Best Surf Spots In Guatemala
Guatemala is a vibrant country that is suitably located and open to anyone visiting this place from all around the world searching for the best surf spots in Guatemala. Guatemala is a perfect beach destination for many travelers due to its warm water, palm trees, volcanic sand, and thrilling sunset view.
However, the best surf spots in Guatemala are not that popular as it is in the neighboring of El Salvador and Mexico. One of the main reason is that this place does not have a proper tourism infrastructure to attract travelers to the Pacific beaches of Guatemala.
Nevertheless, both locals and foreigners are gradually appreciating the surfing potential that Guatemala can provide. All the beaches in Guatemala are un-crowded and this makes it tempting for any person who wants to relax and surf. An ideal time to go surfing in Guatemala is between September and November. Even though some beaches may be dangerous for weak swimmers due to their strong rip currents, you will still get surfing spots that are incredibly cool and un-crowded.
Times To Travel To These Surf Spots In Guatemala
Some of the best surf spots in Guatemala are all about South swells. Between Tecotaje and Monterrico which are in the central part of the coast, claim the most frequent surf breaks facing South. The western part of Guatemala has a bigger opening for the swells coming from the Westside. Lining up with Guatemala rainy season the Southern hemisphere winters pull in, consistent swell from 3-12ft (1-3.5m) between June and October. While in the rainy season, winds are off-shore in the AM and around 11am-12pm winds switch to onshore/sideshore. Guatemala’s surf spots come short of providing sheltered surf beaches or mountainous rocky points that block certain winds.
If you have ever been to El Salvador or Mexico you have seen these surf spots that are capable of holding a bigger swell and do not close out like it does in Guatemala on big days. When the swell comes in at an angle, they are usually closing out less than other swells, and this is one of the reasons many surf breaks are better with a SW swell or SE swells sometimes.
Guatemala off-season offers smaller surf conditions which are great for beach breaks. Also, the best surf spots in Guatemala will get E-NE winds offshore.
Are you looking for the best surfing spots in Guatemala that are surrounded with decent accommodation? This article presents the best surf breaks in Guatemala.
1. El Paredon Surf Spot
This is a serene and relaxed fishing village that is located on the proximity of Sipacate town. While in El Paredon, be sure to meet the friendliest people in Guatemala. The spot has created its good name as the first surf cities in the country and continues to gain popularity as the best spot for surfing Guatemala.
The town is recognized as the best surfing spot in the country for any surfer since the town has numerous decent accommodations like El Paredon surf camp and the Cocori lodge. There is also plenty of board rentals that are located at these hostels. The Cocori Lodge have the highest quality of boards around. Additionally, you will get helpful surfing lessons and even have a chance to release baby turtles.
This beach break is extremely extensive since it comes with many fun waves to select from. Make sure you prepare well for long paddle sessions since rips currents will always get stronger. Other things are that the morning offshore conditions are always conducive whereby the average swell size can range from 3ft to 6 ft.
How To Reach El Paredon Surf Break
You can access this beach break through two means. You can drive via Sipacate and then take a small boat ride across the river. The other alternative is that you can get to the spot from CA9A highway, pass through the Chulamar and Juan Gaviota to get to your destination.
Apart from surfing, there are other activities you can do at El Paredon. For instance, you can participate in releasing baby sea turtles. This means that you will have a chance to release your own freshly hatched baby turtles to the ocean. While harvesting sea turtle eggs is legalized in Guatemala, you are required to give 20% of the eggs you get to the local hatcheries so that they can maintain the populace of the turtles growing. Additionally, numerous hostels and restaurants in the region give donations to the local hatchery so that they will be able to purchase more eggs from the harvesters. You can take a walk down the beach to the local hatchery to take part in the release of freshly hatched sea turtles.
Cocori Lodge Surf Camp
Cocori Lodge Surf Camp is one of the first hostels to be established in El Paredón, and it offers a tropical, homey feel. The hostel is situated on the El Paredon beach and it’s fitted with a dormitory and private room options. It offers a bonus for the travelers on a low budget as having a chance to hurl their tents at Surf Camp for an even more inexpensive rate. Surf Camp offers board rental services, and surf lessons.
2. Sipacate Surf Spot
Sipacate shares the same surf condition as El Paredon, but the central city is somehow bigger and noisier. Sipacate is situated just a couple of kilometers away from El Paredon. If you intend to stay far from the beach for a couple of hours, you can visit the big lagoon behind the beach. Here, you can rent a canoe and paddle across the waters as you watch all types of birds and wildlife.
On the other hand, you can rent a surfboard in various hotels in Sipacate and have a chance to enjoy surfing uncrowded waves.
This beach break can be thrilling, but you must also look out for the rip currents. The beach extends to small destinations such as Los Pinos or La Empalizade. Sipacate surf spot has the ability to accommodate all kinds of surfers.
How To Get to Sipacate Surf Break
Use highway 2 to drive toward the town. The moment you are in Sipacate, look for either El Embarcadero Publico or Marmaya private parking. All these parks offer surfboard rentals. Rent a boat to take you to any location you might want to visit.
3. La Barra De Iztapa
This is a beach and a small city that tends to be very busy once in a while. Luckily, the majority of traveler visits this place just for picnics and not for surfing purposes. While this town seems to be larger than any other town in Guatemala, it can be relaxed and quiet in some occasions. While at La Barra de Iztapa, you will come across a wide a range of decent accommodation which includes the seafood restaurants, and Surf Shark. You will also come across one or two beach facilities that offer surfboard rentals.
