El Paredon is a small town on Guatemala’s Pacific coast. Generally traveller’s follow a similar path through a country, “the gringo trail”. It makes plenty of sense, especially for traveller’s like Peter and myself who generally only think about the next one or two destinations, deciding where to go based on our conversations with fellow travellers. El Paredon however was an exception to this rule.
Peter’s good friend Matt recommended the little surf town and besides that we hadn’t run into many people who had been, let alone who had heard of the town. This definitely made it more difficult to find information on how to get to their however we were determined to find the cheapest route.
In the end we took three "chicken buses" (old Canadian/American yellow school buses converted into colourful modes of transportation, blasting music and stopping for anyone or anything that needs a ride), followed by a tuk tuk (a small vehicle with three wheels that zip around small towns), then onto a boat (crafted out of whatever wood and material they could find to keep it afloat), and finished with a long walk through the sweltering heat until we finally found our hostel. I’ve never been so happy to see a pool in my life!
Not only is El Pardon a beautiful beach but the surf is great for beginners. The beach is long which leaves plenty of room for surfers to spread out. The town is small and off the beaten path which creates less people in general and the waves build up to the perfect size to catch before they break and run to shore.
Peter and I spent three full days surfing. We woke up to watch the sun rise, surfed into the afternoons and normally finished with a sunset session. Between surfing we’d wander through the small town, equipped with two restaurants, a handful of “Tienda’s” to buy a couple snacks and an NGO that helps create jobs for women and children.
It felt great to get off the gringo trail for a few days and into the surf. If you find yourself travelling through Guatemala and too need to get away for a bit I highly recommend this small town.