United States travel magazines have put the word out concerning El Paredón Surf Camp (tel. 7812-3387 or 5744-9342), a bare-bones surfing paradise on one of Guatemala’s best breaks. Still, you wouldn’t know it cruising around the sandy streets of this quiet village where chickens roam freely. You can still show up on almost any given day with nary another surfer in sight.
The biggest waves can be found during swells occurring between mid-March and late October with wave faces sometimes as large as 18 feet. During other times of the year, waves average 3–6 feet with the occasional 10-foot swell.
If you want to check out the surfing scene in Guatemala, a useful website is Surfing Guatemala, established by Pedro Pablo Vergara, a local surfer who costarted Maya Extreme Surf School and offers trips to Guatemala’s surf spots. The site lists about 20 breaks along the Pacific Coast with area maps to help you find them, along with information on accommodations ranging from budget surf camps to stays in private villas. The school can also arrange transportation for you and your surfboards to various surf spots from Guatemala City.
Along with Maripaz Fernandez, Vergara started Maya Extreme Surf School in 2001 and Maya Extreme Surf Shop (Centro Comercial Pradera Concepción Local 308, tel. 6637- 9593) in 2005. The shop sells the company’s own brand of “G-land surfboards” and is based in one of Guatemala City’s nicest shopping malls. A one-day “learn to surf” package costs $125, including transfers, food, equipment, and instruction.
In 2006, Robert August (of Endless Summer fame) traveled to Guatemala with his crew to surf the Pacific Coast waves. The result was The Endless Journey Continues, a movie chronicling their trip to Guatemala.
Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Guatemala.