[:en]Getting to El Tunco was much easier than expected because, well, we used the easy way. We hoped on a shuttle that picked us up in front of the hotel and dropped us off down the street from the hostel. We came to this little surfer town to spend 3 or 4 days and stayed close to two weeks.
What made this place so special? It was not the slightly overpriced food, nor it’s beautiful sunsets nor it’s clean beaches but the people we met in this tiny town.
It would have to start with Jeff and Mike, two Canadians who stayed Sunzal Point, our hostel, for close to two weeks before making their way to Costa Rica. It was them who showed us the hostel when we arrived as the manager was not in.
They work together on environmental projects in British Columbia. Interesting conversations happened during our time together in Sunzal. Above all, surfing was their main priority and as such it was a given finding them on their way back from the ocean as we were getting up. Unfortunately for them and just about everyone else who stayed there, the waves were below average for the last week that we were there. Just bad timing, I think.
El Sunzal Point is a “surfing lodge” set away from the Tunco party scene but still close enough that walking at night after a few beers/food and this is what we did every night. Breakfast is served by Esperanza, the loyal do-it-all at the hostel, who happens to live next door. She and her kids will sort you out with just about everything you need, including food/beer/laundry/water. All delivered to you.
Another remarkable character we met was Balta, the hotel manager. With his long hair, always wanting to do something and self-proclaimed pirate title, it was quite fun to be around a him.
On our first outing around Tunco he took us on a tour to the Temanique falls, about 35 minutes away by car plus a 35 minute hot/easy hike through corn, beans and tomato fields you get to the first fall where you jump in. It was a ~6 meter jump into some of the freshest water you can imagine. After walking in the jungle heat for 35 min, it was heaven. Another jump can be made into another pool, just a bit higher. Lastly, after another short walk, we are greeted by a 40-45 meter waterfall, a natural pool forms at the bottom with a hot spring outlet on one of the sides. Our hike/swim were rewarded by the “best pupusas ever”, a little corner shop in Temanique where our pirate guide took us for some food and a couple more drinks.
One of the main selling points of this little town is it’s world class surf. Almost everyone either surfs or body boards. Around 4pm you will see locals and tourist alike, walking fast paced towards the beach. Esmeralda Lopez is one of those surfer girls, except she has won many tournaments and trophies in her category. She has know Balta for close to 10 years and that’s how we came to know her. We had a photo session with the beautiful sunset as out background and it will be posted soon.
A partial reason for us staying for such a long time was out Australian friend Lauren. A Veronica Mars, current pop culture fan that laughed at lot. It seemed that our wit and charm got her to quit and come join us. That or the prospect of beaches and unknown land waiting to be discovered. I think it was mostly the first one.
El Tunco is a very small town with one main road, half walk only, half drivable, where all the night life happens. It’s proximity to San Salvador makes it a prime location for weekend visitors from the capital. It has many reasonably priced options when it comes for food. Drinks can be purchased anywhere for just about the same price, but look on the right hand side as you walk on to the beach, a small store from with a lot of debris and one 1L beer bottle marks the spot for the cheapest beer available. 1USD for 1L. Our other favorite place for drinks is Surfos for its non-reggaeton playlist and reasonably priced Smirnoff Ice for Danielle.
After Lauren met up with us and we explored a bit of Tunco with her, we started to look at options for transportation southbound. At this point we were now making loose plans with the newest addition to our group, a blonde Swiss couple who had been staying at Sunzal Point for a few days. Andrea and Christian are on the same path as we are with a time constraint, a flight out of Buenos Aires at the end of March. These well spoken and beautiful couple were a decisive weight on our transportation to the next destination: Las Flores. Balta offered to take all of us and make it a “roadtrip” just paying for gas in his truck. And that’s how we left Tunco/Sunzal, with 4 backpacks and a weirdly shaped bag belonging to the Australian in the back of a pickup truck, with two of us having to sit in the bed of the truck, which had been lined with a mattress for comfort, in turns.
The road trip started with the most important of stops: a store to buy some booze for the road.

-Lodging: Sunzal Point
-Kitchen: No
-Cost:~$15USD (2 person) for a private room
-Date: November 2014
-Rating: 4/5
-Review: An awesome pirate manager that showed us everywhere and cheap food from the lady next door, what’s not to love? We only wished for better email response (we never got any) and better attitude from the owners (we met one of them).

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