Volleyball at Monterrico beach.

Monterrico, Guatemala

by Eve Andersson

Home : Guatemala : One Article
Monterrico is a black-sand beach on Guatemala's Pacific coast. It is considered by many to be Guatemala's best beach but, having said that, let it be known that Guatemala has not put much energy into developing beach-related tourism. If you're looking for luxurious, expansive beaches and fancy resorts with room service, you may wish to go down to El Salvador for the weekend. But personally, I love the spirit of Monterrico.

In Monterrico, you'll meet backpackers from around the world. You can lie in a hammock, eat a veggie burger and drink a huge, inexpensive piña colada. You can play in the waves (a little too big for some people's taste). Walking down the street, you'll see the real local flavor, not a shiny facade put on for the tourists. You can visit the animal sanctuary and release a baby turtle into the wild.

You get to Monterrico by driving to La Avellana and taking a boat through mangrove swamps for half an hour. It's a gorgeous ride.

The Beach

Monterrico beach.  Hammocks. Monterrico beach. Monterrico beach.  Family enjoying the waves together. Volleyball at Monterrico beach. Monterrico beach at sunset.

The Town

Approaching Monterrico from the mangrove swamp. Pig and chicken. Pig and boats. Pig crossing street. Man and goat. Pigs and kids on the main street. Pigs and dog eating. Pigs and dog eating. Rooster. Rooster.

Animal Sanctuary

Animal sanctuary.  Baby caimanes. Animal sanctuary.  Baby turtles. Animal sanctuary.  Eyes of caimanes. Animal sanctuary.  Caiman. Animal sanctuary.  Centipede. Animal sanctuary.  Iguana. Animal sanctuary.  Iguanas. Animal sanctuary.  Museum. Animal sanctuary.  Turtles. Animal sanctuary.  Turtles.

Releasing Turtles

To increase the baby turtles' chances for survival, visitors are invited to release the turtles as a group in the early evening and watch them make their way to the sea.

Baby turtle. Baby turtles. Eve holding two baby turtles. Baby turtles making their way to sea. Two girls watching the baby turtles making their way to sea. People watching the baby turtles making their way to sea.

Mangrove Swamp

Boats. Boats at La Avellana in the mangrove swamp. Cows in truck in the mangrove swamp. Driver in the mangrove swamp. Eve on boat in the mangrove swamp. Boy and tall grasses, mangrove swamp. Passenger boat and car boat, mangrove swamp. White bird in the mangrove swamp.

Eve Andersson (eve@eveandersson.com)


nice fotos

Hallo By chance I got to see your fotos of Monte Rico and found them nice. It's good for interested tourists to get an impression of the place.

Unfortunately there are no indications about places to stay. That's why I would like to recommend the Hotel Cafe del Sol which opened only 9 months ago and is located down the main road on the righthandside of the beach.

We will soon publish a homepage an provide more information. Would be nice if you could place a link.

Hope to see you someday in Monte Rico

Thomas and Flor de Maria Stutzer-Rodriguez Hotel Cafe del Sol, Monte Rico Telefon 810 0821 email tst@tiscali.ch

-- Thomas Stutzer

Holidays in Monterico

I was there in April 2003. Monterico is a very nice and special place at the pacific coast. We were staying at Hotel Cafe del Sol. It's a very nice and friendly place with very good food. Take it out.

Marion Jaeggi

-- Marion Jaeggi



-- Hugo Tuna

Rico Monte Rico

Monte Rico is a beautiful place that for generation has been changing, but its people is still the same, very friendly, and its climate is "rico", full of vegetation. I was born and rised in Monte Rico and I can tell you that is a wonderful place to go to visit and get to know the people. Now I am miles away from my place, Monte Rico, but if you have the chance to go there, say "hola" to all the wonderful people.

-- Karla Alvarado

monterico, guatemala

Hello, Eve

I lived in Guatemala during the 90's and frequently visited Monterico. We always stayed at "Jonnys Place" as we had been referred to his home by friends in Guate. Your photos were excellent, especially the tortise release, however I would have expected to see more of the human element living in Monterico. Anyway, congrats on your site and thank you for visiting Guatemala.


-- ross cunningham

Hello Eve

Hello to everybody to visit this site, I'm sure when you see this beautiful place you'll got impressed about it. I was born in Guatemala, city and raised there, but now that I'm thousand miles away I still remember when I used to go every summer to Monterico and Hawaii Beach, and I can tell that is one of the most beautiful Guatemala's places got. So, I invite you when you have some vacation don't miss this opportunity to visit my beutiful country, and maybe we can meet us there the next summer.


