About El Sunzal

In the earliest days of El Salvador surf travel, Sunzal was the country's crown jewel. By the early 1970s, images began floating back to surf magazines in the U.S. that depicted green, flawlessly peeling right peaks stacked to the horizon -- the Sunset Beach comparisons flowed liberally. For the era, Sunzal was probably El Salvador's best wave, but today it's a different story, because modern surfboard design far better compliments the many other right pointbreaks -- like Punta Roca and Las Flores -- on Salvador's tidy yet wave-rich coast.

Today, Sunzal is the spot of choice for the weekend warrior from San Salvador. El Tunco, the little village just on the south side of the river mouth has transformed from a rough backwater to a trendy vacation spot for locals and travelers alike, laid back during the week and absolutely pulsing on the weekends. Couple the tourist-friendly atmosphere of Tunco with the user-friendly peaks of Sunzal and you've got a recipe for one helluva stew in the line-up, from young local rippers to giggly Danish backpacker girls out for their first session... and everything in-between.

The wave itself is a peculiar experience. From a distance it is easy to see how the Sunset comparisons came about, but in the water you'll quickly realize the two are distant cousins. Because its broad cobble reef juts so much farther out into the ocean than the rest of the nearby coast, Sunzal will suck in every bit of swell out there. The point is sharply angled and relatively deep, which means the wave will retain its shape in all but the largest of swells, but will also be soft and riddled with fat sections. As a result, Sunzal has become Salvador's hotspot for both longboarders and, when it's small, beginners. Nevertheless, if everywhere else is flat, Sunzal will almost always have something to offer. And if you happen to be checking it on a Friday evening, well... you should probably stick around for the festivities after dark -- they're pure El Salvador.

Source: El Sunzal Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Beginner to advanced

Local Vibe

Doable

Welcoming Intimidating

Mellow.

Crowd Factor

Moderate

Mellow Heavy

Crowded with a full range of experience levels.

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

Slopey and a bit shifty so definitely not a textbook point but very long rides if you get the right one.

Shoulder Burn

Medium

Light Exhausting

Your shoulders will feel it if you get a few long ones.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

Depends on rains.

Additional Information

Hazards

It can be a bit sketchy getting in and out when the surf has size and the tide is high.

Access

The bus from La Libertad takes about half an hour and costs less than a dollar.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish

Seabed

Rocks/boulders

Best Season

Southern Hemisphere fall into winter for the most consistent surf.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos
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