El Paredon Guatemala Surf – A Complete Guide By A Surfer
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In this post, I share my first-hand experience of surfing in El Paredon, Guatemala!
Set on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala, a two-hour bus ride from the country’s tourist hotspot – Antigua, El Paredon remains under the radar of mainstream tourism.
But this won’t last forever, as the world already knows about El Paredon, and more surfers are heading this way in search of empty lineups and consistent waves, which are the main drawcards of this small fishing town.
If you’re looking for detailed information about the conditions and experience of surfing in Guatemala El Paredon, keep reading!
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El Paredon Guatemala Surf Overview
Surfboard rental cost | 150 GTQ ($19 or €18) for the whole day or 80 GTQ ($10 or €9) for ½ day.
Surf class cost | The lesson typically takes 1 hour and costs 200 GTQ ($25 or €23).
Surf season | November to April
Type of surf spot | Beach break with a sandy bottom
Top 2 Best Surf Camps in El Paredon Gutemala
Paredon Surf House – Best For Intermediate Surfers
This property is the best El Paredon surf camp stay, right on the beach and boasting a shared pool and an excellent restaurant. It has a really good selection of different-sized surfboards available to rent only to its guests. If you’re an intermediate independent surfer, this property is an excellent choice!
Book top El Paredon surf camp at the best rate here:
ZOAH SURF – Best For Beginners & Advance Surfers
Zoah is where we stayed, and we loved its location – right by the beach but a little away from the main part. There is a shared pool and a cafe where you can have brunch and two kittens to play with! Here, you can book surf classes and rent soft top boards – perfect for beginners and short boards.
Book the exact same hotel we stayed in:
Need more options? Check out – 11 Best El Paredon Hotels In Guatemala
When Can You Surf In Paredon Guatemala?
El Paredon Guatemala Surf Season
The best time to surf in El Paredon is from November to April, which coincides with the dry season in Guatemala.
During the dry season, there is hardly any rain, and the sea is perfect for intermediate surfers, offering small to medium swell and long rides. The wind blows mostly offshore, and surfers can enjoy the glassy sea!
November to April is also a great time to come to El Paredon to learn surfing for the first time and hopefully progress into the green waves.
In May, the big swell comes to El Paredon, which is also the beginning of the rainy season in Guatemala. El Paredon beach is directly exposed to any southern swell formed near Antarctica, resulting in some crazy big waves hitting Paredon between May and October.
During that time, there are some serious burrels to be surfed in El Paredon, but they are only suitable for the pro surfers.
In the rainy season, El Paredon receives most of the rainfall at night or in the evening. And, in the early morning, surfers can still enjoy a glassy sea and offshore wind.
If you’re a beginner surfer, you will still be able to get surf classes at this time, at low tide, but you probably won’t be able to progress into surfing on unbroken waves because they will be simply too big for you.
El Paredon Guatemala Surf Report
If you’re planning to surf El Paredon Guatemala waves and looking for an up-to-date surf forecast, I recommend downloading Magic Seaweed app to your phone. If you’ve never checked the surf forecast before, don’t worry, I’ll give you a few tips so that you will understand what you’re looking at.
Here are the main things to pay attention to when checking the El Paredon weather forecast for surfers.
The first thing to look at is the swell. Swell basically indicates how big the waves are. The general rule is that the small swell is suitable for beginners and intermediate surfers, and the bigger swell will be more desirable to pro surfers.
To give you an idea, as an intermediate surfer in Bali, I surf with a swell being 4-6 feet high. In El Paredon, anything over 3 feet is suitable only for advanced surfers on short boards.
As a beginner surfer, you don’t need to pay as much attention to swell forecast because you’ll be surfing on what’s known as “whitewash”, which is the area of the sea where waves have already broken.
Tides are changing sea levels in response to the forces of the moon and the sun.
In El Paredon, the best time to come surfing as a beginner is at low tide. At low tide, the waves break further back, creating a large shallow area of the sea at the front of the beach.
This shallow area is safe and suitable for taking your first rides on the surfboard. If you book a class, your instructor will check the surf forecast and schedule your class during the low tide.