-- Mercy Lima

Alternate route

Thought someone should point out that one can also reach Monterrico by ferry from Ixtapa (near Puerto San Jose) to Ciudad Viejo, and then drive 10 km. along the barier island. The "ferry" is a bit shorter than the cars it carries.....

-- Colin Campbell

Hello! I visited Monterrico in January of 2004 and I was very fortunate to be accompanied by some wonderful friends I met in Antigua. The beach is wonderful although if you are not a strong swimmer you may not want to go in too deep. I must say the ride into Monterrico is quite different. We had to push the car because we got stuck in the sand. That was quite memorable. I do plan on going back soon. I do want to share some pics. Enjoy
Attachment: Monterrico Sunset.exe

-- Vincent Julian






-- Byron Santos De Leon

My personal favorite

I have a friend from Atlanta who flew in a month and a half ago, she was taking spanish classes in my home town Xela, when I heard she was planning to visit a beach in Guatemala before she left, I talked her into going to Monterico even though it's 4 hours away in bus. She loved it so much she decided to live there for two month before heading home. I love this place and am hoping to visit her there before she leaves. Do you know by any chance the best dates to participate in a turtle release, I'm planning the trip with a friend who has two small girls and would like to bring them closer to nature and the love of it. Danilo Mazariegos

-- Danilo Mazariegos

I want to go back

I was thrilled when I opened this site randomly off of Google and found my friend, Danilo, had written about me and my decision to stay in Monterrico. I will comment that I believe there is a bug that you catch once in Monterrico that causes you to fall in love with the place and never leave (or have extreme difficulty leaving). Many travelers have contracted this bug as can been seen by the number of extranjeros living permantly in Monterrico. For example, Henry (Kiki) at the Animal Desconocido, Briga at the Pelicano, Sid (Felipe) at Johnny's Place and many more. Although Monterrico is beautiful, it is the tranquilo atmostphere that is really attractive. There is no real division between foreign and local. Locals and Foreigners visit the same bars and resturants and often form great friendships, as I have. I can not stress enough how worth it it is to visit Monterrico while traveling Guatemala, but be careful, you might catch the bug and stay forever, which honestly is not a bad option. Thank you so much to Danilo for making me go to Monterrico, Guatemala.

-- Mia Evans

Helpful Information

Hello, We would appreciate any information from anyone who has travelled in Guatemala in the last year or so My husband daughter and I have backpacked for the last few years We are planning to go to Central American Jan 2005 for a month, then on to Cambodia and Vietman for a few months, any tips would be appreciated Our main desintation would be Guatemala Thanks Nancy

-- Nancy Nugteren

MonteRico hace tiempo

Your pictures bring back memories! I lived in MonteRico for three years back in the 80's. Looks like it has changed some...I used to be the only gringo around for the most part. The University projects were not in operation at the time. I put the first turtle eggs in years in the nursery and hatched 43 Ridleys. Several people continued the development of the project to what it is now. Awesome photos...thanks much.


-- Mark Konop

looking forward

I am traveling to montericco next week and am exited to return to central america. Can anyone update me as to the happening spots place to rent a surfboard any warnings current info Thank you and I have enjoyed this site to educate me of this place!!

-- thomas edwards


Monterrico is more than just a beautiful get away. It is a paradise. I thouroughly enjoyed myself at the beach and the bars. The sand is scorching hot and so are the guapo hombres.

-- Abby Jex


I've been to Monterrico for the past two years during Easter Holidays and I must say it's the key place to visit 'cause it's relaxing, fun and a place where you could always make some friends.

-- Monica Vanessa Monroy Armas

Buenos momentos!

Hello I am from Guatemala too! my uncle lives in monterrico wowow is a beautiful place brings a lot of memories, and seeing this pictures make me remember when I was there and specially right now in spring break I enjoy visit not only monterico but also Puerto de San Jose, Las lisas, Puerto barrios and all the beaches that my linda guatemala offers. Thank you once again and we hope you go back to guatemala and enjoy like I do everytime I go back.

-- laura solis

I just have to laugh. We were in Guatemala in October 2004. We stayed in Antigua and took day trips all over the country. It was a most fabulous vacation and Guatemala is forever in our memories and in our hearts. I had to laugh, however, because your pictures TOTALLY capture the essence of Monterrico! My very favorite picture of alllllll time is a picture I took of a mossy (that's right covered in moss) pig walking into a tienda in Monterrico. Whenever I want to smile, I look at that picture. :) Anyway, we only stayed an afternoon (a very sweet driver and his wife took us there and back) and the only food I had was this very, very strange hamburguesa that I ordered because I wanted to sit in the shade of the restaurnat by the dock. The "burger" had mayonaise and some sort of sauce that was obviously supposed to be ketchup but it seemed berry like. Not strawberry or raspberry, but some sort of berry just the same. I can't describe it better. Anyway, I truly, truly recommend the Monterrico experiece. But be prepared for more heat than you have EVER EVER expereinced if traveling there in October (and I'm from Phoenix, AZ).

