About Guatemala

It may not be the best surf in Central America, but warm water and uncrowded beachbreaks will always find takers.
Guatemala is a small country with striking contrasts between its topographic features. The Sierra Madre mountain range runs parallel to the Pacific with over thirty volcanoes and many peaks rising above 4,000m (13,100ft). But despite two-thirds of the country being mountainous and volcanic, not a single rock can be spotted along the 250km (156mi) coastline, making for a continuous stretch of mostly black-sand beachbreaks, only interrupted by the occasional rivermouth. This is the main reason why travelling surfers predominantly consider Guatemala as a transit zone between the more challenging breaks of Mexico to the north and the clean pointbreaks of El Salvador to the south. The lack of coast roads means long drives between breaks, but few crowds to share the punchy beach and rivermouth peaks with. Guatemala was first surfed in the sixties but it wasn't until 1984 that the first surfing contest was organised in Puerto San José. The last decade saw a steady group of some 100 local surfers hit the water on a regular basis and the birth of the first surf school, Maya Extreme.

Pros

  • Hardly ever flat

  • Dry season offshore winds

  • Completely uncrowded

  • Cheap lodging & Food

  • Amazing culture and people

Cons

  • Beachbreaks only

  • No coastal road

  • Strong rips

  • Onshore and rainy summer

  • Occasional petty crime

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