About playa El Tunco

What used to be a local hang-out spot, only known to Salvadorians, has over the past years, become one if not the most well-known and famous place to visit and be in all El Salvador. If you are a surf passionate, you surely have heard about El Tunco. This two-street beach town has gone from being an unknown beach place to having to accommodate the increasing number of visitors, who every day come and stop by to explore and discover Playa El Tunco. While walking in this little town, you will find yourself admiring the cosmopolitan atmosphere you can feel by looking at all these tourists. Australians, Canadians, Americans, and Europeans flock to this little Central American gem to enjoy a vacation where relaxation, parties, and surfing mix each other to create the essence of El Tunco.

For some, this area might sound just like every other type of beach town they know, but actually, they are mistaken. Playa El Tunco is somehow different and unique and it cannot be compared to any other beach town. Its natural surroundings, the black sand beach, the waves, the culture and the food, make this tiny little place a sort of treasure that only a few know about, those that decided to bet on El Tunco, to bet on all these peculiarities and characteristics that make this Playa one of a kind.

Interested so far? Then let me tell you more about El Tunco and all those traits that make this Central America’s gem a top spot to stop by when traveling to El Salvador.

The origin of the name, Why is it called El Tunco?

Usually, the name of cities and towns tends to originate from the association to an event, a saint, or in some cases even landmarks. This is the case for El Tunco.

What does Tunco means in English?

It means “PIG”. The name comes from the shape of a rock located on the beach. For locals, this rock has the figure of a pig and, from this came the name of the town. To be even more accurate, the name Tunco comes from Salvadorian slang as the actual translation in Spanish of the noun pig would be “cerdo”.

How far is El Tunco from airport?

This little beach town is located within La Libertad, one of El Salvador’s Departments. El Tunco can be easily reached from El Salvador’s International Airport as only 25 miles separate them. One of the reasons why many Salvadorians tend to come here to spend their weekends is also due to the close location to the capital San Salvador which technically speaking is situated at the same distance as that between El Tunco and the International Airport. As for the dimensions, El Tunco is relatively small as it only has 2 major streets and the beaches are either black or gray due to the Vulcanic nature of El Salvador.

A touristic spot for everyone

Do not let the simplicity of El Tunco fool you into thinking that this is a spot only for backpackers and people that usually travel on a budget. Whether you are traveling while caring about your expenses or if you are a visitor willing to spend more on his/her vacation, El Tunco gathers to all types of travellers. First of all, there is a high variety of the type of offered accommodations, restaurants, bars, and pubs. It also depends on what type of vacation you are looking for. For example, a more chilled trip can let you get more in contact with the locals and therefore get to know the culture and the traditions. If you are here because you wanted to spend some free time, away from work’s stress, then you will be happy to know that there are different types of activities to enjoy even while staying within your resort.

Is El Tunco beach safe?

Unfortunately, the beauty of El Salvador is often, buried by all those claims about the country being unsafe especially for those traveling solo. We cannot say that there is no unsafe place, as this happens everywhere in the world but we can proudly state that El Tunco is a very safe place to be. Tourists can feel a sense of safety from the numerous police officers that tend to roam on the streets especially on the weekends when also locals go out and come here from other cities.

Like every other tourist place on Earth, that depends on the expenses that tourists make, travellers are not only being kept safe by the presence of police but also by the attentive eyes of the locals. Having something happening to tourists can damage the image of the area and therefore cut the income of many families that live thanks to tourists’ spending.

Salvadorian delicacies, El Tunco restaurants

Spending some time in this location will allow you to taste some of the most delicious dishes in the entire country. You can pick purchasing from street vendors, or either book a table within those fancy restaurants and resorts or just stop by a simple place that makes Salvadorian food. What might surprise you, even more, is the high variety of places that offer international food which is always a good option. Do not forget to try some delicious pupusas (handmade flatbread which can be filled with vegetables and meats), the national dish of El Salvador

There is no limit to luxury, best luxury hotels in El Tunco

What makes this place good for everyone is also the big variety of accommodations located within the area. It can go from hotels with a beautiful beach view to huge and fancy resorts, which will treat all guests like kings and queens. For example, Boca Olas Resort Villas and Hotel Roca Sunzal are some of the most exclusive places to stay in. Many of these resorts, tend to host some of the most well-reputed restaurants of the entire town. In some cases, even big parties are held within these resorts’ walls. As El Tunco is a popular spot among Salvadorians is not uncommon to see the most expensive places being jam-packed by the wealthy people coming from San Salvador.

Things to do near el Tunco beach, a never-ending set of activities

Nowadays, El Tunco is such a popular area that the things to do and enjoy are so many that tourists can never get bored. What used to be a little town kept secret from Salvadorians, has become the center of the country, the place where cultures and traditions mix each other to create that multicultural and vibrate area, which El Tunco has become known for.

Last but not least, spending your vacation within El Tunco will allow you to experience a wide set of activities:

Surfing. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you must try to get on your surf table and enjoy the waves that have made this area Surf city approved.

Natural beauties. Spending your days at the black beaches might be interesting but you should also get the chance to visit and explore the natural areas such as the Tunco Caves, the Tamanique Waterfalls, and El Peñon de Comasagua. All these are some of the most beautiful places to visit when you want to explore the surroundings and take a break from the beach.