Best of luck!


PS: I wish I could show you my picture....
Image: mossy pig.jpg

-- B Brown

Now that I know I can upload pictures I want to share these too. The first one is my BOYfriend in a bar off of the beach. As you can see, he was very, very hot. DId I mention we were from AZ? I can't be sure of the temperature that day but it hellllllish. Just nbefore we stopped at this bar (50 yards walk from where we were) I thought I was going to die of heat exhaustion. Seriuosly.

The second one is me on the black sandy beach. See the Tikal towell? Very touristy huh? I got that in Chichi.

The third is a rooster by the boats at the dock. Its not a great pic but it is indicative of Monterrico...

Again, best of luck!

We love Guatemala. BB

PPS: If traveling to Guatemala you MUST, MUST, MUST go to Chichicastenago (I may have spelled that wrong). It is an awesome open market where Guatemalan people sell ther fantastic wares. Loads of fun and freakishly great deals!
Image: greg in monterico.jpg

-- B Brown

I told you it was hot...

Try to count the water bottles. We were only there about ten 15 mins.....:)
Image: greg in monterico.jpg

-- B Brown

Here is the rooster hangin out next to the dock where we were waiting for our "boat" trip back...

I don't know if anyone has mentioned that the only way to Monterrico is by boat. That is one of the coolest parts. To get there you must travel on these flat boat ferries through gorgeous mangroves full of fabulous birds and water plants. Amazing! Plus, you share your ride with nationals. Everyone is sitting side by side on planks of wood. This is not a touristy trip!
Image: 100_9256.jpg

-- B Brown

Hi I dropped in on this pretty website a while ago. See first comment above. I would like to inform that the pretty Beach-Hotel "Cafe del Sol" now has a webpage www.cafe-del-sol.com and a different mail adress cafedelsol@tiscali.ch The new phone number is (00502) 5810 0821. I would like to recomend the place to all travellers that are not on budget and apreciate a clean and beautiful place with excellent international kitchen right on the beach. We'll see you later Thomas and Flor de Maria
Image: DSC00624.JPG

-- Thomas Stutzer

Good Vacations

Just wanted to say that Monterrico its a very good place to go and just have fun with friends, family, I go there every time I go to visit my two sister's in Guatemala, I was born in Guatemala but now I'm living in California but I love my contry, ok so guys if you ready to have a great time you should know were to go by now so get your stuff and go to Monterrico, and get ready to party all night long or if you just want to relax and have a beer, but make sure its Gallo,jaja....

-- Haren Johana Piedrasanta

Monterrico is a place I often visit. You may not only find nice places to stay, but it is a place where ecology goes on, like realising baby turtles to the ocean. It is a fun place to meet people from all around the world. I also would like to make a comment on Rio Dulce, Izabal in Guatemala. This is a must destination if you are traveling through Guatemala and , it's the gateway to the Carribean and it's particular culture. Information and pictures available at Rio Dulce Travel Network.

Heidi Kaehler

dental volunteer

Hi everyone, I will be going to Monterrico in January 06, for a couple of weeks, with non-profit organization named Health Outreach (www.healthoutreach.ca), as a dental volunteer. We will provide free dental services to children and adults, as well as dental hygiene education. I am very excited about the project, and I am looking forward to it. I will greatly appreciate if I get any tips from you guys. I already learned a lot from this web site, and your comments, but more never hurt. I loved the pictures of Antigua, and I hope to go there too. I am sure I will have lots of pictures to share, when I come back. Thanks

-- Dragana Medjedovic


A friend in my group is going to be helping there. Her name is Kerry Hughes. I really enjoy talking to her about it. I want to send some money in her name to help out with supplies. Can you tell me how to do that? Thank you joycejones_@hotmail.com

-- Joyce Jones

Also A Dental Volunteer

I just wanted to say that I am also a Dental Volunteer that is going to Guatemala in January 2006 with the Health Outreach program. I have never been this excited. I would also like to hear any tips that people may have to offer. Thanks. Peace & Love Sarah

-- Sarah Bradley

Motorcycle Tours

Monterrico.. Well if you are looking for a great Beach in a secluded location this is a good place to check out. Its all quite simple here, nothing fancy, but good clean accomadation is available also what is always important is good food and here is a very good place for very good food. So how do you get there, its all up to you! A good way would be either rent a Motorcycle or take a motorcycle Tour. We can offer you both options, so the next time you want to get to the Beach or any other place in Guatemala look us up in Antigua.. Catours Motorcycle tours..

