Monterrico Beach

| by Aracely on October 6th, 2024 | 10 Comments » | Central America, Guatemala

Monterrico Beach

Monterrico Beach

Monterrico is located just two hours west of Antigua on the Pacific coast, but the elevation change is enough to make the temperature difference very noticeable; it increases approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  We arrived to Johnny’s Place where we had reservations for two nights.  The hotel is set right on the beach with beautiful views from the bar, lounge and dining areas. The coconut tree grounds are well kept with many hammocks surrounding the pools and beachfront lounges.  Monterrico Beach is mostly known for its black volcanic sand and sea turtle breeding program.  The sand is unique in color, but too hot to walk on during the day without sandals.  For Jason and I the really cool feature of Johnny’s is the life size chessboard complete with 3-foot tall pieces in the courtyard.  Johnny’s Place offers bungalows, private cabins, and a dorm room that are all reasonably priced.

Jason in the Ocean

Jason in the Ocean

The town of Monterrico is small but with quite a few local restaurants and dance clubs.  The beach is more traveled by Guatemalan’s than tourists, which provides a more realistic glimpse into their culture.  We weren’t able to find Internet access in town, but it’s a beach and you should be there to relax.  Several tour guides offer early morning canoe rides through the mangroves.

The ocean waters were extremely rough during our visit, with 10-foot waves breaking in 2-foot deep water.  A steep decline on the beach leads to the water’s edge causing strong undertows, which make for dangerous swimming.  However, Jason loves the ocean and a challenge, so of course he dove right in.  He actually conquered a few waves, but not without being pounded and tossed around a few times.

Children Playing Soccer on the Sand

Children Playing Soccer on the Sand

Our two days in Monterrico were spent sitting by the bar, soaking up the sun, staring at the sea with drinks in hand.  After baking in the sun for a couple hours we would jump in the pool to cool off for a bit.  Then, we rested in the hammocks and walked the beach in the afternoons.  After the sand had cooled, local children and adults congregated in front of Johnny’s to play soccer and volleyball on the beach; they take it very seriously too.  Jason and I really enjoyed watching them play, and knew our place well, as spectators only.  One of my favorite moments was watching a beautiful sunset over the ocean, which we were lucky enough to capture with our cameras.  We also had the opportunity to observe 75 recently hatched turtles make their way to their new home in the ocean.  A local organization breeds the baby sea turtles and releases them into the ocean.

Monterrico Sunset

Monterrico Sunset

Monterrico, Guatemala was a nice stopover as we made our way to El Salvador.

Click to see more photos from Monterrico Beach.

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10 Responses to “Monterrico Beach”

  1. dorela says:

    it’s so beautiful!

  2. The photos are gorgeous and it sounds like you guys had a really wonderfully relaxing time! The turtles sound cute too!
    Shannon ODonnell´s last blog ..a little budget…what i paid for around the world travel

  3. Nomadic Matt says:

    seems quite and utterly perfect
    Nomadic Matt´s last blog ..Gaudi’s Barcelona

  4. Maski says:

    Hi! I was there this weekend too and took some pictures on the canoes trips, I invite you to take a look:

  5. Akila says:

    We finally got some good internet and I am getting a chance to go through my RSS reader. The funny thing is that we are sitting in Port Douglas in Australia and have been a bit disappointed by the beaches in Australia too. Everyone raves about how amazing the beaches here are — but they’re pretty rocky with either no waves or really high waves. I think we’ve gotten spoiled by the perfect sandy beaches in Florida.

    By the way, I loved your video of the volcano hike. Great work putting it together!

    • Jason says:

      Thanks Akila for the video compliments! Almost the same for Guatemala. They all told us we had to go to Monterrico Beach. It’s a very relaxing place to go and we enjoyed the fact that there is almost no tourists there, but I love to swim and that was just too risky. We plan to skip the beaches in El Salvador and spend our next time at the beach taking surfing lessons in Nicaragua.

  6. Just started reading your blog today thanks to Gary’s re-tweet.

    I think it’s awesome that you guys are part of the “let’s just go for it”.

    We’ll all “be dead long enough”.

    Safe travels!
    Boring Life Rob´s last blog ..China Town in Singapore is Boring

    • Jason says:

      Hey Rob, glad you found us via Gary Arnt. We had the opportunity to meet with Gary, and a few other dedicated travelers in NYC before the trip. It was a great inspiration to not only travel, but to run a travel blog as well.

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