There’s a well-kept secret near Antigua Guatemala: the nearby pristine and beautiful beaches in the Monterrico Guatemala area. Getting there is easy by car or shuttle van and you can drive there in under two hours. However, it might take you 5 to 6 hours by chicken bus. That’s okay if you’ve got the time.
Before reading further, you should be aware of an important warning: Nearby beaches all have an undertow and extreme caution is advised. Very few people venture into the water. In part, it’s because relatively few Guatemalans know how to swim. The other reason is, at waist deep, the irritable force of the Pacific in this part of the world can take even a middling-strong swimmer away very suddenly. Please be careful if you go to the beaches here. Go for the warmth and beauty, but stay ankle deep. There are no lifeguards and no promises. Most private beach resorts have ample swimming pools for placid floaters and vigorous lap swimmers alike.
A note about the Guatemala weather in the beach zone: From October to the end of April you can pretty well count on hot, sunny days in the high 80s to low 90s F, not including the humid ex.
Though the public beaches in the Monterrico Guatemala area are sadly littered with party leavings, a.k.a. garbage, the beaches at the private resorts are quiet, clean and simply extraordinary. The black lava sand and high, hot sunny vista are not spoiled by the intrusion of high-rise hotel and condo complexes. There’s nothing taller than a palm tree as you look down the arc of the shore. The beach resort hotels tend to favor a bungalow-style accommodation and the highest level in any hotel we visited is the third floor.
Yolkobsens were mystified that gringo tourists were not flocking to “las playas bonitas” found along the Guatemalan Pacific coast. We went on a week day and during our tours of several hotel beach resorts we found stunning shore fronts and beaches with hardly anyone on them. If quiet rest while listening to rolling waves is what you are after, the trick is to avoid the weekends when much enthusiastic partying, Guatemala style, dominates the senses.
Of all the beach resorts visited, our favorite was Cayman Suites Monterrico Guatemala. Like all the private beaches in the area, this one is in the fond embrace of an uncluttered Pacific shoreline. The sea shore can be seen from pretty well all the rooms. Soft creamy yellow hues dominate the hotel’s color scheme. Rooms and bungalows were finely appointed, attractive and clean. It had the best swimming pool set up of all the hotels we visited. One pool is good for doing vigorous laps, the other is great for floating and had the classic submerged pool stools addressing the bar. The gardens were lush and well-tended. The quiet elegance and modest price makes this resort our number one pick for the Monterrico Guatemala beach zone. Please don’t forget your sun block and hat.
Cayman Suites Monterrico Guatemala website is:www.caymansuites.com.gt