LA HERRADURA - El Salvador - Everybody loves combining their SUP obsession with travel. It's how we relax, unwind, exercise and enjoy the outdoors, which makes it the perfect holiday activity. Today we're getting the inside scoop on El Salvador, a relatively low-key SUP destination in Central America. Luis Beers runs a 6 bedroom house (Casa Kickapoo) in Herradura, a stone's throw away from water and mountains. And today he's giving us the lowdown on what paddlers can expect from a trip to this slice of paradise gaining popularity.
El Salvador is a unique paddling destination, because it offers both flat water paddling and surfing options in one beautiful Central American setting. Located on the estuary side of a peninsula, Casa Kickapoo sits on the water's edge of 'Estero de Jaltepeque'. Our guests can grab a board anytime and explore the surrounding mangrove forests. Just a short 5 minute walk to the other side of the peninsula is Costa del Sol - considered by many the best surfing beach break in the country. Besides the quality of waves, what makes this beach so attractive for our guests is that we get it all to ourselves. We guarantee absolutely no crowds!
Water visibility varies with the rainy season, but is usually murky inside the estuary and clearer during the Summer months.
We have regular encounters with dolphins and turtles, as well as the occasional gator inside the mangrove channels!
Weather: El Salvador has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary primarily with elevation and show little seasonal change. The Pacific lowlands are the hottest region, with annual averages ranging from 77°F to 85°F. Water temps are between 78F and 86F year round. The beach itself is one of the longest and widest in the country. We grew up surfing and fishing in these waters and know them very well. The surf works best in the Summer months, between November and April (dry season); usually on an incoming or outgoing high tide. The swell drops significantly during this time, but the offshore winds kick in and more than make up for the smaller size swells with endless days of perfect barrels.
Our Winter months are from May through October (wet season). Rainfall usually comes from low pressure over the Pacific and usually falls in heavy afternoon thunderstorms. Don't let the rainy season keep you from traveling to El Salvador, as it generally brings bigger and glassier conditions. Although Costa del Sol is a good surfing break year round, it tends to close out with bigger swells. Winter is usually when experienced surfers come to El Salvador to surf our world class point breaks, which are only an hour drive from us. And this is the main reason why, thus far, Costa del Sol has been kept off the surfing radar.
We offer SUP tours in and around the many channels of Jaltepeque, which lead all the way to the Rio Lempa river mouth - the biggest one in El Salvador. The vibe at Costa del Sol is pretty relaxed and laid back during the week, as most homes in the area are exclusive weekend getaways owned by city dwellers. Although there are a few small resorts, hotels and restaurants in the area, Costa del Sol has very little to no night life. The party is at Casa Kickapoo!
El Salvador was one of Lonely Planet’s ‘Top 10 Destinations for 2010’ for good reason. Although many stories still surface about our troubled past and current crime rate, seasoned travelers know better. We've been coming to this area since we were kids and we have never had a safety issue. A little common sense goes a long way. We pride ourselves in providing safe, exciting and enduring travel experiences that are sure to last a lifetime. If you are like us, we figure most people nowadays would rather go on a vacation and spend their time on something more meaningful and rewarding than just sipping margaritas by the pool.
Casa Kickapoo specializes in instructional vacation packages regardless of ability level – our guests can learn from scratch or improve on their skills. Our professional instructors and guides not only know their stuff, but their passion is obvious and contagious.