I stumbled upon one of the most off the wall spots from my travels yet while in El Salvador. After checking out the capital city San Salvador, where I stayed in Ximena’s Guesthouse, I decided to head to the beach to chill out for a few days.
Most surfers and backpackers head to the trendy and popular El Tunco. But I decided to get off the tourist trail a lot more so I could truly relax and find a paradise of my own. I found it on the peninsula know as Barra de Santiago and I stayed at Capricho Beach House.
For a start, I completely recommend travelling to El Salvador, the country has some truly memorable things to see and do including the crazy annual fireball festival, the ruins of Tazumal, lively San Salvador and the indigo workshop at Casa Blanca in Chalchuapa. But get yourself out to Barra de Santiago, right by the Pacific Ocean and stay in Capricho, where life slows down and you’ll have a beach to yourself.
Getting to Barra de Santiago
To get to the village of Barra de Santiago, first you’ll need to get to the town of Sonsonate (bus 205 from San Salvador heads there). From Sonsonate main bus terminal, get the Bus 285 out to Barra de Santiago. The bus only runs twice a day (and once a day on a Sunday) so make sure you don’t miss it. The times of the bus are 10.30 am and 4.30 pm. I got the 4.30 pm bus which actually left at 5 pm from Sonsonate and arrived in Barra de Santiago just after 6 pm. The bus cost $1.70 US payment in cash. You can also take the bus 259 towards La Hachadura and get out at the Barra de Santiago turn off and catch a pick up.
Getting to Capricho Beach House
Get off the bus 285 at the last stop and you are in Barra de Santiago near Capricho Beach House. It’s a village and a peninsula all in one and Capricho is towards the end of the peninsula. Walk all the way along the road where the bus leaves you (keeping the beach on your left) then turn off for the beach and head right. Capricho is the first place on the right, right on the beach, in paradise!
Here are 5 cool reasons for staying in Capricho and why you should spend 2/3 nights here.
This is key. You’re here to chill out. You can truly relax here at Capricho. You have hammocks a plenty, 17 kilometres of beach and Pacific Ocean coastline. Palm trees, a leafy garden and you stay in small palm thatched ranchos just a few metres from the beach. There are no shops, offices or traffic noises too close, so you can truly cut off from the commercial, busy world and relax in peace.
Capricho owners and creators deliberately don’t have TVs or a swimming pool as it’s an eco resort. Why swim in a pool when the fresh Pacific Ocean is metres away? Why come all the way here to watch TV? Chill out with a beer at sunset.
2. Mangrove Forest Tours
You can do a tour out to the Mangrove forest where you sail on a small rowing boat through a protected forest. This Mangrove Forest is protected by the government and is a pure highlight of any adventure to El Salvador. You see 4 metre long crocodiles, countless wild birds, some native only to El Salvador and loads of crabs and other wildlife. These are easily organised with local tour guide Julio, just ask
3. Surfing (ocean)
If you want to have a strip of the Pacific Ocean all to yourself, then Barra de Santiago is the place for it. Capricho Guest House of course is on hand to provide surf boards and surfing lessons – even better is that Julio who runs the Mangrove Forest tours is also an expert surfer and can teach you the tricks. This was my first ever surfing lesson and I loved it.
4. Surfing (internet)
Surfing appears again on here as the wifi at Capricho is super fast considering where you are!! I couldn’t quite believe it – sitting sipping ice cold beer watching the sun go down right by the beach with wi-fi, blogging away. And yes, I know I came here to relax, but the reality of it is, I work on the move these days so I needed some wifi time. I did it at night though.
It’s important to embrace the pure tranquility of this place. As the truth is I had backpacked through some pretty smoky, busy, hectic cities in the last 3-4 months. I’m talking London, Changsha, Hong Kong, Rio, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and San Salvador. The traffic madness of those places is replaced here by crashing waves and singing birds.
Lie in a hammock and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean in the tranquility of Capricho Beach House.
I spent two nights in Capricho during 10 days in El Salvador and thoroughly enjoyed it.
You really escape everything here and I totally recommend it, here’s how to book Capricho.
Confirm your booking directly on Agoda.com
You can also book it through Ximena’s Guesthouse in San Salvador: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number to Ximena’s front desk is (503) 2260-2481, for assistance in English call (503) 7860-8632.
All that’s left is for you to enjoy these videos of the Capricho Beach House Paradise: