As far as international surf destinations go, Guatemala is very much in its infancy. But don’t let that put you off, all it means is you will be one of the few people that gets to appreciate the unspoiled expanses of black sand along the country’s Pacific coast.
El Paredon Surf House is the perfect place to do so, located in the province of Escuintla, around four hours by car from Guatemala City. Upon arrival, the isolation is striking; it really is just you, the other guests and the ocean.
The area boasts the most consistent surf in Guatemala, with waves varying from chest-high from November to April, to an altogether more daunting head-height from May to October. Beginners can take lessons organized by the on-site surf school, while more experienced surfers can rent a board before heading out by themselves.
Whatever their height, the waves are powerful and a strong undertow means that surfers are ready for a well-deserved break after a big day in the waves, relaxing in the thatched roof accommodations and eating freshly caught fish from the hostel restaurant.
Although El Paredon is a true paradise for surfers, it merits a visit for other reasons, including a freshwater swimming pool for more leisurely water-based pursuits, as well as tours to see the nearby mangrove swamps and local sea turtle populations.
If you are an experienced surfer, or even a new convert to the sport, continue your surf trip by heading further south to the more developed town of Monterrico, before continuing down the coast to the surfing mecca of El Tunco in El Salvador.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Sai Sa Ard is the place for breakfast. You may order a fruit bowl, roti canal ($12), a common breakfast street food, or an omelet and rice with sweet chili sauce. If you cannot handle rice in the morning, ask for an alternative or order something else from the menu.
We can see it now and remember when it happened to us: Watching as the black car icon loops around and around, seemingly endlessly, and our wait time on the rideshare app continually changes. Long wait times and confused drivers are just a few bothersome issues that can nag at rideshare users. Need a solution? Ditch rideshares altogether in favor of renting a car on your next trip.
There’s a sea of information on what to do during a travel emergency, but little on what to do if you’re planning an emergency trip. Sick relatives, natural disasters and unexpected mishaps may require packing up to leave in minutes. Come as prepared as possible with a few emergency trip tips.