Daytripper: Cool Trips. Close By.

Daytripper is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on day trips within easy reach of Xela. This May 2010 issue focuses on the surfer haven Sipacate, by Chris Warren.

With 250 kilometers of Pacific coastline, and sandwiched between Mexico and El Salvador, two countries renowned for great surfing, one would think that Guatemala’s surf scene would be worthy of more press than a single issue of “Hermanos de las Olas”…

WHAT! you haven’t read it? Well, I suppose it’s a collectors item. Though Guatemala doesn’t boast the perfect tubes of the Mexican Pipeline or a break as legendary as El Salvador’s Punta Roca there are some hidden gems to be found nearby and El Paredon Surf Camp, just outside of Sipacate, Esquintla, is one of them.

Located in the fishing village of El Paredon, a quick tuk-tuk and lancha ride away from steamy Sipacate, this surfing hot spot encourages its guests to “Relax and Surf”, or at least that’s what we were told by Rafael, Peruvian surfing virtuoso, owner/operator of El Paredon Surf Camp and easily one of the most relaxed human beings I’ve ever met in my life. Experienced surfers and novices alike could easily whittle away a week in Rafa’s seaside paradise where one of Guatemala’s most reliable beach breaks constantly taunts you as you kick back in one of many shady hammocks, sipping on a cool Gallo or enjoying some fresh mariscos prepared for you by local chef extraordinaire, Dina.

Though a bit of a haul from Xela, (about 5 hours of camioneta riding via the Carretera Pacifica, and around 3 hours from Guate/Antigua and Lago Atitlan), you’ll be glad you made the trip when you’re out there slaying the waves on the cheap. All day longboard rental is Q150 (Q600/week), breakfast/lunch is Q25, dinner is Q35 and a night in one of the 3 rustic but comfortable beachside cabanas is only Q40. You can also pitch your own tent in their secure beachside property if you want to save a few Quetzales. If you have experience surfing (or trying to learn) in Mexico or El Salvador, you’ll find that you probably paid considerably more.

So, the bottom line is: if you’re looking for a chill spot to kick back and grab a few waves, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out El Paredon Surf Camp.To find out more, they have a fairly comprehensive website that you can find by simply Googling “el Paredon” or you can give Rafael a call yourself at 4593-2490.

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