Guatemala may not get the same attention as its neighbors when it comes to the surf, but we like our lineups uncrowded anyways. To those in the know, Guatemala is one of the best adventure travel destinations in the world. The Pacific Coast is lined with reliable and powerful beach breaks and jetty points that attract traveling surfers from around the world. The interior of Guatemala is home to charming colonial towns, towering mountains and volcanoes, and one of Central America’s most pristine mountain lakes. If you’re looking for an unrivaled Guatemala travel experience, start with hollow beach break barrels of El Paredón and then head inland for the trip of a lifetime. Continue reading below for The Ultimate Guatemala Travel Adventure for the best two-week itinerary in Central America.
Guatemala Travel and Guatemala Surf
Guatemala may not be first on your list of surf travel destinations in Central America. Until you finished reading the post, it might not have been on your list at all. Guatemala doesn’t have the highly developed surf tourism infrastructure of Costa Rica or El Salvador, but that’s half of its appeal. Guatemala has been well-traveled for decades, and destinations like Antigua and Lake Atitlan are must-stop spots for most backpackers and travelers in Central America, just not surfers. Traveling in Guatemala is easy, convenient, and safe thanks to its popularity among international travelers as a cultural destination. So, getting around the country is easy, even with surfboards. The waves in Guatemala rival those of their southern Central American neighbors. Unlike the waves in theneighboring countries, Guatemala's surf is relativley uncrowded. Our home break in El Paredón boasts hollow, beach break barrels, often with no one out.
Antigua’s charm will pull on your heartstrings and beg you to stay with its cobblestone roads, pastel street corners, and colonial-era architecture. The former capital of Guatemala sits tucked away in the shadow of towering volcanoes in a lush mountain valley. The climate is temperate with cool mornings and comfortable days, perfect weather for wandering the streets, exploring the artisan market, or enjoying the multi-cultural, world-class food scene.
Volcán de Fuego
From Antigua, travelers can venture to the slopes of Volcán Acatenango, where views of the active and frequently erupting Volcán de Fuego will fill you with awe. Hiking Volcán Acatenango for views of the erupting Volcán de Fuego is no easy feat. Travelers have two options, the Volcán de Fuego day hike and the Volcán Acatenango overnight hike. In the day hike, travelers will trek 11 miles total up and back to the Knifes Ridge of Volcán del Fuego to a staggering elevation of just over 12,000 feet. The total expedition from Antigua takes 12 hours, so plan accordingly. For the overnight hike, travelers will hike the steep trail up Volcán Acatenango to a basecamp, where they’ll enjoy the sunset and the evening with views of the erupting Volcán de Fuego. At 3 am, travelers push towards the summit of Volcán Acatenango, a grueling climb that will have you arrive on the 13,040-foot summit to catch sunrise over the neighboring Volcán de Fuego.
No Guatemala travel experience is complete without a trip to Lake Atitlan. This stunning mountain lake covers over 50 square miles high in the Sierra Madre Mountainous in the interior of Guatemala. The Lake is bordered by seven charming Mayan towns, many of which are only accessible by boat. There’s no better place to experience pre-colonial Mayan culture than at Lake Atitlan. Beyond its natural beauty, the lake has something for every traveler— party in Panajachel, take an immersive Spanish class in San Pedro, or shop the Markets of San Juan de la Laguna.
For the ultimate Guatemala travel adventure, head to El Paredón, where you’ll find uncrowded waves, a bustling travel scene, friendly locals, and more. To book your stay with us at Cocorí, click here. Stay tuned to the Cocorí blog for more Guatemala travel and surf content.