Surfing might not be the immediate thing that comes to mind when you think about Guatemala. Besides being one of the best coffee producers, Guatemala is also the underdog of the surfing world, offering a large variety of waves that will leave even the most experienced surfers in awe!
Guatemala is a lesser-known yet perfect location for surfing. The country boasts several surf spots with waves that cater to surfers of all levels of experience. Some of the most famous spots to surf in Guatemala include El Paredon, Iztapa, Champerico, and Sipacate, to name a few.
Perhaps you haven’t considered it before, but Guatemala’s surf scene is certainly above standard. The country’s Pacific coast is stunning and virtually undeveloped, the lodgings are inexpensive, and the people and ambiance are both thrilling and rejuvenating. Find out why Guatemala is the perfect surfing destination for you!
Surfing In Guatemala
On the Pacific coast of Guatemala, there are 300 kilometers of volcanic black sand beaches, while on the Caribbean shore, there are lovely white sand beaches with a beautiful turquoise sea. Because of how straight the Pacific side is, the best waves can be found along river mouths, piers, and jetties. However, there is certainly no shortage of waves along the coast.
The lack of overcrowding is a significant plus in Guatemala. Oftentimes popular surf spots can be really unpleasant to go to, but you won’t have to worry about that in Guatemala. However, due to the country’s lack of infrastructure and coastal roads, getting from one spot to another can take longer than expected, so try to make sure to consider that when planning your trip.
Guatemala is a terrific location to learn how to surf, but it also has enough big swells to please the most seasoned, adrenaline-junky surfers. Guatemala is undoubtedly one of the best places to experience the beauties of Central America’s surfing culture.
The dry season is traditionally the best time to go surfing in Guatemala. It runs from October until early May, and it provides ideal conditions for those learning to surf because the waves are gentler and more manageable. Throughout the year, waves are on average waist-high, but they start pumping in the autumn, from June through October.
Guatemala’s rain season, which begins in late May and lasts until the beginning of October, is better suited for surfers with more experience looking for larger waves. On the other hand, try to keep in mind that the weather during this season might be too unpleasant on some days for a quality surfing experience.
The Best Surf Spots In Guatemala
Right, with all of that in mind, let us help you plan your next surfing experience by showing you some of the best surf spots in Guatemala:
El Paredon, Guatemala’s best and most well-known surf destination, is located about two hours south of Antigua. It’s noted for its vast swells and fun, laid-back feel. It is the most well-known surf spot in Guatemala and is, therefore, the most congested, and nearby amenities can be a little expensive.
However, compared to most other locations in the region, the crowds are still light and not overbearing.
El Paredon’s black sandbanks have consistently strong barrels on any S swell at higher tides, which is what makes this spot such a hit with both local and international surfers. As the tide recedes, the waves increase significantly in size and are ultimately not suitable for less experienced surfers.
El Paredon also has many surf camps and schools on offer, making the area a great place to enjoy a multi-day adventure for surfers of all skill levels.
Iztapa is a medium-sized surf town located east of El Paredon and Sipacate. It’sIt’s a little community with few residents and only a few surfers, but everyone is friendly and helpful. The majority of guests choose to lounge on the beach rather than surf, which means that you will get the waves all to yourself. Now, that’s what you call a surfer’s dream!
In Iztapa, there is a river mouth that can produce some excellent barrels and other peaks down the beach. To get to the enormous breaks, you’ll need to cross the Rio Maria Linda’s mouth, but you will find plenty of local boats that will be prepared to take you.
Most of the waves here are far better suited for more advanced surfers, as they are known to be powerful with strong currents. There are a few rocks to look out for as well, so this spot is not exactly ideal for someone learning how to surf.
Champerico is, without a doubt, another one of Guatemala’s most famous surfing spots. Champerico is a surf village popular with both locals and visitors and is located a little further up the coast to the northwest of Guatemala. This immaculate surf spot has been the chosen location for a couple of national surfing events.
Champerico can be a little more challenging to get to than some of the other surf spots, but the payoff has the opportunity to surf some of the country’s most extraordinary waves. Intermediate and advanced surfers will be most at home here. Despite the presence of several minor swells, the majority of the waves are larger and harsher.
For beginner surfers, equipment rentals and surf lessons are readily available, making Champerico the perfect place to visit.
Sipacate is a small and relatively unspoiled Guatemala surfing location situated just west of the previously mentioned El Paredon. There is even a high chance that you will get the waves all to yourself no matter what time of year it is. And what makes Sipacate even better is that this is another beach with waves suitable for all levels of surfers.
More advanced surfers will be able to take a shot at head-high waves. Sipacate is known for its quality surfing experience, and with miles of beach to choose from, it is most certainly one of the best places to catch the perfect wave.
Sipacate, Guatemala, is a considerably larger town than El Paredon, and as a result, it has a little more infrastructure. This makes moving from spot to spot a little easier and also provides easier access to places that offer surfboard rentals in town. Overall, Sipacate is a must-visit spot for all aspiring surfers. You will not be disappointed.
It might be easy for some to point out certain negatives to surfing in Guatemala, such as severe rip currents and some poorly maintained beachfront roads. However, the benefits greatly exceed the negative aspects. Surfing is highly underrated in Guatemala, but it is undoubtedly an experience not to be missed!