by Allison Neves

Known as one of the world’s surfing Meccas, La Libertad is a small, uncrowded village located on the Pacific Ocean approximately 30 minutes west of El Salvador’s capital San Salvador. I was in the country last May visiting family when my husband and I had the opportunity to stay at a cool, new beachside hotel. We are always looking for interesting accommodations off the beaten track and being avid travellers we are always looking for a bargain. In Tekuani Kal, we were lucky enough to find both.

Meaning House of the Jaguar in Nauhat, Tekuani Kal is a small six-room hotel opened in the winter of 2006 with renovations and additions such as a Temescal (a traditional Aztec sauna), a bar, massage room and surf shop being added throughout 2007. All rooms provide guests with air-conditioning and cable TV. They are clean, comfortable and tastefully decorated with crafts created by Salvadoran artisans.

A small infinity pool and the hotel’s restaurant overlook the world famous beach break of Playa El Tunco. The thatched roof restaurant offers international fare such as chicken satay, ceviche, and seafood soup with coconut milk. The cook, Dora Alicia, also offers local specialties including the country’s gastronomic staple, pupusas. Another house specialty is a ceremonial chocolate drink made with pure cocoa beans that have been roasted and ground together with the ancient recipe’s original pre-columbian ingredients.

A paved path leads visitors directly from the back of the hotel and to a palapa-covered row of hammocks running across the black sand beach. Tekuani Kal as well as various surf shops along the beach offer surfboard rentals and lessons given by experienced locals. And if you happen to get thirsty between sets, the beach is dotted with a handful of outdoor restaurants that offer iced Supremas (the local cervesa) by the bucket.

Rooms at Tekuani Kal are $70 per night (double occupancy), which is a lot less than the popular Roca Sunzal Hotel located a half a mile up the beach. The Tekuani Kal staff is polite and helpful, the food is great and the accommodations are charming and affordable. We found it to be an ideal spot to spend three days of our two-week Salvadoran vacation. Reservations for Tekuani Kal can be made on their web site: Additional information on surfing La Libertad can be found at:

About the Author

Allison Neves has more than fifteen years of public relations experience, providing strategic and tactical PR services for a wide range of clients, from actors and musicians to non-profit organizations and high-tech companies. She currently works as the Communications Director for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which works to prevent avoidable blindness in the U.S. and abroad through public service and education. With parents from San Salvador and Hong Kong, Allison has made a personal commitment to reconnect with her roots by traveling extensively throughout Latin America and Asia. When she’s not trying to save the world one press releases at a time, Allison travels, practices Pilates, scuba dives, and hangs out with best friend and husband, Travis. A past recipient of the Bulldog Reporter’s Award of Excellence for Media Relations and Publicity, Allison has spent the last seven years volunteering as the PR Director for Little Kids Rock, a national non-profit music education program. She currently resides in the historic Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco