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Surfing Guatemala

Roam Chronicles

Surfing Guatemala is rarely going to make any ‘best surfing’ lists.  The surf in Guatemala is known for being a bit softer, mushier, less critical than its neighbors – Mexico to the north, El Salvador and Nicaragua to the south.

However, one of the problems with labeling something “the best”, especially when it comes to something like surfing, is that our surfing abilities, comfort levels, fitness levels, all vary widely.

When it comes to surfing, “best surfing” or “best waves” often really mean the most difficult. 

In our minds we all want to be slotted deep in some shallow-reef barrel, but in reality that isn’t the best wave for everyone. 

And this is exactly why the best surfing in Central America might just be Guatemala for some people.

Surfing Guatemala – Surf and Culture Trips in One

One of the great things about a surf trip to Guatemala is that you can roll in some serious culture if you are looking for more than just a surf-focused trip (yes, I’ve heard that people actually do this).

The location of Guatemala’s surf spots relative to its airport means that you can easily take in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Antigua on your way to or from the beaches.

Talk about an am amazing cultural side trip to your surfing!

While you’re in Antigua, you also happen to be right in the region that some of Guatemala’s, and the world’s, best coffee is grown.  

Coffee, Antigua, and surf?  All without spending days on the road driving around? So far so good.

The possibility of this trip itinerary is enough to make a surf trip to Guatemala worth it, regardless of whether the waves are going to crack any “best of” lists or land you on the cover of Surfer magazine.

Guatemala Beaches

With a long Pacific coastline, and even some beaches on the Caribbean, Guatemala has plentiful options for beaches to explore.

With all of the surfing in Guatemala happening on its Pacific coast, and that coastline being so much closer to other major cities and airports, we focus on Guatemala beaches in this area.

Here are some of the most popular surf spots and beaches in Guatemala for planning your next trip.

El Paredon

Just a three-hour or so drive from Guatemala City or Antigua is the popular surf spot of El Paredon.  This is Guatemala’s most well-known surf spot.  Plus its ease of accessibility makes it a great place to put on your list.


Sipacate isn’t far from El Paredon as the bird flies, but you get there by going a totally different way.  This small and less crowded wave can be good for beginners looking to have the place to themselves.


Iztapa is a beach town just down the road from El Paredon to the south.  The mellow waves are inviting to surfers of all levels just looking to get out in the warm tropical water.


Champerico may be Guatemala’s best wave, but since it is a bit far out of the way in the North of the country, it is also its least visited.  You’ll be surfing mainly with locals here in Champerico.

As you can tell, one of the reasons that Guatemala isn’t high up on the list for most traveling surfers is that it just isn’t known for difficult waves.  However, this is exactly what might make it the best surfing in Central America for some people.

More Articles and Guides About Surfing in Central America

Best Surfing in Central America

Best Surfing in the Caribbean

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Surfing Nicaragua

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Surf Travel Insurance – Should I get it?

Related Travel Book Articles, Recommendations, and Favorites

Travel Book Reviews and Recommendations – Whether it is a new travel book, a classic, or anything in between, here are some of our favorite books to inspire you in between trips or accompany you on your journey.

Great Surfing Books – As you can see on this website, we have a bit of a surfing problem. Surfing isn’t the only reason we travel, but it wouldn’t be a lie to say the next surf trip generally dominates our thoughts. Our list of great surfing books highlights some of our favorite books on the sport, lifestyle, and journey of surfers.

Great Surf Trip Books – While we have a separate list of great surfing books (books actually about surfing), I’ve found that when I’m actually on a surf trip I gravitate towards other things. Whether it is something cultural on the place I am visiting or some sort of epic ocean adventure, here are some great books to accompany you on your surf trip.

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