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El Tunco

El Tunco is one of the best surf spots, so get a board ready to ride the waves. If surfing does not seem much for you, it is a pleasant place to lay out a towel on the beach, plop down, and read one of your favorite books.

It is characterized by the rocky and black sand beaches, not found in all parts of El Salvador. It is a reminder that this is the surely ‘The Land of the Volcanos’. It is not a far drive from the capital city, so you can easily make your way to El Tunco from San Salvador by bus for under $2.00.

El Tunco

Central America


United States Dollar

Keep in Mind

El Tunco is almost exclusively a small surf village. There are not many other avenues for entertainment; there are sporadic bars and hangouts that keep with the chill, beachy vibes.

If you plan to travel here, there is no supermarket or pharmacy. we recommend you gather food and any necessary supplies or medicines in La Libertad, the nearest town. Without the clutter of buildings and cars, you can observe one of the most fantastic sunsets in the entire country. You can also venture to a magnificent waterfall not too far from the beaches.

Culture and Etiquette in El Tunco

While the local Spanish vernacular is called Caliche, Nahua, the indigenous language, is still used by small communities of elderly Salvadorans in western El Salvador. Two completely different cultures have meshed into one beautiful people. Many Spanish who settled the country intermarried with the Natives and thus the main group is made of ‘mestizos’ (mixed European and Native blood). Only 9% are pure European, usually belonging to the wealthiest families; and the remaining 1% are native Indian. The largest Native group is the Pipíl. They continue to believe in the traditional gods.

Here in the country of El Salvador, traditional gender roles still prevail as the men are known to go to work, get paid, while women stay at home, take care of children, and the house duties. From birth, girls and boys are taught that they are different and will grow to have contrasting roles in society. In the last decade, the country has started to see a shift in this belief, as women have taken up jobs as nurses and teachers, but machismo is still deeply rooted.

In this small beach town, there is more of a relaxing feel. Since a lot of different types of people come for the surf, many cultures mingle in this space, making grounds for a more progressive lifestyle and point of view. Many people are travelers, backpackers, and surf enthusiast, so they are not as concerned about cultural norms.

When greeting someone, it is still considered customary to shake hands. As a man, you wait until a woman extends her hand to give her a greeting; women who are close might hug and kiss on the right cheek. It is customary to bring gifts of flowers, pastries, or spirits when going to someone’s house. It is normal that the gift would be unwrapped or looked at right when received as a sign of appreciation.

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