A quick two hours away from Antigua, Guatemala is the perfect beach town of Paredon. We took a much more round about way of getting there (see post here) but I am so glad we were convinced to visit Paredon. IT IS PERFECT. The waves are consistent, the beach is outstanding and the sunrises and sunsets over the Pacific cannot be beat. Be sure to include Paredon in your plans when you visit Guatemala.
Paredon Hotels / Hostels
This hostel is famous for being THE beach party hostel in Guatemala and I can 100% confirm this reputation. We stayed next door at the Paredon Surf House but we did walk over to check out the festivities at Driftwood Surfer. The pool and swim-up bar area are very nice. That being said there was a huge float taking up 90% of the pool and the people strewn about looked like they could be in a new Hangover movie taking place in Guatemala. We went back that night to try trivia and all I can say is that it was one of the most outrageous hostel parties I have ever been to (including our trip to the Mad Monkey in Siem Reap).
This “hostel” is by far my favorite of our trip so far. I hate to even call it a hostel as we had our beds made every day, the bathrooms with outdoor showers were spotless, and the staff was amazingly helpful and friendly. We went for a private beach bungalow over the sand but you really can’t go wrong with Paredon Surf House. The dorm only has 4 bunks and it also has a great ocean view. We were able to check the surf from our bed and had a private hammock and table under our loft. The food was great and the family dinners were super fun. My only complaint is that the $20 per day cost to rent surf boards seems a little steep.
Things to do in Paredon
The surf in Paredon was surprisingly similar to the surf I am used to at home in San Diego. The big difference is that there are about 99% less people in the water and it is amazingly warm and perfect. There is a good mix of local surfers and tourists from the hostels. Everyone seems to get along and have a tranquilo attitude. The locals are SUPER good surfers and they were cheering us on and had fun as we undoubtedly got in their way. I have never meet a more positive group of local surfers.
It is also a great break for beginners to learn on. Despite living walking distance to a surf park in San Diego, Rachel had not gotten very into it. She decided to have a lesson from Paredon Surf House ($25 for the hour) and absolutely loved it. The lesson was only an hour long but she was able to get up several times.
Rachel and I walked all the way down to the “end of the beach” on the west side of the city. The end is marked by a river that flows out from inside the mangrove forest to the ocean. We were the only people on the beach and looking around it seemed like we had stepped back in time. There is one hotel down at the end but it did not look like anyone was there. Warning: if you are going to do the beach walk in the morning bring sandals! The black sand gets very hot by mid morning.
Paradise paralysis took ahold of Rachel and I so we opted to just relax at the beach and surf over doing the Mangrove tour. We did talk to a couple of people that went and they seemed to have a good time and recommended it. We were able to see the mangroves on our walk and on Isla Holbox so we decided to skip them here. If you need a break from surfing this might be a cool way to spend an afternoon. They even take you fishing!
There is a turtle incubator next to the hostel but I got the impression that it was abandoned or closed. The locals said it was just seasonal. So if you happen to be in Paredon during the right season you might get to see baby turtles make their first run to the ocean.
Sunrise and Sunset
We were able to sit in the same hammocks in front of our room and watch the sun rise and set over the Pacific Ocean. I am not sure how this is possible as ususally you just get one or the other. But Paredon just has that sort of magic to it.
Aside from the two hostels I mentioned and a few other smaller ones spread about there is not much else in Paredon. We did eat at a local restaurant located directly behind Paredon Surf House. They had AMAZING ceviche (despite the rundown appearance). Even if you are not a surfer the waves are fun to play in! Just be sure that you are careful of the strong riptides.
The relaxed vibes and amazing sunsets will have you feeling like you are truly on vacation.
Want more information to plan your trip to Paredon? Check out the Guatemala Lonely Planet here.