WaterWays Travel for epic surf adventures

We love the ocean at ENTREE and many of our most memorable moments in life are made by the sea. Above all, we love to surf. The dream is always the same. Blissfully spending the days riding the waves of an uncrowded, tropical, perfect point break. Alas, that dreamy scenario is becoming harder to come by, our home surf breaks more mosh pits than surf spots. 

Sean Murphy and world champion surfer Shaun Tomson

The recent arrival of summertime southern swells had us itching to get into some warm water, surfing uncrowded world class waves. We quickly looked to WaterWays Travel, widely respected experts in surf travel. Led by the creative Sean Murphy, this boutique agency has scoured the globe, seeking out the finest surf spots and carefully vetting them for their high standards. WaterWays has an extraordinary collection of worldwide destinations to choose from and will easily get you to the best waves of Fiji, Indonesia, Maldives, Latin America, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and more.  

The team at WaterWays did an extraordinary job with every aspect of our adventure from helping us select a destination, arranging flights, accommodations, and on-the-ground logistics, ensuring that our time in the surf was maximized. Many WaterWays spots already have a quiver of surfboards to choose from, and the very professional WaterWays team  efficiently arranges everything so you can just show up and surf. 

Working with the very knowledgeable and most agreeable Mike Tan, Surf Travel Specialist with a focus on South and Central America, we decided to travel to El Salvador, a beautiful, friendly country known to surfers as a true paradise dotted with miles of pristine right hand point breaks and, sure enough, each morning we awoke to long lines of groomed perfection rolling in. We scored great waves day after day, rarely seeing more than a handful of traveling surfers joyfully sharing the waves. 

WaterWays chose Hotel Los Mangos as our home base throughout our adventure. Opened in 2014, the newish Hotel Los Mangos is a charming, small hotel on a spectacular coastal perch in the jungle. Sweeping views of the Pacific, a vast beautiful beach and tropical greenery for miles await. Owner Ricardo Rivas has done an admirable job of creating a quiet seaside rainforest sanctuary, minutes’ walk from a world class point break, Punta Mango. 

Six clean, comfortable rooms make the hotel feel small enough so that it’s almost as if you’re in your own world, away from it all. We spent hours on our balcony watching the ocean, sunsets, birds, stars at night, lightning storms, colorful rainbows and emerald-green forest surroundings. 

Hotel Los Mangos’ cliff top eternity pool, soon to be redesigned and enlarged, overlooks the beach and kids love it. This “surf hotel” is also popular with couples and families, who come to explore and enjoy quiet secluded beaches, and reflect in nature with no thumping music and noise just the soft sounds of the ocean waves, the breeze and birdsongs. When the surf is not cooperating, many guests take a day off and go sightseeing (pyramids and waterfalls), hiking, fishing, canopy ziplining, bird watching.

The hotel staff is friendly and eager to help, the beds soft and dream-inducing, and the on-site palapa-covered restaurant, kept us well-fueled pre- and post-surfs with hearty breakfasts accompanied by hot, handmade tortillas, fresh-caught seafood, and ice cold fresh tropical fruit smoothies. Relaxing massages in the soothing tropical breeze are easily arranged too.

WaterWays is known for having the best, carefully screened network of operators on the ground around the world at their destinations. In El Salvador, WaterWays partners with Epic Surfing Adventures, the country’s leading surf tour operator. Epic Surf is an experienced, first-class operation that will meet you at the airport, guide you to the best spots, meet you every morning and get you into what may turn out to be the best waves you’ve ever ridden. 

Francisco “Black Dog” Romagoza carving a back side hack

Our Epic Surf guide was local legend and waterman, Francisco “Black Dog” Romagoza, a true professional who takes great pride in his work. He got us dialed in to the best time to paddle out, reading the tides and wind, swell direction, best board for the conditions and brings decades of experience and deep ocean knowledge. Francisco really made it so we could surf trouble-free. He always kept an eye out and always made us feel safe. Whether it was making sure our equipment was ready, helping strategize the paddle out, negotiate treacherous rocks and currents, to motivating and coaching, always ready with an ice cold bottle of water on offer post surf. Francisco took care of every detail all while being super fun to surf with, great company, sharing fascinating facts about El Salvador past and present. One afternoon, when other surfers had packed it in for the day, Francisco stayed vigilant and made the call for us to “go and go now.” Punta Mango had come alive, with 4-6 foot peaks and no one out. We surfed it alone for hours, one of those magical, pinch-yourself sessions that one can only imagine happening in real life.  

WaterWays Travel, with their decades of vast experience, attention to detail, highly personalized service and top-notch connections in far-flung locales around the world, made every aspect of this incredible surf trip possible. Waking to perfect surf in the jungle at Hotel Los Mangos, racing along the Point’s aqua green walls, and the ease of it all from door-to-door, an experience we won’t forget—and WaterWays orchestrated it all just perfectly— truly every surfer’s daydream come true. Inquire about a trip, https://www.waterwaystravel.com/ or call their team of surf travel experts at (310) 584-9900.

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