La Libertad is a municipality located in El Salvador namesake and one of the main sights of this country. According to official census of 2007, has a population of 35997 inhabitants.
Also known as “Way To California”, it was founded by the British colonist Sir Francis Drake while on route to northern California. El Puerto has been home to many foreigners.
El “muelle” was vital to the town’s economy for many years until “El Puerto de Acajutla” was finished 240 kilometers west, being nowadays the principal salvadoran pier engaged in important economic activity.
Today, El Puerto de la Libertad is a tourist site for many international surfers as well as salvadorans across the country. The world known point break “Punta Roca” attracts intermediate to professional surfers and it’s been home of many regional and international surfing tournaments.
This area was mentioned by the Rev. Pedro Cortes and Larraz in 1770 as the “Hacienda Tepehaua” one of the largest in the parish of San Jacinto. In fact, the region was known as “Bay of Tepehaua” before being authorized by the Congress of the Federal Republic of Central America and Puerto de La Libertad on 24 February 1824. The parliament also authorized him to trade on the Pacific coast in 1831. The first steamboat arrived on 7 June 1857.
On 21 August the town was built as a people by Executive Decree, approved by Congress on February 11 next year. His erection as a municipality was due to the dependence of Huizucar, located at a considerable distance and which was communicated by bad roads.
He joined the department of La Libertad on 28 January 1865 and 1869 had a population of 266 inhabitants. On 4 May 1867 the Salvadoran government made the contract for the construction of an iron pier was opened on 7 October 1869. Before that time the landing was by barges secured with lift. Also, the telegraph line between San Salvador and the port was opened on 27 April 1870. He holds the title of village 10 March 1874 and the city on 23 August 1957.
The Port of La Libertad is one of the most representative tourist destinations in the country. It has a tourist complex that includes a boardwalk, restaurants and an amphitheater, other than small seafood trade and crafts located in the old pier. The start of construction of the first phase of the project was inaugurated on January 6, 2006 and fully completed in early 2010.
Currently the second Phase of the Tourist Complex is being built the estimated date for completion is Early 2011.
In the town beaches are also located Las Flores, San Diego, Bishop, La Paz and El Majahual. Similarly, between natural areas highlights the Walter Thilo Deininger National Park.
El Puerto is home to one of the best right points in Central America, known for its fast hollow, pulsing, over 30-second ride waves. Punta Roca (also called “La Punta” by local surfers) has been the perfect spot for many known surfers who back in the 1970s discovered the point with only a few local surfers brave enough to venture into its rocky bottom plane. It is known that legend Gerry Lopez, travelled frequently to this surf spot back in the 70′s encouraging a new wave of locals to get into the sport.
By the 1980s, El Salvador went through a civil war, and getting to the point was rather dangerous slowing visitors, and with that, a scarcity of surf boards to the locals whose only means of getting a surf board was by travelers leaving them behind in exchange of guidance and accommodations.
Local legend, “Yepi” was one the first of his generation to take on full self-support and help maintain the sport, a popular activity among locals. Locals have also been increasing the popularity of the sport throughout the country by offering custom surf tours to tourists and visitors in the region.
The main wave extends from La Punta to the township, a distance of about 800m, although single rides do not normally connect along this whole distance. On a good 6 to 8 feet day (Hawaiian scale), the top part of the point produces the best waves, giving a ride of about 300m or more. The wave features a relatively easy takeoff with long, fast, powerful walls, with longer hollow barrels on the best days.
This wave works from about 3 to 12 feet (Hawaiian scale), and can barrel anywhere along the point, but most often closest to the takeoff area. The main takeoff is close to a dangerous rock which often sticks out of the water, and has caused injuries. It works on all tides, although low tide probably has more barrels.
The wave is unusual in that it often breaks at a slight angle to the shoreline, hitting it slightly squarely, creating powerful and fast walls. It can be difficult to get out the back in large swells, and the rocky shoreline is notorious for its rather difficult entry.
Further down the point are a few other breaks, including next to the cemetery and in the town itself. These are less crowded and can produce waist-high waves on occasions, but the world-class section of the point is way on the outside.
Other surf spots around the region include: Conchalio, La Paz, San Diego, EL Zunzal, La Bocana, El Zonte.
There are several freeways that connect the City of La Libertad with the rest of the country, among these are:
- CA-4 or known as Carretera al Puerto – Connects to San Salvador
- CA-2 or known as El Litoral – Connects to Sonsonate, Zacatecoluca, Ahuachapan, and to the international airport
Other freeways and roads that connect with La Libertad in a non-direct way are:
- CA-5 – detour to CA-2 connects to San Salvador
- CA-11 – detour to CA-2 connects to San Julian, El Salvador
- CA-12 – detour to CA-2 connects to Acajutla, Santa Ana & Sonsonate
- CA-15 – detour to CA-2 connects to Ahuchapan
- CA-6 – detour to CA-2 connects to Santa Cruz, El Salvador
This was the first Port, to ever be built in the country of El Salvador, with time it just became a fishing boat port, a farmers market, and a tourist attraction, 2 New ports replaced El Puerto de La Libertad, La Union, and Puerto de Acajutla, Puerto de La Union has been remodeled lately, the government made it larger due to the increasing demand the country has. During the 2001 series of earthquake the Pier was damaged partially, the damaged part was re-constructed and re-enforced.