Pristine Beaches, World-Class Surf Breaks

El Paredon

Pacific Coast of Guatemala City


El Paredon is a hidden gem nestled along the stunning Pacific coast of Guatemala City. Known for its pristine beaches, world-class surf breaks, and vibrant community of artists and adventurers, El Paredon, Guatemala, offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With its laid-back vibe, breathtaking natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene, El Paredon is the perfect destination for anyone looking to relax, recharge, and connect with nature and like-minded travelers. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore the stunning attractions that make El Paredon, Guatemala, so special and why you should consider visiting this incredible destination. So, let's discover the magic of El Paredon and experience the ultimate beach getaway.

Things to Know About El Paredon

Located between the warm Caribbean Sea and lush mountains, El Paredon is a small beach town located on Guatemala's Pacific Coast. This quaint town offers a relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect place to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Its Central American hot weather and Pacific waves make the region ideal for outdoor activities. A main road with numerous small shops and restaurants lines the beach of El Paredon. Further inland, you will find an array of eco-tourism attractions such as hiking through the rainforest, zip lining, and turtle conservation. The black sand beach, world-class surfing breaks, and welcoming locals make El Paredon an up-and-coming destination for your next adventure.

How to Get to El Paredon?

Plenty of options are present if you want to visit El Paredon. You can either take a bus or hire an Uber or taxi to get there. Let's dig into these options and see how you can make the most of your visit to El Paredon.

Chicken Bus

Many people support local businesses to get to El Paredon. A chicken bus is a cost-effective option. The chicken buses take passengers from Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, or Antigua to El Paredon. However, it may take longer to get there on the chicken bus. If you choose to take the chicken bus, you need to make several transfers to get to the destination.

Uber and Taxi

This is another convenient option, although it will cost you more. You can quickly make your way to El Paredon in an Uber or Taxicab. There are lots of drivers in Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala, who can take you to El Paredon, but you will have to pay more for this option. Moreover, Uber and Taxis operate only on the coast, so that they won't accompany you on your return journey. Ubers are comparatively cheaper than Texi in Guatemala. Taxi drivers often charge you double the price of Uber. So, if you are looking for a cheaper and faster option, you should consider taking an Uber.

Tourist Shuttle

Tourist shuttles are the most affordable and reliable way to get to El Paredon. Tourists can book a tourist shuttle in advance and get picked up from their hotel. The tourist shuttle will take you directly to El Paredon and back. All you need to do is book your seat in advance, and you are good to go. You can also book shared shuttles on the internet. This is a great option if you are traveling alone or with a small group of people. The cost of shared shuttles is much lower than private shuttles. These shuttles pick up passengers from San Pedro la Laguna and take them directly to El Paredon.

What to Do in El Paredon?

Though it's a small town, El Paredon has plenty to offer. With its incredible waves, the beach is a great spot for surfing, paddle boarding, and various adventurous water activities. Here are some awesome things you can do in El Paredon:

Enjoy Surfing

El Paredon's surf town boasts some of the best waves in Central America. With various breaks in all sizes, there is something for everyone, from beginners to professional surfers. You can get surfboards from a board rental in this surf destination if you don't own one. If you are a beginner or first-time surfer, you can get surf lessons through a surf camp or surf school. Paredon Surf House and various other places also offer surf lessons to train visitors. Several surf hostels are also present in El Paredon, perfect for those to meet other surfers. However, the waves are often quite big, so extra caution should be taken when surfing. It's better to be with a surfing tutor or instructor when surfing, especially if you're a beginner.

Experience Surfing
Turtle Hatching
Explore Turtle Hatching

Have you ever witnessed turtles hatch from eggs? Well, El Paredon is a great place to do so. The environmentally aware community has a turtle nesting program. Driftwood Surfer Hostel has a significant role in the process. The hostel management raises money to buy eggs from local fishermen and provide them to the conservatory. During nesting season, they ensure these baby turtles hatch safely and get into the ocean. Every year, from September to December, the eggs of sea turtles hatch, releasing thousands of little sea turtles in the wild. Turtle watching is an incredibly heartwarming experience and something you should witness if you visit El Paredon Turtle Hatchery.

