Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal

5 Reviews
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Hostal El Balsamo Reviews

El Balsamo is a small, basic hostel for travelers on a budget or those seeking a place to stay away from central El Tunco. Slightly off of the Calle Principal (main highway), it is one of the closest hostels to the point breaks of El Sunzal. This dorm has a calm, tranquil atmosphere; is run for the owners by a local family; has relatively stable Wi-Fi in the upstairs common room; and has plenty of space for surfboards. Be sure to bring either a plethora of cash or a debit card that is widely accepted, as there are only two ATMs in El Tunco (if you are in an obscure network, you may have to go to La Libertad for cash). Last, you can contact the owners directly for reliable transportation to El Balsamo.

The Location

El Balsamo is located in El Sunzal, which is adjacent to El Tunco, the more central beach area. Getting to El Tunco is easy; you can walk for fifteen minutes along the beach or you can take the Ochenta (the number eighty) chicken bus. You can also take the Ochenta all the way to La Libertad for a different scene -- street food, locals, and a bustling city center. Aside from a few neighboring hostels and restaurants on the beachfront and main street, there are no other shops or stores in El Sunzal, and you will have to go to El Tunco or La Libertad for necessities, nightlife, or a wider selection of food. Since El Balsamo is also located next to the main street, earplugs are a must if you are a light sleeper, but on the plus side, there are often tamal, fruit and pupusa vendors selling their wares on the street.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms here are basic, but nothing to write home about. The dormitory sleeps eight people, the floors are clean, the windows are screened to keep out the bugs, and locker and shelf space is provided for each bed. There is one large fan for the whole room and another fan at each bed -- a good thing, since there is limited airflow in the dorm. The bunk-bed frames are slightly rusty, as are bathroom fixtures. However, the shared bathroom is serviceable and clean, although not in the newest condition. The dorm is one of the few places you can book online in the El Tunco and El Sunzal areas. There are also single rooms available for rent upstairs and downstairs.

Common Spaces

The downstairs area has hammocks and sitting areas reserved for those renting the single rooms. The upstairs area is the most comfortable common area for those in the dormitory. There are two couches, a book exchange, and a large fan. The kitchen area is also basic (some would call it sparse). Although there are gas cookers, a bar area that seats three, a table, shelves, and room to prepare food, there is no common fridge available for use and there is a limited selection of bowls, plates, utensils, and cooking equipment available for use.


If you are not a fussy traveler, if you are a surfer and plan to be in the water or sleeping twenty-four/seven, if you cherish your peace, if you like having the security of having a place booked before you arrive in a new place, and if you want to be as close as possible to the best breaks on this part of the coast, then this would be the place for you. Although El Balsamo may not have all the amenities, all the basics are present and accounted for.
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Hostal El Balsamo, El Sunzal
Cee Staff Reviewer
Published on 2016-08-28

Great Choice!

I stayed at the El Balsamo during Semana Santa and had a great time. I made new friends, enjoyed doing yoga nearby, and the beaches in this area are not crowded at all compared to the beaches nearby. If you are looking for somewhere to stay near the beach, this is the hostel for you.

Rachael W.
Age 24 | USA, currently living in Honduras


Location and Contact




Address: Km 44, Calle a la playa, Tamanique, El Sunzal (Playa El Sunzal), El Salvador

Hostal El Balsamo is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Hostal El Balsamo El Sunzal
Phone Number: +503 (0) 6114 8275
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Party Hostel


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Airport Pickup

BBQ Grill





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