Playa Las Flores. Photo ©

Where to Go on El Salvador’s Pacific Coast

The secret is out. For years, the beaches of El Salvador’s coast were strictly the terrain of fearless surfers, some who came in the 1970s and dug the waves so much they never left. Today, more and more curious travelers are showing up, discovering beaches interspersed with quaint fishing villages and large coral reefs, white sand beaches perfect for relaxing and swimming, mangroves teeming with colorful birds, beautiful bays, volcanic gulfs, and otherworldly estuaries.

Blue Ctenosaur in Santa Rosa National Park. Photo © Jorasm (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

What to See in Costa Rica’s Santa Rosa National Park

Founded in 1972, Santa Rosa National Park was Costa Rica’s first national park. The park–divided into two sections; the more important and accessible Santa Rosa Sector to the south and the Murciélago Sector further north–is a mosaic of 10 distinct habitats, including mangrove swamp, savanna, and oak forest, and is filled with hiking trails to explore and wildlife to watch. There are also great opportunities for scuba diving and surfing.

A surfer walking on the beach in Malpais. Photo © Keith Levit/123rf.

Things to Do in Malpaís and Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

The shoreline immediately north of Cabo Blanco is a lively surfers’ paradise with some of the best surfing beaches in the country. The past few years have seen phenomenal tourism development, propelling the contiguous communities of Malpaís and Santa Teresa from offbeat obscurity to huge popularity. With this boom comes a surge in nightlife, outdoor activities, and more and more ways to spend your time.

Parque Recreativo Cristóbal Colón. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Planning Your Time on Puerto Rico’s West Coast

Embrace the slow-paced, nature-loving vibe of Puerto Rico’s west coast, a long-time favorite of surfers and divers but with so much going on–from salt flats and subtropical dry forests to colonial cities and fishing villages–that it’s worthy of an extended stay. Here are tips and advice on planning your time exploring all the best of the west coast.

La Pared in Luquillo. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Things to Do in Luquillo, Puerto Rico

Luquillo attracts visitors from far and wide for two reasons. One is its beautiful public beach, commonly referred to as Playa Luquillo, and the other is the Luquillo Kioskos, more than 50 food vendors serving some of the very best street food available in Puerto Rico. Here are even more reasons to visit

Surfboard rack on the ocean shore in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Surfing Lessons and Outfitters in Waikiki

You’ll find surfing is a way of life in Waikiki. There’s a long history here of welcoming visitors to learn how to catch a break and ride the big one that continues on today with several surf schools offering private, group, and customized surf tours for reasonable prices, as well as boards and gear.

A woman sits cross-legged on the beach with her surfboard.

Surfing Lessons and Rentals in South Maui

In South Maui, you’ll find plenty of outfitters and instructors ready to give you a lesson or set you up with some gear based on your level of skill. Since choosing which school or outfitter to go with is more of a challenge, here’s all the info you need to make it easy.

A surfer contemplates the waves at Honolua Bay on Maui.

Best West Maui Surf Spots

Surfing is more than a hobby in West Maui—it’s a way of life. Here you’ll find the best surf spots in West Maui for visitors from beginners to experts, as well as plentiful recommendations for lessons and where to rent a board.

Palm trees front a shorline with white frothy waves.

Moloka‘i’s Best Surf Spots

To say that the surf spots on Moloka‘i are empty would be a lie, but a crowded day by Moloka‘i standards would be considered almost empty in Maui. Here are Moloka‘i’s best surf spots, including how to get there, when to go, everything you need to know to ride the breaks, and where you can rent some gear, too.

A surfer shoots the curl on the North Shore.

Best North Shore O‘ahu Surf Spots

From surf spots best suited to kids and novices to waves best left to experienced locals, here are all the best surf spots on O‘ahu’s North Shore, along with how to get there, hazards to watch out for, and the breaks you’ll find.