Happy Holidays Dave Drudge OPs Guatemala

-- Catours Catours

Should we meet in Monterrico or elsewhere?

In mid-January, for about a week, my partner and I are meeting two vegan friends who are already in Guatemala, but could meet us in any country not too far away. I need to find a place that has a beautiful warm beach, and that also might have a video-lounge or alternative arts space that we might bring our video-art/experiemental films to. I'd also like to find somewhere undeveloped and animal-aware, like Monterrico, but I need some advice about where we could afford to stay cheaply. And whether January is warm enough to spend time on the beach. B, B, O and G.

-- Barbara Rosenthal

Hi we just came back form Gautemala Monterrico is sweet, we stayed at Pez de Oro very nice place Johhnys is nice too but be sure to bring the bare needs especially cash cause there are no banks. Call the hotels in advance to make sire they have room for you. As for Vietnam and Cambodia Robin and I were there in June I have been to Cambodia before but was alone the first trip. If time is of the essence then I recommend going into to Bangkok take two days of recovery from the jet lag at Khosarn Rd. there are a ton of hotels to stay at I recommend the Sawadee Inn (don?t get a suit or dress made go to Hoi Ann) you wont need a reservation its cheap and the season is slowing down now. Bring little or nothing with you cause the shopping is great! and your clothes will probably be too warm for the climates. at Khosarn rod you can find a cheap air fare to cambodia and to vietnam. I paid 115 for a flight to siem reap and at siem reap I paid 140 for a flight to danang. these flights take 1-3 hrs and are luxiorious compared to train boat or bus travel. which takes 9-24 hrs. once in viet nam you can find a flight at the airport vietnam airways danang to nha trang 30$ well worth it! we stayed in Hoi Ann a must see spot very romantic and get some clothes made for your self there they are cheap take a cooking class I strongly recommend the lonely planets world food book. worth its weight in gold! we went to Nha Trang and this town is the next Miami Beach hurry before it gets too americanized, the locals all visit the beach from sunrise to 8:30 am it?s a must see absolutely ridiculous they have badmitton fights and play chess go swimming its packed. then catch some diving with Rainbow divers. The diving in Vietnam is wonderful! In saigon the shopping is fantastic we stayed at the Rex Hotel very nice spacious rooms $100 a night and the food is fantastic! (comes with a breakfast to die for) hit the tricky cafe for some strange dishes I ate a cobra there! In cambodia I have stayed at both Smileys guest houses $12-22 a nite great place to stay check out the ruins at angor wat try the bamboo things the locals sell on the street its sweet rice with beans very delicious you peel the bamboo like a banana and eat the rice inside. If you need any more info let me know we will be glad to help! Robert Robin and Shane
Image: IMG_0726.JPG

-- robert gari

"Paradise Island"

Hi, Eve I Just want to thank you for the beautiful pictures you have taken in Monte Rico; These pictures shows the beauty of this Island in the pacific. I was born and raised in this beautiful place. I lived there for 17 years, It was a lot of fun to go swimming every weekend,and to challenge those big waves. Every weekend my friends and I used to hang out with the Life Guards. We used to help the Life Guards to rescue people from the strong currenst of the ocean. It was a very tough job , because we did not have the right equipment to do it, but it was a lot of fun to be part of their team. I want to thank my friends Nelson Avila, Elber Lanuza Juanito cuellar, byron lanuza, Sergio Cuellar, Estuardo Cuellar,Francisco Gomez, Antonio Cortez, Robinson Gomez, Alvaro alias(jaiva) and the profesor of al the swimming team Paco Colindrez. Thank you Eve. for let me share some of my thoughts of this beautiful place Monte Rico. If you need some vacations go to Monte Rico to relax and enjoy the warm weather. from my experience you will not be disappointed. Best Regards from Henry Cuellar.

-- Henry Cuellar

Monte Rico is a beautiful place, just 100 miles south from Guatemala City. the warm beautiful weather, is just perfect to jump on the water and swim out towards the big waves. Specially in March, when the ocean starting to grow bigger waves. I was born and raised in Monte Rico, when I was living there I used to hang out with the Life Guards, and I always help the Rescue Team to saves lifes from the strong current of the ocean. I want to shout out to all my pals in Monte Rico Guatemala; Elber, Nelson, Byron, Jaunito, Estuardo, Alvaro Jaiva, Betio, Rogelio Jr., Arcenio, Tono, and our Swim Team Profesor Paco Colindres. I want to congratulate Eve Anderson for the beautiful pictures of Monte Rico. If you want a vacation to relax, and be out of the city; just go to Monte Rico and you will not be disappointed.

