Airport & Flights
The Airport is not actually located in San Salvador, it’s in Comalapa, which is on the coast about 45 minutes east of Playa El Tunco and Sunzal.
Often, our customers ask about staying a night in San Salvador when they have a late night arrival or an early morning departure. Given the airport’s location that doesn’t really make sense. The airport is the same distance from San Salvador as it is to the surf. So unless you have a specific reason to pay a visit to the city, it’s just as fast and safe to head straight to the coast!
Upon For booking engines, use the airport code SAL. San Salvador International Airport / Monsenõr Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport. Its one of the same, depending on how up to date the airline site is you are using, you may see it listed as either of those titles. Use the Airport Code SAL and you’ll be good to go.
Tourist Visa – Entry Tax
Upon arrival in El Salvador you will need $10.00 USD to pay the tourist card/entry tax for all non-resident visitors.
Once you’re ready to book with us, Let us know where you’re traveling from and we’ll be happy to provide our recommendations for booking flights.
Food & Nightlife
After the world-class surfing, El Tunco is best known for the gamut of food and beverage venues scattered along its streets. Try the famous El Salvadoran pupusas, and sip on ice cold Pilsener or Regia. The light, local beer is ideal in this hot tropical environment, or you can satisfy your craft beer craving over at Mopelia.
As an extra thank you for booking your trip through Sunzal Surf Company, we provide each group with a detailed list of all the food and beverage options available, including our recommendations and suggestions of the best things on each menu. We send you our best recommendations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Consider speaking with your doctor at home before visiting El Salvador. Based on your individual health, he or she may have useful recommendations for you prior to travel. In general, we recommend vaccinations for Typhoid Fever and Malaria. Neither are prevalent in our area, but it’s worth vaccinating yourself against both of these viruses. Once you are in El Salvador, high quality medical care is available to you. Within a short drive, the clinic in La Libertad (Unidad de Salud) can tend to any surf related wounds that require sutures. Hospitals and more extensive medical and dental care are available in San Salvador, within a 45 minute drive. We recommend Hospital de La Mujer or Hospital Diagnóstico.
How to Find Us
We are located in Playa El Tunco. The name Sunzal refers to the great 300-yard right-hand point break that is best accessed from El Tunco’s beach. Playa El Tunco is easily seen by the extensive signage on El Salvador’s litoral highway at Km 42.5. We share a property with the Balancé Yoga Retreat, and you can speak with us in person there. Our Contact page has the details for getting in touch with us to plan your visit.
(You can easily find us on Google Maps by searching for Balancé Yoga Retreat)
For air travel to El Salvador, fly into Comalapa International Airport in San Salvador. The airport code is SAL. We offer airport pickup and drop-off and have 24/7 service to the airport. Just send us a copy of your itinerary and we’ll get you to the waves as soon as possible.
If you’ve organized your own rental car or are arriving by bus, pop in to see us. We share a location with the Balancé Yoga Retreat in the main entrance to El Tunco. There you can check out our board rentals or meet us to schedule a day trip. Just come to the main entrance to town. We are the first driveway on the left hand side after the yellow barrier (la pluma) where vehicles enter town. Look for the Balancé sign with our name and logo, and the chalkboard announcing the yoga class schedule.
El Salvador uses the US Dollar, so there is no need to worry about foreign currency exchange if you are traveling from the US. The colón was the official currency of El Salvador from 1892 to 2001, when it adopted the U.S. Dollar.
Points To Consider
For traveling in El Salvador, cash in large bills is not very convenient unless you are using them to pay a large invoice from a hotel or restaurant. You will find life much easier if you travel with some small bills available. $5, $10, some twenties, and ideally you would bring a small wad of $1 bills as well. It’s certainly not required, but you’ll be thanking us for the recommendation later. Many of the local vendors sell treats and snacks under $1.00.
You should have $10-$20 minimum in cash on arrival. You’ll need $10 for a tourist card, and in case you need any other cash for miscellaneous items en route to your hotel (ahem.. ice cold fresh coconut water anyone?) it’s a good practice to arrive with a little somethin’ in your pocket.
For services and reservations that you book with us, credit card is an accepted form of payment. For your day to day spending, many of the local restaurants accept credit card but probably an equal or greater number take cash only. Your El Salvador Surf Trip won’t be the same without stopping at some of the local food options, so be sure to have some cash for those types of venues. You’ll be sorry if you couldn’t try our famous pupusas!!
