Saturday, September 12, 2009

New York Times features El Salvador

With plenty of bad news coming out of El Salvador, it was nice to see the New York Times do a long story on tourism to El Salvador, focusing particularly on surfing. The article is titled: Surfers Are Here! El Salvador Sheds Its Image. Here is an excerpt:

On a trip to El Salvador in March with my husband and two friends, I encountered tiny, colorful inns overlooking the Pacific, friendly local surfers, fishermen trolling along mangrove-lined channels, and family-owned waterfront restaurants specializing in fresh ceviche and camarones a la plancha, or grilled giant shrimp. Adventure travel to the country is indeed just starting here. Surfers — always the first to sniff out an untrammeled destination — have begun to come in force, leaving newly built hostels, bars and cafes along the coast near the town of La Libertad, where many of the best point breaks are.

The fact that tourism is taking its time to develop is a chance to do it right, says Mr. Beers, who guides instructional tours here for Access Trips, a New Zealand-based adventure company. “It’s the smaller eco-lodges that feel more Salvadorean than the big hotels we are starting to see,” he said. In beach towns west of La Libertad, like backpacker-friendly El Tunco — named for a pig-shaped rock just offshore, a favorite of local cliff-jumpers — seaside inns and restaurants are popping up. Most pilgrims come to the country to seek out the surfing, though land-based adventures like hiking and biking in the volcano-dotted inland national parks are also becoming more popular.

Nothing surprising here for regular readers of this blog, but it's nice to see a major news outlet like the New York Times cover the story. And anytime I mention El Salvador's beaches -- I always add the cautionary warning that drownings are very common in El Salvador's surf. Be sure you have talked with someone knowledgeable about the dangers of any particular beach and that you understand the hazards of rip currents.


Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

I remember seeing some surfers back in July 1990-yes, during the war. They were clueless. I almost told them, "I hear that there are great peaks at the Mekong Delta this time of year!"

Creativity Coach-Sherrie said...

Make sure to warn them about eating those conchas. In the capital, they get them from a cleaner part of the ocean. I ate some at el Tunco and proceeded to throw up the conchas everything else I had eaten.

Creativity Coach-Sherrie said...

And of course, people should be warned not to do illegal activities (like smoking pot) in ES or any other 3rd world country. I always think of the movie Brokdown Palace and sincerely hope that people are not that stupid. If you want to do drugs, stay home where you are well aware what you're dealing with and have people you can call in a pinch.

david said...

Es needs to clean up its reptutaion to attract tourism in numbers South Africa had the same problem but now has a thriving travel industry

Senor Pescado said...

those surfers Lawrence were probably me and some buddies,
and I am not clueless
I know where the best warm water waves in the world are, been all over

300 days a year we get waves

tomorrow 'whoe wheh'
wish I was there to jump off the pier, between sets

and creative coach, get a grip-life

on smoking weed, we used to in the sort of outside movie theater in La Libertad in the 80's
just do not be stupid
and smell the conchas and use lime juice, dud? personally I do not eat them after 30 years there, better stuff to eat

and David,
El Sal clean up it's reputation, you do not know, obviously what you are talking about
all asshole gringos go to Costa Rica run by the CIA,

we have
no waves, ugly girls, war, gangs, not good food, lol
wake up pal, I been all over the world
those 'people' need to open their mind

wisellort said...