Experience Boat Ride Through Mangroves

The mangrove forests of El Paredon are stunning. Mangroves in Sipacate Naranjo National Park offer a unique boat ride that takes you through the dense, lush forests. You will catch glimpses of spider monkeys and other wild creatures as you navigate your way through this incredibly diverse habitat. The unique environment of El Paredon is just as interesting below the water's surface. With various coral reefs and aquatic life, snorkeling or diving will give you an up-close and personal experience with the rich underwater life. You can also explore the fishing villages and observe the traditional handcrafts of the local fishermen.

Local Restaurants
Dine at a Local Restaurant

After a long day of sightseeing, you can enjoy a luxurious dinner at one of the local restaurants. From seafood specialties to Mexican favorites, you can enjoy an exquisite dining experience in El Paredon. Local restaurants are not only affordable, but they also offer a unique and authentic experience to visitors. Enjoy the local atmosphere, taste the delicious local food, and explore El Paredon all in one evening. You can also experience dining at food huts at El Paredon Beach. Here, you can taste mouth-watering seafood cooked to perfection and sip on a cocktail while taking in the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. You can dine at Soul Food Kitchen, Chef in Flip Flops Beach Haus, or even the El Paredon Beach Bar. Some of these hotels also offer tasty Thai food. After a night of delicious food and drinks, end your evening with a stroll on the beach to take in the beautiful sunset. Yoli's local cuisine, Sandras, and coco frio are some of the most popular dishes in the area. With their exquisite seafood dishes and friendly service, they make for a great dining experience. You should also try Rosa de Jamaica after your meal. This traditional Mexican drink is made from the hibiscus flower and is said to have many health benefits.

Don’t Miss The Sunset at The Beach

Witnessing the magnificent sunset from El Paredon's beach is a must-do. As the sky changes colors, you can take in the warmth of the sun's last rays and feel rejuvenated. The heart-warming spectacle is sure to take your breath away and make the experience one of a kind. Sunrise and sunset both have their stunning beauty in El Paredon. If you are not an early riser, sunset is the right time to experience the beauty of El Paredon. With a refreshing drink, some snacks, and a good book, the sunset experience here is unique.

Homestay With Local Family

If you want to explore the real El Paredon, homestay is necessary. It's the best way to get to know the locals and their culture. You can learn more about their lifestyle and enjoy the hospitality of your host family. By living with a local family, you will be able to explore the area more closely and discover places that most tourists don't know about. This unique experience allows you to get a glimpse into the local way of living, and you can also enjoy delicious home-cooked meals. The local families are known for their hospitality and will be more than happy to show you around. They also love to learn about new cultures, so it's a great opportunity for exchange. La Choza Chula is a popular organization that organizes homestays with local families. They train families so visitors can have a comfortable stay and enjoy the local hospitality. Moreover, they invest their profit in community development projects.

Go for Fishing

El Paredon is famous for its lake, which is home to different species of fish like bass, trout, and tilapia. Fishing is a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the desert. You can find boats that you can rent if you'd like to go on an adventure on the lake. The magical experience of fishing in the small fishing village of El Paredon during sunset allows you to relax your nerves and enjoy the beauty of nature. The local fishermen help visitors learn fishing techniques. They teach them their traditional methods as well so you can learn something new about the culture of El Paredon.

Experience Cooking With Local People

El Paredon is known for its delicious seafood and traditional dishes. You can learn how to cook them with the locals in their kitchens. Its delicious cuisine and hospitality will make you feel right at home. You can also explore new salad recipes or learn how to fry fish. You will see that it's done differently than in other parts of the world. Moreover, you can prepare original Guatemalan tortillas, which are incredibly tasty and unique.

Explore The Black Sand Beach

Located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, El Paredon is home to one of the most beautiful black sand beaches in Central America. Unlike other beaches with white sand, this beach has black sand due to volcanic activity. The Guatemala beach towns are known for their vibrant nightlife, but the beaches of El Paredon are a little less crowded. It's a great place to walk around and take in the scenery while avoiding the noise of other beach towns. You can relax in the sun or walk along the beach, breathe fresh air, and explore its many coves. The beach is surrounded by tropical rainforests and unique black volcanic sand, perfect for swimming and enjoying the sun. Relax in the soft black sand and marvel at the beautiful sunsets painted with golden and pink colors.

Experience Paddleboarding

If you want to enjoy some water sports other than surfing, paddleboarding is a great option. You can rent paddle boards from the beach in El Paredon and explore the stunning Lake Atitlan. It's a great way to get some exercise while taking in the beautiful views of the volcanoes surrounding you. Several hotels offer paddling classes in El Paredon, so it's a great option for those who want to learn more about the sport before renting their own equipment. The unique thing about paddling is that you don't need to get into the ocean. You can experience it in the river without worrying about the crazy waves and dangerous currents. Paddling in El Paredon also enables you to explore the birds, fish, and other wildlife of the mangroves and the lake.

Go Horse Riding on The Black Sand Beach

If you're looking for a fun and unique way to explore El Paredon, consider going horseback riding on the beach. This activity will give you a completely different perspective of the landscape. You'll have the opportunity to see hundreds of migratory birds up close and observe how the sand dunes shift over time. Many hotels and tour companies offer horseback riding packages that include snacks, drinks, and a knowledgeable guide to help you make the most of your experience. Driftwood Surfer Hotel offers the best horseback riding packages in El Paredon. Their experienced instructors will provide you with all the necessary equipment and safety measures to make sure you have an enjoyable and safe experience. Horse Riding around sunset is an amazing experience. The vibrant colors of the dunes against the setting sun will amaze you. Once you get to El Paredon, make sure to take in all the beauty of the desert landscape. This stunning experience makes El Paredon worth visiting.

Have a Party at Driftwood Surfer Hotel

If you are a party lover, you should visit the Driftwood Surfer Hotel while in El Paredon. The hotel offers a beach club bar and lounge that is perfect for summer entertainment. The nightlife here is full of music, drinks, and dancing. If you have a booking at some other hotel, you can still visit the Driftwood Surfer Hotel for its beach parties and live music performances. It's a better option to stay at some other hotel if you sleep early. The music and partying here go on until the wee hours of the morning.

Where to Stay in El Paredon?

In Guatemala, El Paredon offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors to choose from, in addition to a few hotels. Whether you prefer luxury resorts or rustic beach cabins, El Paredon has something for everyone. This beach town also offers various hostels, hotels, and campgrounds to accommodate everyone's budget. Most hostels are located right on the beach so that you can enjoy the stunning views and sounds of the ocean. Here are some amazing spots to stay in El Paredon.

Mellow Hostel

Mellow Hostel is the best hostel that offers cozy rooms and unbeatable prices. This hostel has a swimming pool, lush gardens, and a bar. It is a perfect party hostel and provides some of the best hangout spots in El Paredon. It is also a great choice for those who want to explore El Paredon's vibrant nightlife. It offers dorm rooms, beach shacks, and large dormitories. You can choose a dorm room, private room, or any type of room you like. If you want to explore this hotel but are staying somewhere else, get a day pass. With a day pass, you can visit the hostel and use its facilities while also taking advantage of discounts.

Driftwood Surfer Hostel

This modern hostel is the perfect spot for surfers. It gives you direct access to some of the most famous surfing spots in El Paredon. Driftwood Hostel also has a large open-air terrace and restaurant that offers delicious grilled seafood. The atmosphere here is laid back, relaxed, and fun. On extremely hot days, you can cool off in their pool.