Getting Money in El Salvador
There are multiple ATM machines in Playa El Tunco. There’s one in the Roca Sunzal hotel lobby, one next door to Papaya’s lodge, and another across the street from Papaya’s. The ATM machines here accept major foreign debit cards with a minimal fee around $2.50 depending on your card type. Check with your bank to know what they’ll charge on your end. Some ATMs here have maximum withdrawals of $200-$250 but you can make up to 3 withdrawals per day. If you’re requesting a withdrawal of $400 and it says transaction cancelled, try withdrawing a smaller amount.
There are also multiple ATM machines just 10 minutes away in La Libertad at the Super Selectos supermarket. A variety of international cards are accepted there.
Outlets & Electrical
In El Salvador we use the same 110/220v system as in the United States. If you have one handy, bring a three-prong adapter with you in case you run into an older outlet somewhere. We have a couple handy to loan to guests in case you forget it.
El Salvador is a stable democracy. The people here are among the most welcoming and friendliest in Central or South America. Overall El Salvador is a beautiful and magical country with much to offer to those that travel its coastlines. Like any country, El Salvador has its safe and unsafe places. Our guides make sure that you spend your time in the safe ones. Many rumors and exaggerated accounts have been published about El Salvador and paint a distorted image of the country. The civil war ended here in 1992 and ever since, a stable democracy with a growing economy that welcomes tourism has brought El Salvador to be an economic leader in Central America.
The Salvadoran government has made strong pushes to boost the tourism industry and make the beaches a safe place to visit. In Playa El Tunco, you will notice we have a Tourism Police Station that ensures safety for everyone that want to enjoy the area. El Tunco also has a private security team that manages each entrance to town, and many of the local businesses have their own security guards.
The result is a town that is safe for you to cruise around even late at night. We have thousands of visitors from all over the world that come here year after year and go home with unforgettable experiences.
Terms & Conditions
Our terms are set to ensure your trip is well organized and smoothly managed. Please remember that we work with several different hotels, villas, and private beach houses in El Salvador. Naturally, each property owner has different payment policies. Some locations have very strict cancellation terms while others are more flexible. One of the advantages of booking with Sunzal Surf Company, is gaining access to our great network. With nearly 12 years of business in the Playa El Tunco and Sunzal area, we have solid relationships with the hotels that we promote.
Our system is set by default to bill your reservation in full, for 100%. On a case-by-case basis, we accept 50% deposit payments for booking. For example if you are booking a reservation several months in advance we can accept a deposit manually using PayPal or payment by credit card over the phone. Typically we require that your reservation be more than 6 months in advance to process your reservation this way. If you book through the online reservation system incorporated to this website, it will bill you in full for the reservation.
Cancellations and Reservation Changes
We require a 14-day advance notice for cancellation with refund of deposit. We retain a $75 administrative fee for cancelled reservations that may be applied to any new reservation with us during the 12 month period starting with the date your booking was made. In addition to the $75 administrative fee, we retain any amount of credit card fees billed by our credit card processor. Those fees are approximately 3% of the total billed mount. The credit card fee depends on the type of card you are using and which country you paid from. Upon request we will provide a receipt from our merchant processor to verify the amount of credit card fees associated with the transaction. By making a reservation with us, you hereby agree that any cancellations or changes to your reservation will result in a loss of these credit card fees.
After 120 days, any payments received are final and non-refundable. However, as long as you provide notice to us with at least 14 days advance notice of your originally planned check-in date, we can apply your payment to a future reservation. Please contact us as soon as possible should you need to postpone or cancel your reservation. We are an extremely flexible company. We promise to find you the best deals and help you should any emergency cause you to postpone or cancel. We will work with you in the best way that we can.
Please Note: We work with hotels in remote areas of El Salvador, and not all are able to maintain real-time updated calendars online like what you may be used to back home. We work diligently to keep our calendar as up-to-date as possible, but there may be instances where our availability calendar may not reflect a recent reservation. Not to worry, we are connected with all the best options for hotels and villas on El Salvador’s Coastline, and we can help you to modify your reservation for an available location that suits your preferences. If we can’t find an alternate option that you approve, we will of course gladly refund your reservation 100% and will not withhold any credit card fees as outlined above in our cancellation policy. Before booking flights or other non-refundable travel services, await a human confirmation from us directly letting you know that we have confirmed availability for your reservation. Our system will send you automatic confirmations, but please wait for that “human” contact before booking your flights.
Our online booking system accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We also have convenient options like PayPal, Venmo, Square, and others if you choose to book via email rather than using our reservation system. Cash is of course, always king, and gladly accepted. If you have any questions about how our terms and payment conditions work, send us a message and we will be glad to help: firstname.lastname@example.org
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