Why El Salvador Topped Our List of Amazing Destinations in 2018

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You need to add El Salvador as a Bucket List Destination NOW.

We get asked all the time “Where was the best country that you visited with your family?”

For a family who loves to travel as much as we do, we usually consider a place the BEST to do something specific (ex. South Africa has the best wildlife encounters).

However, for our travels in 2018, El Salvador was our absolute favorite.

As you can imagine, most people (perhaps you included), would never consider a trip to El Salvador, so this is pretty surprising.

Trust me, we were surprised too.  In fact, we had incredibly low expectations thanks to all the negative media coverage of the area, and were just hoping for a quiet week on the beach.

Well we got that quiet time on the beach.

And $10 surf lessons (read all about it here).

And crazy beautiful coastlines with super steep cliffs all around.

And the coolest wave filled swimming pools we’ve ever seen.

Not to mention, feeding our whole family of 7 for $10/meal (and yes, that includes drinks)!

But truthfully, it’s hard to know what El Salvador is like, until you see it.





Like most destinations, choosing where to stay in El Salvador can make the difference between a bad and a great trip.

We stayed in the Atami complex just south of Playa Palmarcito, about 7 miles north of El Tunco.  While El Tunco is the main surfing destination of El Salvador, we chose to be a bit farther away to get a slower pace of life and relax more.

We felt VERY safe in Atami since it was gated and guarded all the time.  The Atami resort is in the same complex so there are some great amenities, but we chose to just stay at an Airbnb rental.  We could walk to the beach in 5 minutes, there were amazing paths along the cliffs and they had the best wave filled pools that we’ve ever seen!  Oh, and we could get to great surfing and $10 lessons all within a 10 minute walk, so we were basically in heaven.

There are many different accommodation options on both Airbnb and Booking.com if you’re interested in staying there. (For $40 off your first Airbnb stay, click HERE).


If you want to know more details about where to travel in El Salvador, don’t miss my post What you need to know BEFORE you visit El Salvador.  

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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