich in marine fauna.

By Bastien Bonnarme

El Sunzal

By Bastien Bonnarme

By Bastien Bonnarme

We take advantage of our presence at SurfCity to visit one of the very few designers in the country, the only one who has a molding machine. The exchange is exciting, especially when you know that surfing is completely new in the country.

It is also impossible to take from here without having wandered through the streets down a few Pilsner. We are then far from the anxious picture that the country could once present, although it is important to remember that SurfCity become a place ultra safe of the army. And if the dark years seem like a thing of the past, the hooded and heavily armed men are there to remind us that it was not that long ago.

By Bastien Bonnarme

Before continuing our route to the east, we take a tour of the capital to take part in a football match on the national team. In front of Jamaica, El salvador actually played that night a qualifier for the next World Championship which takes place next November at Qatar. The opportunity here to even check out the mythical atmosphere that prevails in the stadiums from Central America and from South America.

The next day we continue our journey to the east and put the surf aside for a day. In fact, it’s in Mangroves of Bahia de Jiquilisco that we are sinking. The largest in the country! And the greatest ever observed for us Frenchmen. A place that is home to countless species of seabirds, most of them are all threatened with extinction.

Puerto Barillas

By Bastien Bonnarme

Welcome to Puerto Barillas, in the heart of a XXL hacienda to make green of envy Pablo Escobar, we will have the opportunity to board a canoe at the end of the day to stroll in mangroves and to observe at the level of the mouth with the sea, one of the most beautiful sunsets that I personally would have observed.

Of this hacienda we want to preserve the atypical framework where mixing mangroves and volcanoes. A great sight bastien will have succeeded for our greatest happiness to immortalize from the air. A nature bracket in the heart of a trip rich in surfing. A parenthesis where we also get the chance to visit a cocoa factory in addition to seeing our first crocodile on the trip.

By Bastien Bonnarme

By Bastien Bonnarme

The rest of this trip in the next section!

An episode that we will offer you next month, always on with the program in particular, Playa Las Flores, one of the most beautiful places in the country. Spot it Gaspard and Laura smashed into a small selection.

Leave a Comment