Best Regards Henry Cuellar.
Image: DSCN0801.JPG

-- Henry Cuellar

Hello Eve, I truely enjoyed your pictures especialy those of the beach. You are right though guatemala has done nothing to bring tourism to the beaches. I am a Guatemalan national who was taken by my mother to be raised in the U.S. back in 1958. So it is fair to say that I was raised as an american. And being raised as such I can honestly say that the average american has not only never seen black sand but has never even heard of it. It is for this reason that I plan on giving away packets of this beautiful black sand on the internet. To receive this packet of black sand all anyone has to do is pay international shipping and handling. on the internet. This since I am semiparalized due to an automobile accident in 1998 will help me not only to do for the guatemalan handicapped but will increase tourist trade for both monterrico and Puerto San Jose. This will start a new life going on both beaches. To get back to my black sand packets I am asking your permission to include one of your pictures of the beach in monterrico with my packet. Thanking you in advance for your time and attention, I remain Respecfully yours Jorge Estevez
Image: beach-volleyball-in-air-large.jpg

-- Jorge Estevez


I went to Monterrico in November 2003. I'm Guatemalan but I live in Los Angeles. I have to say I had a great experience in Monterrico and I would love to visit it again. It's much like an adventure which begins with loading our car onto the boat and traversing through the jungle. The beaches were beautiful and the accomodations weren't extravagant but where very authentic and homely and the staff were very welcoming and helpful. The beaches were gorgeous, specially at sunset.I like the way Monterrico is and I would hate for some greedy investor or corporation changing it in any way and erecting a huge eye-sore of a hotel and privatizing the local coast. That would be the worst. I hope Monterrico never changes. I might consider it a honey moon spot.

-- Fernando Cortez

Monterrico '06

Hello everyone. I was very excited when reading all the comments because it took me back to when I was in Monterrico just about a week ago. I am from Guatemala and lived there the first 9 years of my life. Then I moved to California with my family. I went to Guatemala just two weeks ago for 1 1/2 weeks. On Tuesday, May 2, 2006 I went to Monterrico. It's a beautiful place to visit. The experience was awesome. I encourage everyone visiting Guatemala to go to Monterrico. You'll have lots of fun and will enjoy the trip. The beach is beautiful, especially the black sand. Be prepared to struggle to stay on your feet while in the water. Those waves are the strongest I've seen and felt in my life, hehehe. Enjoy!!

PS: I really enjoyed the ferry ride. It was very cool!

-- Ester Rosales

A place to remember

On december 2005 i went to this place with my girlfriend Tanja, we enjoyed from dec 26 to jan 2nd 2006 and we fell in love of the place and the beautyfull surooundings. This was actually a nice trip and i have to say this trip made us being more closer together, somehow even as it is really typical without luxuries was really romantic, maybe because of the season or maybe because has some magic around. We made a trip through the river really early at morning in a really typical wood boat and we had a great view of the sunrise from there, also we participated with the natural reserve setting baby turtles free (this happens every new years eve) and we have been walking through the beach, exploring the small rivers around and having a nice bath in the shores. I recommend going to the right side of the shores when you come from the main street down to the beach as you can go really far away inside the water and the waves are lower. In this side theres no "alfaque" as in the left side. We also had fun with reggae bands playing live, a nice party in "animal desconocido", fireworks in the middle of the night in new years eve and a nice dinner full of seafood. We enjoyed also the coconuts and we had an amazing Pi?a Colada with real natural ingredients made by our friend "pichi" at El Caracol Cafe-bar... this was actually really nice cause we brought the ingredients and he carved the pi?a that served as a glass... COOL!!! so was really nice being with Tanja on my side, watching the beautyfull sunset, enjoying the nature and off course having fun around. So go on the trip and enjoy this place as much as you can, you also can go to "Poza del Nance" a beautyfull spot in the side of sipacate. In this place you can watch, touch and share with the green sea turtles (big ones) as they pass by for eating in the manglares and you can help the volunteers of USAC university to catch them and label them with a chip as they come from the migration from Costa Rica and go up to Mexico. So if you are looking for something nice to odo visit this spot. Hasta la vista amigos!!!