The beach has a giant closeout section that offers the best spot for surfing with certain winds. Additionally, the beach comes with two jetties and river mouth in the proximity that creates the best right-handed wave in Guatemala. This wave is known to produce a perfect barrel when in good conditions.
La Barra de Iztapa is a surfing spot that is not ideal for newbies since the rocks from the two jetties and the currents can be hazardous. For all surfing newbies, the river mouth will be the best location to enjoy the summer. The size of the swells ranges from 3ft to 10ft.
How To Get To La Barra De Iztapa Surf Spot
The moment you reach Iztapa, get viable means to cross the river. There are numerous small local boats you can rent to help you cross the river to the river mouth and the two jetties. Make sure you search for the two jetties.
4. La Barra de San Marino / Likin Surf Spot
This surf location is situated in between an electrical power company and an attractive residential place. Both likin and Marino are private residential places but there are a few decent accommodations that you might consider booking in advance.
This location can be very thrilling for the amateur to professional surfers. Because the waves are mostly fast, powerful and hollow it is not appropriate for beginners. Be prepared for a long and extensive paddling session since you will be dealing with river mouth currents that are always strong. Make sure you surf with incoming tides as this will help you avoid the bad rips.
These waves work most of the time for those who love consistency because they are long and predictable. In most cases, the place is un-crowded except during the weekends. Even though there are no recognized surfboard rentals in the region, the trip is worth it as you will get a consistent wave.
How To Reach La Barra – San Marino/Likin Surf Break
While this location might be the hardest to access, it is definitely worth the hassle. For the reason that San Marino and Likin are private places, you must find accommodation elsewhere and also a boat to help you access other parts of the river. You can as well access this spot from the outside, with just a 15 minutes drive from the highway on a small pathway leading to the beach.
5. Champerico Surf Spot
The spot obtained its make from a lumbering Germany firm known as Champer & Co that existed in the early 1800s. The town has been privileged to host numerous national surf championships and is one of the greatest surf spots in Guatemala. Champerico’s has experienced tremendous growth over the years as it has numerous surf schools, surfboard companies, and a few a Central American surf champions living there.
You can also surf Las playas de la Dársena that is adjacent to Champerico town. The beach spot offers decent and exciting waves for all surf levels. However, the most magnificent surf you can reach is the jetty. In good conditions, you will find extremely long rides. This surf spot can get somehow crowded during weekends, but you can have a chance to surf the way you want during the weekdays.
Ways to get to Champerico Surf Spot
The town is situated in the furthest side from Guatemala and Antigua, which is a 4-hour drive. The surf spot is situated to the west side of the Champerico town. While at Parque Champerico, you just head towards the beach, then right to the last jetty.
6. Monterrico Surf Spot
This is a tranquil city located along Guatemala’s Pacific coast. The formally dormant fishing village is gaining popularity among travelers; most of them who visit to see the nesting sea turtles. The town has developed drastically over the last few years. The infrastructure has been improved and it now has beautiful pedestrian pathways. Additionally, the accommodation alternatives have been enhanced to cater for your needs.
How To Get To Monterrico Surf Breaks
The town is situated in the Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii, which is a nature reserve that extends along a 13 mile part of the coast. The reserve includes the mangroves of Monterrico, beaches and the whole region is the main nesting place for leatherback sea turtles. This beach is narrow but offers a stunning scene which includes the extensive undulating Pacific Ocean. While surfing, make sure you are extra cautious since the waves might break close to the sand causing a hazardous beach break.
7. Pacific Slope Surf Spot
There is a beautiful chain of volcanoes that separate Guatemala’s Pacific coast from the highlands to the north. These volcanoes allow the beach to have a unique characteristic dark color. The Pacific slope is surrounded by notable destinations and attractions that will make you visit the place time and time again. This includes the sailfish capital of Iztapa, the protected biotope at Monterrico-Hawaii and the Mayan ruins of Takalik Abaj.
The city of Iztapa is small and extraordinary, but a couple of hotels have been established to offer accommodation to the fishing and surfing crowd. However, if you don’t like fishing, you will still enjoy the black-sand beach that is broad and clean. Surfing on this beach is very good and worth the trip.
How To Get To Pacific Slope Surf Break
Drive towards the east of Iztapa until you reach Monterrico town. The tiny coastal town has developed over the years as more surfers come to enjoy themselves at this beautiful beach that offers the best surf spots in Guatemala.
Surf Getaway Destinations In Guatemala
While Guatemala does not offer numerous surf spots like some other countries, there is still some of the most beautiful surf scenes arising in the Pacific Coast region of Sipacate. Iztapa and Monterrico also offer the best breaks. Whenever you want a break from the waves but not yet prepared to leave the sun and the sand, there are numerous Guatemalan beaches you can choose from. Once you visit these places, you will realize that local tourists are the ones who tour the beaches most of the time. You might need to understand that the dry period which is between November and early May is the best time to spend your vacation in Guatemala.
Preparing For Your Surf Getaway In Guatemala
Just like the majority of international travel, the most accessible route to get to Guatemala is by air. However, if you feel that you are inclined, you can take the actual trip to be part of your adventure if you want to enter Guatemala either by land or sea. The entry requirements to Guatemala include a passport valid for 3-6 months, your intended duration of stay and evidence of onward travel. The most essential things you need to carry while visiting Guatemala include sunscreen and sunglasses.☺️