Puerto Barillas Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador

Puerto Barillas, pool, El Salvador

When you visit El Salvador, you come to discover the nature of this small Central American country. Puerto Barillas Marina & Lodge is a nature lodge located two hours from the capital city of San Salvador and one hour from the international airport. It is here that you will be able to explore Bahia de Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve and discover the hidden gems of Usulutan in El Salvador.

Why visit Puerto Barillas in Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador

I wish that I’d had more time to explore the largest coastal estuary in El Salvador during my visit to Usulutan and Jiquilisco Bay. With inlet canals lined with mangrove trees and hidden communities such as La Pirraya, there is much to uncover here. The Puerto Barillas, El Salvador plantation itself is home to spider monkeys – more about that later – four tree houses, six apartments, a marina, restaurant and swimming pool. There are kayaks to rent, bikes to ride and boats available to take guests for bird watching, fishing or, my favorite water-based activity, joining ICAPO, a Turtle Conservation program.

The Turtle Conservation program was created to support the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative. With trained volunteers on board our boat, we learned about the plight of the Hawksbill sea turtles. During our Puerto Barillas visit in Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador, we helped to measure the endangered turtles, collect information for genetic research and report on their successful and heart warming recovery efforts. Thanks to programs like ICAPO, these sea turtles, on the brink of extinction in Jiquilisco Bay and other parts of the world, have a chance to prosper.

kayaks wait at puerto barillas in el salvador
Kayaks at Puerto Barillas Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador
hammock, puerto barillas, el salvador
Hammock time at the Puerto Barillas Marina

What to expect at Puerto Barillas Jiquilisco Bay

My stay was with another couple in one of six air conditioned apartments in Puerto Barillas. The two story apartment featured a queen bed upstairs and two beds downstairs, each with its own bathroom. Downstairs units included a fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, stove, dish washer, microwave oven, toaster, dishes and silverware, in addition to an outdoor barbecue. There is also a futon sofa on the ground level of the Puerto Barillas apartment. The rooms are very basic, but the action at Puerto Barillas is not to be found indoors; venture outside to really get a feel for this Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador location!

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puerto barillas lodge apartment in El Salvador
Puerto Barillas apartment
bedroom, puerto barillas, el salvador
Upstairs bedroom photo
Bedroom at puerto barillas, el salvador, apartment

Rates at Puerto Barillas in Jiquilisco Bay range from $85 for the tree house on weekdays, $96 weekends to $118 in high season, including breakfast. Apartments rent from $214 weekdays to $236. weekends and do not include breakfast. There is also a convenience store on property for sunscreen, water and various supplies. As always, check the Puerto Barillas website for current pricing.

spider monkey, puerto barillas, el salvador
Pancho enjoys his banana. Spider monkey photo ©Nancy D. Brown

What will you do at Puerto Barillas in El Salvador

In the morning we ate a traditional El Salvadorean breakfast of eggs served in tortillas, alongside smashed red beans, plantains and wonderful coffee from the local plantation. I, on the other hand, opted for the rich El Salvadorean hot chocolate – delicious. Then we were off to feed spider monkeys!

What an experience to watch Puerto Barillas plantation caretaker Miguel call out to the wild monkeys and watch them swing down from the trees like Tarzan flying madly through the jungle. After our banana supply was depleted we got back in the car and moved onto a cacao tour at San Jose del Real de la Carrera plantation in El Salvador. Here we learned the process of chocolate making and how the beans are dried, classified and roasted before they are ground and made into Salvadorean chocolate.

celina guerra, cacao, San Jose del Real de la Carrera
Celina Guerra shares cacao. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:
Puerto Barillas Marina & Lodge (503) 2675-1131
Carretera del Litoral, Km, 108 & 1/2, Hacienda La Carrera
Usulutan, El Salvador
Central America

Puerto Barillas Jiquilisco Bay, El Salvador article, photography and video by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Puerto Barillas Marina & Lodge, however all opinions are my own.