There's something about the ocean that just makes people feel good. Maybe it's the sound of the waves or the salty air, but there's no doubt that a day at the beach is a perfect way to relax and unwind. And what could be better than spending a day at one of the best beaches in Guatemala?
With its stunning Mayan ruins, dense rainforest and crystal-clear waters, Guatemala is a paradise for beach lovers. Here are some of the best Guatemala beaches.
Only lately has the Paredon Beach in El Salvador become a tourist attraction. From an overlooked fishing hamlet, it has grown to be one of Guatemala's most popular beaches, not just for surfers but also for a young crowd of party lovers and locals alike.
The tourist bus is the safest way to get around in Guatemala, so it's the only place where you can arrive by tour bus. For about 120Q, you may buy your ticket from any local travel agency and be transferred from Antigua to your hotel at El Paredon.
Despite being a popular destination among tourists, it is not touristy or clogged. It lacks all of the necessary infrastructures to become a major overdeveloped beach resort due to its lack of popularity.
The beach and ocean waves at El Paredon are ideal for surfers and strong swimmers, making it a very laid-back village. If you're not a good swimmer or uncomfortable in moderate ocean currents, I'd avoid going into the water.
Between the rainforest and the Caribbean, Funky Livingston is a colorful wood village nestled between two regions. It can only be reached by boat from Puerto Barrios or by traveling down the Rio Dulce, a river that meanders through the jungle.
Hiking along the coast leads to more distant, cleaner beaches, but the beach immediately outside of Livingston isn't particularly enticing. Playa Blanca is a favorite, although it is easier to get to by boat.
To see the seven magnificent waterfalls and pools known as Los Siete Altares, take a taxi 5 kilometers north of Livingston.
Monterrico, located on Guatemala's Pacific Coast, is the most popular Guatemala beach. With black volcanic sand and a strong current, Monterrico isn't one of Central America's postcard-perfect gems, but that's part of its draw.
The beach at Monterrico is large, but it's not crowded because of the enormous condominiums that crowd the sands of other beaches. Buses depart from Guatemala City and Antigua, making it convenient to access. It's also a popular excursion from Antigua.
Playa Tilapa is one of the most isolated Guatemalan beaches, located near the Mexican border. Tilapita is a tiny fishing town that's basic and rustic. A ten-minute boat journey takes you to the beach, which is bordered by mangrove trees. At Playa Tilapa, spectacular sunsets, potentially excellent waves for surfing, and a laid-back rural Guatemalan beach experience are all waiting for you.
The beach is a little far off the usual path, so the best way to appreciate it is to stay at one of the beach hotels, which allow for easier access to and from the beach. The Ecolodge Cabañas which is in Playa Quilombo, is a basic but pleasant place close to the beach where you may unwind and enjoy magnificent sunsets. Peter, the kind proprietor, and the helpful staff will make your stay unforgettable.
There is not much to do beyond chillaxing on the beach, and WIFI isn't accessible outside. If you go on your own, this is the place where you need to disconnect and read a book or meditate, or go with friends and have some great conversations and giggles.
There is no public transport to get there so you either rent a car (which I discourage doing in Guatemala) or get an UBER which may charge around 500Q one way.
Buses from Puerto San José frequently continue on to Iztapa, one of Guatemala's most beautiful black sand beaches. It was founded by the Spanish in 1525 and, like Puerto San José, is still a major base for some of the world's finest sailing.
You may enjoy surfing, whale-watching, or going fishing in the sea from Iztapa. It's great to go across the river on a boat to a sandbar where you can watch the waves while eating and drinking at one of the little seaside eateries.
Puerto Barrios is a seaport in Guatemala's Caribbean Zone. It is a launching point for Livingston and for boats going to Punta Gorda on Belize's southern coast by water. Although there aren't any famous beaches in Puerto Barrios, you may go for a short boat trip to nearby Guatemalan beaches like Punta de Manabique, Punta de Palma, and Playa Blanca.