Best Surf Spots in Guatemala: Where to Catch the Perfect Wave

Looking for the best surf spots in Guatemala? You’re in luck. Guatemala boasts some of Central America’s most underrated surfing destinations. With over 300 kilometers of volcanic black sand beaches on the Pacific coast and stunning white sand beaches with beautiful turquoise water on the Caribbean coast, there’s no shortage of options for surfers of all levels.

One of the most well-known surf spots in Guatemala is El Paredon. Located about two hours south of Antigua, El Paredon is known for its great swells and fun, friendly atmosphere. However, because it’s the most well-known, it can also be the most crowded and most expensive. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other surf spots to explore along the coastline.

If you’re looking for mellow surf with waves that can be small enough for beginners, Guatemala’s surf breaks are relatively empty compared to other neighboring countries’ waves. Some of the best and most consistent surf spots are located on the south-facing coast of the country, including Iztapa, Sipacate, and Chaperico. So grab your board and get ready to catch some waves in Guatemala’s beautiful and underrated surf destinations.

Understanding Surfing in Guatemala

If you’re planning a surfing trip to Guatemala, it’s important to understand the country’s surfing culture, weather patterns, and infrastructure. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Weather and Seasons

Guatemala is located in Central America and has a tropical climate. The country has two main seasons: the rainy season (May to October) and the dry season (November to April). During the rainy season, you can expect heavy rainfall and occasional thunderstorms, which can make surfing conditions challenging. However, the rainy season also brings larger swells, which can make for great surfing if you’re up for the challenge. The dry season has more consistent surf conditions, but the waves may be smaller.

Surfing Culture

Guatemala has a small but growing surfing community. The locals are friendly and welcoming to surfers, and you’ll find a laid-back surfing culture throughout the country. There are a few surf camps and schools in Guatemala that offer lessons and equipment rentals, but the surfing infrastructure is still developing. You may need to bring your own equipment or rent from a local surf shop.


The coastal roads in Guatemala are generally in good condition, but they can be narrow and winding in some areas. If you’re planning to drive along the coast, be prepared for some challenging driving conditions. Guatemala City is the main hub for transportation in the country, and you can easily rent a car or take a bus to the coast. When it comes to infrastructure for surfers, there are a few surf shops and camps scattered along the coast, but they are still relatively few and far between.

Overall, surfing in Guatemala can be a rewarding experience for those who are up for the challenge. With a growing surfing culture, beautiful beaches, and consistent surf conditions, Guatemala is quickly becoming a popular destination for surfers in Central America.

Top Surf Spots in Guatemala

Guatemala may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of surfing, but it offers some great spots for surfers of all levels. Here are some of the top surf spots in Guatemala:

El Paredon

El Paredon is perhaps the most well-known surf spot in Guatemala. It is located just two hours south of Antigua and is known for its great swells and fun, friendly atmosphere. The beach break is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers and offers both right and left waves. However, it can get crowded, especially during the peak season.


Iztapa is a river mouth break that offers both left and right waves. It is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers and is known for its long rides. The best time to surf here is during high tide. Equipment rental is available nearby.


Sipacate is a beach break located on the Pacific Ocean. It offers both left and right waves and is suitable for surfers of all levels. The waves here are usually smaller, making it a great spot for beginners. However, it can get crowded during the peak season.


Champerico is a beach break that offers bigger waves than other spots in Guatemala. It is suitable for advanced surfers and is known for its powerful waves. It can get crowded during the peak season, but it is usually uncrowded during the off-season.


Monterrico is a black sand beach that offers both left and right waves. It is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers and is known for its consistent waves. The beach is also home to piers and jetties that create some interesting breaks.

Rio Maria Linda

Rio Maria Linda is a white sand beach located on the Caribbean coast. It offers both left and right waves and is suitable for surfers of all levels. The waves here are usually smaller, making it a great spot for beginners. However, it is important to note that the beach is quite remote and can be difficult to get to.

Overall, Guatemala offers some great surf spots for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re looking for beach breaks, river mouths, or bigger waves, you’re sure to find something that suits your style.

Surfing Equipment and Lessons

If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you rent equipment from a surf shop rather than buying your own. This way, you can try out different boards and find the one that suits you best. Most surf shops in Guatemala offer surfboard rentals, as well as wetsuits and other necessary gear.

Equipment Rental

If you are an experienced wave rider, you may want to bring your own equipment. However, if you are traveling from afar, it may be more convenient to rent equipment once you arrive in Guatemala. Surfboard rentals typically cost around $15-20 per day, while wetsuits can be rented for around $10 per day.

