December 8, 2023 0 Comments Beach Tips, Best Beaches in The World, Ocean Beach Bulletin

7 of The Best Beaches in Guatemala

Welcome to the enchanting world of Guatemala, a country known for its rich culture, ancient Mayan ruins, and breathtaking natural wonders. While Guatemala may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of beach vacations, this hidden gem has a surprising number of beautiful coastal spots waiting to be explored as well as some awesome opportunities for last minute all-inclusive deals if you keep an eye out. A lot of resorts here have extra inventory and try and offload it at the last minute and with lot’s of connections within North America, it’s an easy flight down to a pristine paradise!

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey to discover the best beaches in Guatemala, both on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Whether you’re a sun-worshipper, a thrill-seeking surfer, or a nature enthusiast, Guatemala has something for everyone and there are plenty of last minute all-inclusive deals to be had. So, pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to embark on a beach adventure like no other!

The Pacific Coast: Unveiling the Beauty of Guatemala’s Black Sand Beaches

The Pacific coast of Guatemala is characterized by its rugged beauty, volcanic landscapes, and unique black sand beaches. While not your typical white sandy shores, these beaches boast a distinct charm that will captivate your senses. Here are some of the best Pacific beach towns in Guatemala:

Monterrico: A Hidden Paradise on the Pacific

Monterrico Beach in Guatemala black sand

Nestled on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast, Monterrico is a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered. While it may not have the pristine postcard-perfect beaches you’d find in other Central American countries, Monterrico’s wide stretch of black volcanic sand and strong currents make it a unique and captivating destination. Its secluded location ensures that the beach is rarely crowded, allowing you to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the Pacific Ocean in peace. To reach Monterrico, you can take a bus from Antigua or Guatemala City’s Terminal Centra Sur. For a more scenic route, consider taking the ferry from the town of La Avellana, where you’ll float through mangrove-lined canals. Monterrico is also famous for its turtle season from June to December, where you can witness the magical sight of hatchlings being released into the ocean.

Champerico: A Surfer’s Paradise

Just a couple of hours from Quetzaltenango (Xela), you’ll find the charming beach town of Champerico. This hidden gem is a favorite vacation spot for Guatemalans and offers excellent surfing conditions for both beginners and experienced surfers. The town’s major port ensures that you’ll find all the necessary amenities and services, including surf shops that offer lessons and gear rentals. Don’t miss the chance to explore the town’s iconic wooden pier, dating back to the late 19th century. Champerico is a true hidden treasure on Guatemala’s Pacific coast.

Iztapa: Where Adventure Meets Relaxation

best beaches in Guatemala

Located on the Pacific coast, Iztapa is a scenic beach destination known for its dark sand beaches and exceptional fishing. Once a bustling port, Iztapa now attracts travelers with its picturesque shoreline and world-class sailfish fishing. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’ll be delighted by the opportunities to surf, go whale watching, or take a fishing charter out to sea. For the ultimate relaxation, take a boat to the sandbar across the river, where you can enjoy a meal and a cold drink at one of the charming outdoor restaurants. Iztapa is a paradise for both adventure seekers and beach lovers.

Sipacate: Serenity on the Pacific Coast

For those seeking tranquility and seclusion, Sipacate is the perfect escape. This small fishing village on Guatemala’s Pacific coast offers a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. Sipacate’s dark sand beaches are ideal for long walks, sunbathing, and enjoying the soothing sound of crashing waves. The village itself exudes a laid-back atmosphere, giving you a glimpse into the local way of life. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path beach experience, Sipacate is the place to be.

The Caribbean Coast: Discovering Tropical Paradise in Guatemala

While Guatemala is not typically associated with Caribbean beaches, the country’s eastern coast offers its own slice of paradise. From white sandy shores to crystal-clear waters, the beaches on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast are sure to leave you in awe. Here are some of the best Caribbean beaches in Guatemala:

Playa Blanca: Caribbean Vibes in Guatemala

best white sand beach in Guatemala

For a taste of the Caribbean in Guatemala, head to Playa Blanca. Located on the country’s Caribbean coast, Playa Blanca is a hidden gem accessible only by boat. This privately owned beach boasts stunning white sand and turquoise waters, offering a postcard-perfect tropical paradise. While the water quality can vary depending on the weather, Playa Blanca’s beauty remains unmatched. The remote nature of the beach ensures a peaceful and uncrowded experience, allowing you to bask in the serenity of the Caribbean. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Siete Altares, a series of small waterfalls and natural rock pools nestled in the nearby jungle. Playa Blanca is truly a beach lover’s dream come true.

