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Monterrico Beach Guatemala – Travel Video Ep. 10

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Enjoy Monterrico Beach Guatemala, through an HD adventure travel video from 2 Backpackers, Jason and Aracely Castellani, while traveling to the Pacific coast of Guatemala.  In travel video episode #10, we show you black volcanic beach sand, rough waves, baby turtles being released into the sea and a beautiful beach sunset. Enjoy the show!

Black Volcanic Sand 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.

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Monterrico Beach Guatemala

Monterrico Hostels

We arrived to Johnny’s Place where we had reservations for 2 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.

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Johnny's Place Hostel / Hotel

 
For Aracely 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.

Active Nightlife

The town of Monterrico is small, but doesn’t fall short of restaurants and dance clubs.  The beach is more visited by Guatemalans 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 anyway.   Several tour guides offer early morning canoe rides through the mangroves.

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Monterrico Beach Main Street Plaza

Big Waves

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.

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Jason Getting Crushed by Big Waves in the Ocean

Relaxing at the Monterrico Beach

Our 2 days in Monterrico were spent sitting by the bar, soaking up the sun and 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.

Soccer & Turtles

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.  

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Children Playing Soccer on the Beach Sand


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.  Totugario (Sea Turtle Hatchery) breeds the baby sea turtles and releases them into the ocean.
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Baby Turtles Being Released on the Beach

For Budget Travelers

If you are on a budget then go to Monterrico Beach.   Guatemala is a cheap country in general and Monterrico is still underdeveloped for a beach town.   You won’t find nice tourist shops selling souvenirs, fancy restaurants or beachfront hotels.  Monterrico is a bare bones destination spot for locals from Antigua and Guatemala City.   Grab a plastic chair, order a Gallo beer and something to eat at the beer gardens that line the main paved avenue.   You can find cerviche being sold on the street and free bonfires outside bars late at night.

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Monterrico Beach Sunset

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Carly Caprio says:

I’m from NJ too! How long was your trip and what months were you there? My sis and I are thinking of going June-Aug…how is the rain during this time?

We traveled in Latin America for 11 months, but visited Guatemala for about one month. We visited just after the rainy season, in September. It was hot, sometimes muggy, but overall, perfect for us. During rainy season it rains constantly, so June might not be the best time to visit. Here is info on the weather: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/guatemala/weather

Lisa E says:

Hey…nice job on this–love the video! ! I went to Monterrico a few years ago and enjoyed it. Everything you said is true. It was super hot and the water was wild. I didn’t go in–especially when I heard that tourists drown there every year. I also got chased by a pelican there named Pedro.

PS: I’m from NJ, too!

Ha! Great episode! We love Monterrico too! And of course my son and I stayed at Johny’s as well. We live in Antigua, and it’s a quick jaunt to this beach getaway town. The only thing I’d add to anyone who may be considering a beach trip to Monterrico is, don’t forget to bring baby oil to slather over your feet. If you spend anytime on the beach, there are sand fleas that like to bite feet, and baby oil prevents them from biting.

Mike Pugh says:

Nice vid. Guatemala’s on my shortlist.

Nomadic Matt says:

Aren’t you in south america now?

Melvin says:

Monterrico… another destination on my “to do” list!

Your video is really nice again!

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