You have to check out the video below, purely to see what happened to my face! So the day before heading up to the Tamanique Waterfalls, we were out in the water in El Tunco, catching some sunset waves. Not really the time for the good, crisp, breaking waves as these were more heavy close out waves right onto the sandy shore. Sure enough, my fault shoulders gave out as I was thrown from a crashing wave and without my arms to brace my fall, I braced my fall with my face. As I popped up, I did the classic “tongue teeth check” to make sure all my chiclets were there, and much to my joy, they were. However, a nasty scrape on the forehead and a swollen bridge of my nose tells the story that could have been so much worse.
The next morning we gathered a group of keeners and decided to do one of the things to do in El Tunco, and that was to head up into the hills and countryside, to the small town of Tamanique to see a beautiful trio of waterfalls. Tamanique sits about 30 minutes up a gradual inclining, swerving road away from El Tunco and is a very small but quaint town, typical to central america. Colourful square in the center of town, bunch of houses all connected, people wandering in the streets and old men leaning in their front doorway.
Driving through the town we parked on the side of a small road and got out of the bed of the truck and started down a beaten up path that turned into a rocky road. Either we would eventually turn off the road onto a path towards the waterfalls, or we would be walking back up the road without our wallets. Being as the guide was also a worker at the hostel we were staying at in El Tunco, we had faith that we would get to our destination. Sure enough, we sloped to the right through a single track trail meandering down through the thick growth towards the water we could hear in the distance. Across a barren cornfield, around a massive boulder and over a few crevasses we arrived at the first waterfall and “waterslide.”
Hundreds, thousands, millions of years of the water trickling down the rock led to a beautiful smooth slide, the perfect way to get into the water, and cool off. A few jumps into the water, watching some locals doing the big leap off the high cliff, we walked across more of the rock alongside the river down to another path. This is where things got a little hairy! As the gradient increased, the form of stabilizing yourself was an old electric cable, with the rubber coming loose, exposing the sharp metal cables inside!
Travellers Tip: If you have bad knees, I would not recommend going to the final waterfall. Going up is not bad, but coming down to the waterfalls is not easy on the joints!
That being said, it is gorgeous! You loop around under a sheer rock wall that looks as if it was man made as again, many years of wind and spray through this little valley has slowly chiseled away the rock, one microscopic piece at a time, to make it very smooth. A stunning waterfalls drops from about 100 feet up into the shallow pools, at the deepest point maybe 8-10 feet deep. The water is “refreshing” depending on what country you are from, and for me, being from Canada it was absolutely perfect, and to be in fresh water was a great change from the ocean.
Once everyone had eaten their snacks, swam, snapped photos, and dried off, we made our way back up the path we had come down. Going up is actually easier than the coming down but as we sweated our way up this time, there was no rewarding body of water to cool off in at the end. Instead, me and my other pals from Canada and a friend from Switzerland arrived as the first group up, we took a few minutes to find a little “tienda” to buy a couple of well earned, ice cold beers. You have never seen a more refreshed face then after that first sip of that beer.
We loaded up into the bed of the truck, and headed back towards El Tunco and pulled off to the side for a constructed viewpoint to get a beautiful view of the landscape leading down to the ocean and little coastal town.
What a terrific day, and El Tunco, being such a small town, it is nice to get out and enjoy the surrounding areas of beautiful El Salvador and come back to tiny El Tunco in the afternoon to enjoy another beer, and another, jaw dropping sunset.