Omar Rivera

-- Omar Rivera

Searching for Tony

I have a brother he must be in his late 50's now. He's been around a little. He was in Kabul for a while but then the Russians moved in and so he escaped to Tehran, no sooner had he got there than the Ahyatola Hommenie arrived and he decided maybe Tehran wasn't such a good place to live. Australia seemed like a pretty safe bet, so he went and worked on a cattle ranch for a while, after hitching round the perimiter of Aus the authorities caught up with him and told him he needed a visa. They were kind enough to fly him back to Scotland, where he promptly married an Aussie girl and returned to Aus for a while. They then travelled back across land from Aus to Africa and spent some time going down the middle of Africa, Timbuktu, those sort of places. I think the heat was a problem because he went and set up a business in Saskatoon, in the middle of the Canadian winter (-40). Itchy feet took him down through the U.S. and Mexico to Guat. and the last I heard he was in the jungle down there somewhere, possibly in Monterrico. This is just a very brief summary of some of his travels, but if anyone should come across a red haired Scotsman, probably hidden under a sombrero on a hammock, answering to the name, Tony Gillespie, would they please let me know.

Best Regards,

Danie Gillespie. daniegillespie@hotmail.com

-- Danie Gillespie




Guate #1


-- ruben de leon

thanks for allowing me to discover Monterrico

reading yr beautiful comments makes me wish I were there. Travel thru out Guate in 97 after the Mitch but never reached the Pacific coast. How hot is it in the winter? does it rain a lot?

I don't drive - how can I reach the beaches by public transportation? thanks again Lia

-- Lia Fernandez-Arriaran

Friends from Monterrico

I was born in Monterico which is a beautiful place in Guatemala. And i feel very proud of it. I`ve been away from my birth place Monterrico Taxisco. I would like to say hi to everybody back in Monterrico. In the 18 years that i`ve been away from Guatemala i can see alot of changes that has made Monterrico even more beautiful. Gato Lanuza, Henry Cuellar, Byron, Alex, and Alvaro jaiva. I remember when i used to play soccer at the beach every weekend with all of you guys. Now most of you guys living in California i miss you all. Merry xmas and a Happy New Year 2007, from my family and I. Sincerely, Danilo Contreras

-- Danilo Contreras


Borned and raised in this magical place, Memories that I will never forget,friends and family members to the end. Saludos mis amigos y familiares los recuerdo como ayer, best wishes to all of you.

-- oswald cuellar gomez

Helo, every body, just I want to tell you something, if one day do you want to go a beutiful place, wonderful beaches and nice people, go to monterrico, I lived in this place like 20 years of my life, now am so far away from my town but I still remember like yesterday, just I want to tell thank you to eve for this great pictures, and bring on my maid all this beutiful memories, the people in monterrico are warming, frendly and also they are so polyte, thank you so much eve. CLAUDIO MARTINEZ
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-- claudio martinez

Wow, so amazed of reading all these stories about one place I love most of my beautiful country. Thanx all you guys for sharing your comments. I love Guatemala and Monterrico. I go there every new years eve, and I enjoy watching the sunset drinking a Gallo (Guatemala's best beer) at Johnny's Place or drinks and great music at El Animal Desconocido. Six months ago I went to a beautiful, quiet place called Utz'zaba which is like 4 or 5 (or less) km away from Monterrico. I recommend you guys to go there if you can. Nice pics Eve, I just enjoy your comments about Guate, I know you enjoyed your stay in this country. You are all invited to this beautiful country!!
Image: Utz Tzaba 016.jpg

-- Jose Pozuelos

This Is Me!

Hey, how are you all? Well my name is Marvin, i was born and raise in Guatemala City in a pueblito call Taxisco Santa Rosa. I have never been to Monterrico but i heard and i have read that is a nice place. hope ill be able to go someday... take kare and God Bless!

-- Marvin Veliz

Black sand

Hey there! Just as a back note to the black sand beaches. I'm originaly from New Zealand and we also have black sand beaches on the west coast of the north island. Its actually called iron sand and comes from volcanic eruptions that are close to the sea.I will be visiting Guat's soon and think I'll definately go to this beach...it's right up my alley! New zealand by the way, has some of the most pristine and uncrowded beaches in the world. I've travelled to many countries, and it always amazes me at how lucky I was to have so many beaches so close and so pure. Although its certainly not tropical, I would suggest going there in January onwards when its warm and just cruising the coast line. (New Zealand has more coastline than the US!)Hopefully, this beach will be in the same league, it certainly looks like it. Cheers!

