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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.