Puerto Barrios: Gateway to Caribbean Exploration

Puerto Barrios serves as a gateway to Guatemala’s Caribbean coast and offers access to a variety of stunning beaches. While the town itself may not have noteworthy beaches, a short boat ride will take you to nearby Guatemalan beaches like Punta de Manabique, Punta de Palma, and the popular Playa Blanca. These beaches offer a glimpse into the natural beauty of Guatemala’s Caribbean coastline, with pristine sands and crystal-clear waters. Puerto Barrios also serves as a starting point for travelers heading to Punta Gorda on Belize’s southern coast by boat. If you’re looking for a Caribbean beach adventure, Puerto Barrios is the perfect starting point.

Livingston: Where Culture Meets Nature

nice white sand beach in Guatemala on Caribbean.

Funky and colorful, Livingston is a unique destination on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast. This vibrant town is nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the rainforest, offering a blend of cultural experiences and natural wonders. Accessible only by boat, Livingston boasts a beach that may not be the most inviting, but a hike along the coast will lead you to more remote and cleaner beaches. Playa Blanca is a favorite among visitors, offering pristine sands and stunning views. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Los Siete Altares (The Seven Altars), seven beautiful waterfalls and pools located just a short distance from Livingston. With its unique blend of culture and nature, Livingston is a must-visit destination on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast.

Commonly asked questions about beaches in Guatemala:

Are there any good beaches in Guatemala?

Yes, Guatemala has several stunning beaches that are worth exploring. While the country is not typically known for its beaches, it offers a unique coastal experience with black sand beaches on the Pacific coast and white sandy shores on the Caribbean coast. Whether you’re looking for surfing hotspots, secluded retreats, or vibrant Caribbean vibes, Guatemala has something to offer for every beach lover.

What is the best Pacific beach town in Guatemala?

Monterrico is often considered the best Pacific beach town in Guatemala. Its black volcanic sand, tranquil atmosphere, and stunning sunsets make it a popular choice among both locals and tourists. Monterrico also offers the opportunity to witness turtle season, where hatchlings are released into the ocean. If you’re seeking a laid-back beach experience, Monterrico is the place to be.

Does Guatemala have Caribbean beaches?

Yes, Guatemala boasts a beautiful Caribbean coastline with stunning beaches. Playa Blanca, located on the country’s Caribbean coast, is a hidden gem that offers a taste of the Caribbean in Guatemala. With its white sand and turquoise waters, Playa Blanca is a postcard-perfect tropical paradise. Other Caribbean beach destinations in Guatemala include Puerto Barrios and Livingston, which offer a unique blend of culture and natural beauty.

Can you swim in the ocean in Guatemala?

Yes, you can swim in the ocean in Guatemala. However, it’s important to be mindful of the conditions and currents, especially on the Pacific coast. Some beaches may have strong currents and rough waves, so it’s essential to exercise caution and swim in designated areas. On the Caribbean coast, you’ll find calmer waters that are more suitable for swimming. Always pay attention to local signs and advice regarding swimming conditions and safety.

Are there white sand beaches in Guatemala?

Yes, Guatemala is home to white sand beaches, particularly on its Caribbean coast. Playa Blanca is a prime example of a white sand beach in Guatemala, with its pristine sands and crystal-clear waters. While the Pacific coast is known for its black sand beaches, the Caribbean coast offers a different beach experience with its white sandy shores.

What is the best month to visit Guatemala?

The best time to visit Guatemala depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to do. The dry season, which runs from November to April, is generally considered the best time to visit, as you’ll experience fewer rain showers and more favorable weather conditions. However, keep in mind that beach destinations may be more crowded during this time. If you’re looking to witness turtle nesting season on the Pacific coast, plan your visit between June and December. Additionally, the Caribbean coast can be visited year-round, but be aware of the hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November.

Guatemala may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of beach vacations, but it offers a unique and captivating coastal experience. From the black sand beaches of the Pacific coast to the white sandy shores of the Caribbean, Guatemala has a beach destination to suit every traveler’s taste. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into the local culture, the best beaches in Guatemala will not disappoint. So, pack your bags, embrace the beauty of Guatemala’s coastlines, and create memories that will last a lifetime.