-- Aklesha Morrison

I, Danilo Contreras, would like to recieve messages from my old friends from monte rico. Like my cousin Byron Chinchilla, and his brothers and sister Milita, My cousins in California Betio, Carmen, Jorge, Fito, Liliana and everyone who knows me... I miss you all.
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-- danilo contreras

This web site is so awsome I wish I could go to guatemala.My grand mother went there to build churches and said it was amazing and beautiful.
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-- sarah love

I also visited Monterrico January 2008, with a non-profit organization called Health Outreach. We provided free dental care in the village. This was my first experience with Guatemala and one that I will never forget!! I now know why they say that if you catch 'the bug' you won't want to leave. I loved the entire atmosphere of Monterrico. Everyday we would walk along the beach, check out the local restaurants and shops..I love the simplicity of the village..Everyone was extremely friendly and willing to help. Played volleyball with the locals at Johnny's Place, great group of guys..thank you for letting us join in!! This is definitely a place I will travel to again, I can't say enough positive things about it!! Thoroughly enjoyed "The Animal", and felt very welcomed...they opened the bar especially late for our group, as they don't normally open on Thursday nights..so thank you!! Gotta love Gallo!! Never drank that much beer in one week before!

I recommend this place to anyone who wishes a simple vacation, with friendly people and beautiful sunsets!! You really can't explain the experience till you've been there!

I can't wait to go back....hopefully very soon!!

Thank you to all of Monterrico!!

Sincerely, Tracy Shuttleworth
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-- Tracy Shuttleworth

going next week.

I am very excited to go to Monterrico. I have read that it is only good on the weekends? Is this true? I am going by myself and am wondering how many days I should go for and what days? I arrive to GC on a Sunday afternoon and leave the following Sunday at 2pm. Please advise. I would like to check out Antigua too. Not sure if I will have time for Tikal.


-- john friedman

Monterico is a magical place! I was there in the early 90's, I was there for several months. I fell in love, caused some trouble (some good some bad), had a load of fun learining to dance,speak spanish, liberate baby turtles,caimen,iguana's and body surf those giant waves...scarey! The people were so generous, they welcomed me as one of their own. At x-mas I was taught how to make tamalas with the local ladies, an amazing learning experience with 3 generations of woman and their stories. Unfortunately I had to go back to Toronto, to this day I wish I never left, I will make it back one day! Thank you so much for the pictures of the place I will never forget and keep very close to my heart. Katty

-- Katrina (katty) Mullan

Places to Stay

I was in Monterrico in Marh/2008 we had a worderfull time there like always, Cafe del sol was full tha day but we find other places to stay that I would recommend one is Dos Mundos Hotel thas in town and them Kilometro 11 is Hotel Resort El CAYMAN very nice friendly quiet clean excelent services is not expensive ****stars. This is my email addres; Hania_buxton@hotmail.com if some one want to share picture I have few tha I can send, we get some land there so our vacation house will be ready I hope for Cristmas. we use to go there every year so we can met some new friends there.

We live en Abbotsford BC Canada but Iam from Guatemala and my Husband is Canadian . Hania

-- Hania Buxton

I've seen way better

I kept hearing how awesome Monterrico was. i just came back disappointed with Guatemala. I have never been harrased so much by cab drivers and vendors. The waves are only good if you know how to surf. They are very dangerous. There were huge rats in my room at Johnnys Place. It wasn{t worth the pain to get there. I just ended up going to Mexico and hitting Playa Del Carmen. Guatemala is like a poor man's Mexico

-- julian ruiz

Poor Man's Paradise?

Julian, it is always helpful to hear different points of view. Everyone has their own tastes and expectations for the money they invest for their vacations and traveling. Myself, I am a retired US ex-patriot who has been living in Guatemala for several years. I also lived in Mexico for 2 years. I'll take Guatemala, hands down, over any other place I've been for one simple reason -- the people. My materialistic standards have been lowered to experience a much more laid back lifestyle, and be surrounded by non-judgmental people who simply live without stress and don't care about keeping up with the Jones.

The beauty of Monterrico is that it has not been gringoized. There are plenty of places in Mexico that are close to the US and for all intents and purposes might just as well be part of California. Monterrico does not promote itself for gringos to buy time share condos, drink expensive margaritas, have high priced and impersonal high rise hotels, or for that matter, to even go there at all. What it does offer is quiet living by the sea, or for travelers who would like to sample the Guatemala coast. I have been there many times and thoroughly enjoy having the big empty beaches all to myself. It is one of the most perfect places on the planet to just kick back comfortably as the Pacific does its thing. I prefer my beaches to be lined with coconut trees vs. expensive hotels for the more elite who demand more. But clearly, it is not a place to go to for those who just want to be pampered in a resort area with marketable trappings around them. Places like the Yukatan Peninsula and Playa del Carmen are better suited for people with those kinds of tastes. But for those with more adventurous tastes, don't mind having lesser conveniences, and enjoy paradise in its natural form, Monterrico is a great place to experience. Forget time and just soak in personal insignificance in the grand scheme of life on Earth.