If you’re an intermediate or advanced surfer, the best time to surf in El Paredon, Guatemala, is at high tide. At high tide, there is a bigger mass of water which requires more force and takes longer to break. Because waves take longer to break, you can enjoy longer rides!
In contrast, at low tide, waves close out much faster, resulting in very short rides that are not ideal, especially for intermediate surfers that ride on longer boards.
The last thing to check on the El Paredon Guatemala surf forecast is the wind – its speed and direction. The wind speed is expressed in miles per hour, and we want as little wind as possible. The app will warn you if the wind adversely affects the surf conditions with orange and red colours.
When it comes to wind direction, the ideal is the wind blowing offshore.
Usually, the best conditions for surfing in terms of wind are early in the morning, just after sunrise, when the sea has a smooth, glassy surface. I’d always recommend going surfing in the early morning if the swell and the tide forecast are suitable for your surf level.
El Paredon Surf Board Rental
Surfboard rental cost | 150 GTQ ($19 or €18) for the whole day or 80 GTQ ($10 or €9) for ½ day.
There are, surprisingly, limited options for renting surfboards in El Paredon. We heard from the locals that it is not really a profitable business as surfboards are expensive, and people rent them out and break them a lot. We have seen that happen too!
The surf beach in El Paredon can be super dangerous for you and your surfboard if you have no idea what you’re doing! That is why I can’t recommend enough going surfing with an experienced instructor. Me and my partner are intermediate surfers, and we still went with an instructor our first time in El Paredon.
Most El Paredon hotels offer surfboard rentals exclusively to their guests, so it is important to book the right place to stay if you’re serious about your surfing progress while in Paredon.
I recommend staying with Paredon Surf House, which has by far the best range of quality long surfboards for beginners and intermediate surfers.
If you’re a beginner surfer and will be taking classes, your instructor will bring a suitable soft top board for you, so you don’t need to worry too much.
And the town has a much better selection of short rental boards for experienced surfers.
Surfboard rentals in El Paredon:
Surf Shack Paredon (near Cafecito del Mar)
Rental Shop in a skatepark (looks like an abandoned petrol station)
Laundry shop (it also has a few surfboards)
Is El Paredon Good For Beginner Surfers?
The short answer is YES. El Paredon is a great place to learn surfing for the first time. It’s super easy to book a class, and they are relatively affordable.
The best time for beginners to surf in El Paredon, Guatemala, is at low tide and low swell.
You will start your surfing journey on a long, soft-top board. The bigger the board, the easier it’s going to be to stand up. Soft boards are also cheaper and more durable, so breaking them is much harder.
Your surfing instructor will take you to the shore, and you will be surfing on the “whitewash” after the waves’ breaking point. The instructor will also push you to make it easier for you to pop up on the board.
After taking 1-3 classes, it’s safe for you to rent a board and independently go and surf on the broken waves during the low tide. And, if your balance is on point, you can ask your teacher to take you to the lineup to start learning surfing on the green waves, where the real fun begins!
How Much Is A Surf Class In El Paredon?
Surf classes are widely available in El Paredon, and when you arrive, just ask your accommodation host, and they will be able to organise it for you.
The lesson typically takes 1 hour and costs 200 GTQ ($25 or €23). This price includes one on one coaching, a surfboard and often a rashguard.
Is El Paredon Good For Intermediate Surfers?
El Paredon Guatemala surf spot is also suitable for intermediate surfers. If you’re an independent surfer with a solid experience of surfing on green waves (the unbroken waves), you’ll love it here!
The best time to visit El Paredon for the best surfing conditions is between November and April. El Paredon is a beach break, which means you can surf practically anywhere along the shore.
Because there are many peaks, the lineups are mostly empty, so you won’t need to compete for waves with anyone. The busiest spot in El Paredon is normally in front of Cocori Lodge, and even there, it’s nowhere near what I would call busy.
The best time to surf for the intermediate level is at high tide and low (up to 3 feet) swell.
Be aware that it may be a little challenging to paddle out and pass the wave breakpoint to the lineup. Just be patient, time it right, and fully go for it, in between the sets.
