El Paredón Surf Camp
East from Sipacate about five kilometers is the village of El Paredón Buena Vista, home to Guatemala’s surfing mecca. Featured in National Geographic Adventure and Outside, El Paredón Surf Camp (tel. 7812-3387 or 5744-9342, www.surf-guatemala.com) is a bare-bones surfing hideaway where you can stay in a bed or hammock with meals for $12 a day. The meals are provided by a local family and are heavy on seafood.
Surfboards are available for rent at $15 a day. You can put them to good use on the sea, which dishes out 1.5–2-meter (5–6-foot) rollers opposite the lovely beach at your doorstep.
The owners insist you book in advance. Transport from Antigua or Guatemala City takes two hours and costs $45. It is highly recommended, as getting here by public bus involves changing buses four times.
El Paredón is inside Sipacate-Naranjo National Park, home to large extensions of mangrove forests. Little has been done to make the park an authentic ecotourism attraction. The emphasis at El Paredón is decidedly on the surfing aspects, though the owners can arrange kayaking in the neighboring lagoons.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com