Cocori Lodge

This luxurious hotel is the perfect place for travelers who want to experience El Paredon in style. It offers a traditional Mayan atmosphere with stunning views of the ocean and mountains. Its cabanas are made of bamboo and are equipped with private bathrooms. The staff here is incredibly friendly and will ensure a comfortable stay.

Airbnb Casita

It is the perfect accommodation for budget travelers. With a quiet and peaceful location, this cozy casita offers incredible views of El Paredon and its nature. You'll find a fully-equipped kitchen, air conditioning, and a private patio to enjoy the scenery.

Best Time to Visit El Paredon

El Paredon is a great destination all year round. The dry season runs from November to April with little rain and high temperatures, making it a great time to enjoy the beach. The consistent tides during this season are also great for surfing and other watersports. You can enjoy the beach, visit the nearby villages, or explore the local wildlife. The rainy season is from May to October, with heavy rains and high humidity levels. If you are a beginner, the wet terrain and powerful waves make watersports a challenge. You also need to consider heavy rain when planning outdoor activities. Despite the rain, this season is great for bird watching and taking boat tours of the canals of the nearby villages.

Tips for Visiting El Paredon

El Paredon, Guatemala, is a small village, so it's best to plan your trip ahead of time. Here are some tips to make your visit more smooth and enjoyable:

Buy Insect Repellent

The hot and humid environment of El Paredon is suitable for mosquito and insect breeding. So, buy a good insect repellent before you go there to avoid getting bitten and irritated while exploring the area.

Wear Shoes on the Beach

The dark color of the sand absorbs the sun’s heat. Walking barefoot on the beach hurts your feet, and you might end up with severe sunburns. Always wear shoes when walking across the beach to avoid any kind of discomfort. Also, keep an eye out for sharp rocks and shells that may be hidden in the sand.

Purchase a SIM Card

The WiFi doesn’t work well in El Paredon. Though most of the hotels offer free WiFi, the speed can be slow at times. To stay connected to the internet, purchase a local SIM card once you arrive. This will give you access to data for browsing, emailing, social media, and more.

Bring Cash With You

El Paredon doesn’t have many ATMs, and most shopping spots don’t accept credit cards. Only a few places accept debit cards, and they also charge an additional fee. Therefore, it is best to bring enough cash with you if you plan on shopping in the local stores.

Bring Plenty of Sunscreens

Keep in mind that El Paredon, Guatemala, is located in a tropical climate, so it’s hot and sunny most of the time. It’s essential to bring plenty of sunscreen to avoid any sunburns or skin damage. Additionally, you should also bring a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the intense glare of the sun.


If you're looking for a unique experience on a Guatemala trip, consider visiting El Paredon. With its stunning landscapes and local culture, it is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience. The area offers incredible activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, and surfing, as well as plenty of comfortable accommodation options. While exploring El Paredon, Guatemala, be aware of the street dogs and insects. Whether you're a solo traveler or part of a group, El Paredon is the perfect destination for an unforgettable vacation. So if you haven't visited El Paredon yet, take a chicken bus and explore El Paredon.


Is El Paredon, Guatemala, worth visiting?

Yes, El Paredon is worth visiting. The area offers breathtaking scenery, exciting activities such as kayaking, and a friendly local culture. So don’t forget to visit this incredible destination.

Is El Paredon good for beginner surfers?

Yes, El Paredon is a great destination for beginner surfers. You can learn surfing from experienced and friendly local instructors. The area also offers great waves to practice and test your new skills.

Is it safe to swim in El Paredon?

El Paredom has no lifeguards, but the waters of El Paredon are generally safe for swimming. It is advisable to pay attention to ocean conditions before entering and use caution when swimming.

Can you surf in El Paredon?

Yes, El Paredon is an amazing destination for surfing. There are many breaks and points to explore, offering excellent conditions for all levels of surfers. With its consistent waves, El Paredon is an ideal destination for beginner to advanced surfers.