Is El Paredon Good For Advanced Surfers?
Yes! Because El Paredon is not sheltered by any land or island, it gets all the swell that is building up around Antarctica, which means there is always a wave to surf on!
The best time to visit El Paredon for the best advanced level surfing is also between November and April. Don’t let the surf forecast fool you into thinking that the waves are small! Anything above 3 feet will be more than suitable!
Other Things To Do In El Paredon Guatemala
El Paredon is a super chilled fishing village that is transforming into a cool surf town. It may lack many modern comforts, but it definitely doesn’t fall short of local charm and interesting things to do.
Here is a snippet of the best things to do, and for the whole list and details, head to El Paredon Guatemala – 13+ Cool Things To Do, Where To Stay & Eat
#1 Party at Cocori
El Paredon is famous for its parties! If you want to go out, check out Cocori Lodge, which frequently organises parties and has a poster advertising the next event inside the restaurant.
#2 Visit Carveceria Catorce
Are you a fan of craft beer? If you answered yes, then you must visit Carveceria Catorce, which is a Guatemalan brewery from Antigua that has its beach club near El Paredon! Playa Catorce is an excellent place to spend the whole day. They have a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the beach and great food!
#3 Go Standup Paddleboarding In The Mangrove
If you want to take a break from surfing, spend an early morning exploring the local mangrove forest on a SUP. You can either rent one and paddle along the calm river independently or take a SUP tour.
#4 Watch Turtles Being Released To The Ocean
For a one-in-lifetime experience, wake up early in the morning and head to the beach at sunrise to watch the tinny turtles that just hatched being released into the ocean.
More Tips For Surfing El Paredon Guatemala
The beach in El Paredon has some really strong rip currents, which can be dangerous for people that don’t know anything about them. A rip current is like a channel with a powerful force out and to the sides, and it is normally a space between breaking waves.
If you find yourself in a rip current, the most important is to stay calm and let the sea take you out, from where you swim to the side of it and back to the beach.
Wear Quality Zinc
We got burned even with a thick layer of zinc (obviously not a good one), so you can imagine what can happen to your face after two hours of surfing in the sun with only sun cream on it. If it’s possible, try booking a surf class early in the morning or before sunset. to avoid sunburn. And you can buy good quality zinc at Zoah Surf.
Rashguarrd Is A Must
Rashguard protects you not only from sun exposure but also from getting a rush from rubbing against the board’s surface. If you book a class, your instructor will normally provide you with one; otherwise, a t-shirt is also fine.
Mosquito & sandflies
Bring with you a good insect repellent, as the mosquitos in El Paredon are vicious! There also seemed to be some sort of sand bugs that attack your feet during the evening and seemed to favour my feet over my partner’s feet!
It is also a good idea to buy some sort of anti-bite relief cream, as the pharmacies in Paredon have a really limited supply. The bites on my feet were so itchy that they kept me up at night, no kidding!
El Paredon Guatemala Surf – FAQ
Is El Paredon, Guatemala worth visiting?
El Paredon is totally worth a visit if you’re interested in surfing. The town has a beach break, which means there are many spots along the beach where it is possible to surf. Empty lineups is a dream come true for surfers (including myself!) Most hotels also offer affordable surf classes and board rentals.
Apart from the surf, El Paredon is also a fantastic off-beaten track destination where you can simply take a break and unplug from the world. The town is also famous for its party vibe.
Is El Paredon Guatemala safe?
The short answer is yes. El Paredon is a super small town where you can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes and where everyone knows everyone, so the crime rate is very low.
The local people are super friendly, and there is also a small community of expats that live here and are also friendly and willing to chat with you about their experience of living here.
I spent in this town a fair amount of time and felt safe, even walking at night.
My main El Paredon Guatemala safety warning is to watch out for rip currents and sand bugs!
Does Guatemala have good surfing?
El Paredon is one of the best Guatemala surf spots. The other Guatemala surf towns are Sipacate and Iztapa.
El Paredon Guatemala Surf Final Word
I hope you found this guide to El Paredon Guatemala surf helpful! We had a great time surfing in El Paredon and would definitely return. Stay safe, and have fun!