A (very short) list of the campgrounds, hostels and hotels we stayed in during our time in El Salvador in March and July 2014.
Playa El Zonte, La Libertad: Horizonte Surf Resort (outside the gates) – (03.08.14 – 03.10.14) PROS: Covered parking inches from the sand and surf, electric hookup, 2 pools, clean camp kitchen, clean bathrooms and showers, laundry service available on-site, amazing ocean breeze all day and night – CONS: The gate to the hostel closes at around 11 effectively cutting you off from the bathrooms – 10 USD/night – GPS: 13.495030 N, 89.438495 W
Playa El Zonte, La Libertad: Horizonte Surf Resort (inside the gates) – (03.11.14 – 03.13.14 and 03.17.14 – 03.20.14) After the local kids started eyeing our truck more closely and then stole one of the valve covers from our tire, we decided to move inside the gates – PROS: Electric hookup, 2 pools, clean camp kitchen, clean bathrooms and showers, laundry service available on-site – CONS: Camp dog poos wherever she wants, often right next to our truck – 10 USD/night – GPS: 13.495030 N, 89.438495 W
Playa El Tunco, La Libertad: Sol y Mar – (03.14.14 – 03.16.14 and 07.27.14 – 08.01.14) Dry-camping at a local’s home/parking lot/pupusaria/small hostel/tienda – PROS: Right on the main drag in El Tunco so close everything, clean bathrooms, the owner offered to let us plug in but we didn’t take him up on it, free wifi – CONS: On Saturday night the parking lot fills up fast (our Italian neighbors were boxed in so tightly they were unable to get into their van), no where to wash dishes except the bathroom sink, no real ocean breeze thus much hotter than where we stayed in El Zonte – 6 USD/night (you can definitely talk him down from this) – GPS: 13.494580 N, 89.382770 W – NOTE: At the time of this posting, the owners were making big improvements including, but not limited to: installing their own wifi (we were using the pizza place next door until our last day at Sol y Mar), tiling the bathrooms and showers, building a camp kitchen and planting a flower garden near the hostel. I would think in less than a month this will be a really sweet spot. UPDATE: When we returned in July, the camp kitchen was finished, the showers were tiled, and they had their own internet. We paid an extra 2 USD/night to plug in. Also, they offer laundry service now but everything came back smelling very strongly of detergent, we had to rewash/rinse almost everything. TIP: Go to Tunco Veloz, the pizza place next door. Order the PPP, you can thank us later.
Playa El Cuco, San Miguel: Rio Mar – (03.21.14) We headed off to the highly recommended Tortuga Verde but upon arrival the super friendly staff told us they didn’t have room for camping in their lot and sent us down the street to their other property, Rio Mar. – PROS: Camping in a dry grassy lot inches from the sand, electric hookups, bar/restaurant on site has ice cold beers for a dollar, clean bathrooms and showers, walking distance to bars/restaurants, you can use the facilities over at La Tortuga Verde if you want (we were perfectly content with our private beach) – CONS: no wifi (not even our Claro stick worked here), lot is full of coco-palms so keep your eye our for falling coconuts – 10 USD/night – GPS: 13.170623 N, 88.068230 W
Playa Clemente, San Miguel: (07.25.14) Dry camping right on the edge of the beachside cliff near the restaurant at Rancho Clemente – PROS: Super friendly owners, beautiful view, fall asleep listening to the waves, watch the sunrise over the Pacific – CONS: Toilets were out of commission when we were there, very buggy, a lot of barking stray dogs (not a big deal for us but ti could bother others). – 5/USD/night – GPS: 13.170620 N, 88.068230 W – TIP: Order the jumbo shrimp at the restaurant if they have them.