Clearly, the Guatemalan coast is not a place for everyone. What place on the planet is? If you don't like having to deal with poor street vendors just doing their best to make a few cents to buy food, then you are clearly better off to stay out of the poorer countries. Or, just confine yourself to the gringo luxurious hotel compounds that are imposed in the faces of the poor people who live there. If it is difficult for you to not have things the way you have them in your normal daily life, then just stay home and confine your adventures and money to your local mall. You'll be doing a great service to those of us who do openly interact with the natives by minimizing their experiences with The Ugly American cliche.

I love Monterrico. I usually stay at Dos Mundos because I do appreciate air conditioning and their excellent menu. But I also spend time in the town and at establishments like Johnny's Place for the fun of it, and socializing with many different classes of international personalities.

Discriminating gringos with attitudes -- please don't go to Monterrico.

-- Pana Haroldo

inolvidable lugarsito

Sinseramente dejenme comentar que solo con el hecho de pronunsiar Monterrico es una sensacion maravilloza recuerdos van y vienen, envueltos con un sin numero de cosas, amigos inolvidables unos viven otros ya descansan creo que la barrera y monterrico son dos lugares que para algunos taxistecos como yo son lugares espesiales, yo tengo un considerable tiempo de no poder estar halli, pero tengo bellos recuerdos,un saludo muy espesial para las amigas y amigos incluyendo al mejor maestro de taxisco de mis tiempos a don Luis Felipe Arevalo, aunque ya no viva, y se que hay muchos que estan de acuerdo con migo nos dio confianza, se comporto como un educador y amigo nos dio ejemplos de valentia deportes, arte, consejos cuando fueramos adultos y mas monterrico te amo te llevo en mi corazon salud ha todos

-- salvador castillo

Guatemala is a superb and wonderful place for the great adventurer! Pick up a book and lay out your wildest dream. It is definitely a country of respectful people and such a beautiful place. I recommend the places that I've visited. Antigua: an indicative colonial town with more charm than you'll know what to do with. Lake Atitlan, take a dip, take a dwelling with the gracious American hippies from San Francisco, take a hike around the lake into the many Mayan cultured towns.. it's spectacular! Then make your way to the awesome black sanded beaches of Monterrico. I have yet to explore the northern part of Guatemala and it's rich history of ruins, but I yearn to return for that. James
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-- James Dezan


Hey Guys it liliana Contreras. i was born in MonteRico I came to America in 85 I miss my lilttle town MonteRico. Every time I go I always go to El Caiman Hotel and we also to this little resturant where we they make the best pancakes that my kids like. I miss all of my cousins over there Mary bell Estuardo Juan Alberto and my friend dalila that i used to have lunch with after and between school at her house I miss you guys I love you all Ill see you guys 2009 Happy New Year From Liliana My husband Andres And mY kids JACOB joshua and julian

-- Liliana Melgar

the best beach

iam from monterico and i work with all the tourist and the best feeling is seen them enjoying our beach, the people in monterico are very friendly and layback, how the beach is great hot and sunny at day and cools of a littel bit at night in summer and at the rainy season is sunny at day rains at night for 2hrs like cats and dogs and then you just have some lightning show in the sky that you can see from the beach, well things to do well take tours to the mangrove,on the beach to find the turtules and get the eggs and bring them back to the sanctury project go fishing on the ocean or the lagoons play volley with the locals and have some good dance nihgts at the bars front of the beach so for any help in all these iam guide tourist just find me,502-4406-7103

-- sender agusto salvador florian

trying to move

hello i read almost all of the messages i am from guatemala but unfortunaly dont live there, that is something i want to change and move to monterrico to live at or taxisco. i want to know the cost of living and job opportunities. i want to know how much is the rent and posibilities of butying something there please e-mail me back at jfraaguilar@yahoo.com

-- jaime ramos

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1997-2000 and my last year I was assigned Monterico and the nature reserve. I had a blast working with Matilde (Matie) Cuellar and my other counterparts. And after viewing a recent map of Monterico, I think my home (which was an abandoned hotel) is now El Caracol. There was also a bar, The Pig Pen, ran by some ex pat, where you could buy diazapam for 5Q. I cant remember his name, he was a dick due to his constant criticism of the nature reserve, the Peace Corps and Matie. Anyways, cheers. rl
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-- ralph lee

This is a very interesting blog. I love your photos. Monterrico beach is idyllic. Thanks for this.
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-- Robert Marriott

Tony Gillespie

He loved all his good friends in monterrico and said he could not have chosen a more lovely place and friends to live with, the Scottish and irish Australian American. Austrian Family salute you xxxx

-- John Gillespie

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