Surf Lessons

If you are looking to learn how to surf, there are plenty of surf schools and instructors in Guatemala that offer lessons for all levels of experience. Lessons typically include a surfboard and wetsuit rental, as well as one-on-one coaching. Prices for lessons vary depending on the length of the lesson and the number of people in the group.

Most surf schools in Guatemala offer lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers. They also offer surf camps, which are multi-day programs that include accommodation, meals, and daily surf lessons. If you are serious about learning how to surf, a surf camp may be a good option for you.

Overall, whether you are a beginner or an expert, there are plenty of options for equipment rental and surf lessons in Guatemala. Make sure to do your research and choose a reputable surf shop or school to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Safety and Precautions

When surfing in Guatemala, it is important to take necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Understanding waves and tides, as well as dealing with rip currents and rocks, are crucial aspects of staying safe while surfing.

Understanding Waves and Tides

Before heading out to surf, it is important to understand the waves and tides in the area. Swell size and wave direction can greatly affect the quality and difficulty of the waves. It is important to check surf reports and forecasts to determine the best time and location to surf based on your skill level.

Tides can also greatly affect the waves and should be taken into consideration when planning a surf session. High tide can create powerful waves, but can also cause waves to break too close to shore. Low tide can expose rocks and create dangerous conditions. It is important to be aware of the tide schedule and plan accordingly.

Dealing with Rip Currents and Rocks

Rip currents and rocks are common hazards when surfing in Guatemala. Rip currents are strong currents that pull away from shore and can quickly carry surfers out to sea. It is important to be able to identify rip currents and how to escape them. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current and then swim back to shore.

Rocks can also be a danger when surfing in Guatemala. It is important to be aware of the location of rocks and avoid surfing near them. If you do find yourself surfing near rocks, be sure to wear proper protective gear and be prepared to bail out if necessary.

In conclusion, surfing in Guatemala can be a fun and rewarding experience as long as necessary safety precautions are taken. Understanding waves and tides, as well as dealing with rip currents and rocks, are crucial aspects of staying safe while surfing. Always remember to check surf reports and forecasts, be aware of your skill level, and wear proper protective gear.

Accommodations and Amenities

When it comes to accommodations and amenities, Guatemala has a variety of options for surfers of all budgets and preferences. From affordable surf camps to luxurious hotels, you can find a place to stay that suits your needs.

Surf Camps and Hotels

If you’re looking for a more immersive surfing experience, surf camps are a great option. They offer packages that include surf lessons, board rentals, and accommodations. One of the most popular surf camps is Swell Surf & Lifestyle Hotel located in El Paredon. It offers comfortable accommodations, delicious food, and a variety of amenities such as a swimming pool, yoga classes, and a bar.

For those who prefer a more independent experience, there are many hotels to choose from. The Container Hotel in Iztapa is a great option for expats and travelers who want to be close to the surf breaks. It offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.

Food and Dining

Guatemala has a diverse food culture, and you can find a variety of options for dining. Most surf camps and hotels offer meals as part of their packages, but if you want to explore the local cuisine, there are many restaurants and cafes to choose from.

For coffee lovers, Guatemala is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world. You can find many cafes that serve delicious coffee, such as Cafe No Se in Antigua.

When it comes to currency, Guatemala uses the Guatemalan quetzal. It’s recommended to exchange your currency at a bank or an exchange office to get the best rates.

Overall, Guatemala offers a variety of accommodations and dining options for surfers of all budgets and preferences. Whether you choose to stay at a surf camp or a hotel, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches and waves that Guatemala has to offer.

Exploring Beyond Surfing

While Guatemala is known for its fantastic surf spots, there are plenty of other activities to do and sights to see beyond the waves. Here are some options to consider during your trip:

Tourism and Sightseeing

Guatemala is home to a rich history and culture, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore it. One must-see destination is Tikal, the ancient Mayan ruins located in the northern part of the country. The ruins are some of the most impressive in Central America, and you can easily spend a day or two exploring them.

If you’re interested in natural wonders, Guatemala has plenty of those as well. The country is home to several active volcanoes, including Volcan Pacaya and Volcan de Fuego. You can take guided hikes up these volcanoes for some incredible views.

Other Water Sports

While surfing is the main draw for water sports in Guatemala, there are other options to consider as well. Kayaking is a popular activity, with several rivers and lakes throughout the country to explore. Lake Atitlan is a particularly stunning spot for kayaking, surrounded by volcanoes and small villages.

If you’re looking for some adventure, white water rafting is also an option. The Rio Cahabon is a popular spot for rafting, with rapids ranging from class II to class V.


While surfing is undoubtedly one of the highlights of a trip to Guatemala, there is so much more to explore. From ancient ruins to active volcanoes to kayaking and white water rafting, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay.

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