Click here to access the full list of Artbird Network properties and other travel promos https://uncagedartbird.com/artbird-network/
- Stayed January 2019
- Accommodation: Paredon Surf House – love this place! Cannot recommend it enough! For $28 a night you can get a bed in the 10-bed ‘Group Loft’ dorm with fab views of the ocean, with breakfast and dinner included. The beds are comfy and come with a mosquito net to keep the pesky critters away while you sleep. Going to sleep to the roaring sound of the nearby waves is pure heaven. If you don’t fancy staying in a dorm, you can choose to stay in a beachfront bungalow, a seaview suite or a casita. The pool is clean and cool, so provides a great place to escape the heat. The bathrooms have no ceilings so you get to shower outside which is nice. All the staff are lovely. The three-course family dinner each night gives travellers an opportunity to get to know each other and make new friends, like I did. I originally booked three nights but extended my stay twice and felt sad to leave. I will definitely return one day!
Looking to stay in Paradise? Look no further. Get yourself to the sleepy fishing village of El Paredón in Guatemala. A blog reader suggested I go (thank you Bar, who blogs on http://www.bwildnfree.com) and I’m so grateful for the recommendation. I spent eight blissful days there and didn’t want to leave. Largely off the beaten track for most tourists coming to Guatemala, you will probably find that you have the beach to yourself. The unspoilt black sand beach gets incredibly hot between 12 and 4 pm so take some covered shoes with you if you want to walk on the beach during that time period otherwise save your beach walk for the early morning or evening. Most people come here to surf, lie in a hammock and relax so El Paredón is the perfect place to come to escape the outside world and de-stress.
With a population of around 1,500 people, tourism is only just beginning to impact here which is part of the attraction of visiting. There is not much to do in El Paredón but in the village itself you will find tiendas (small shops) selling snacks and toiletries, and a couple of eateries. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and there is no pressure on you to part with your cash unlike in more developed beach resorts. The one not-for-profit organisation La Choza Chula does excellent work to ensure that the local community benefits from the growth in tourism by training local tour guides to run various tours for tourists. With them, you can go fishing in the mangroves, learn to cook traditional Guatemalan food, learn how to make bracelets, or visit a sea turtle feeding ground (you can also release baby turtles if you visit in season). The tours contribute to the conservation of the local environment as well as providing an income for the community. There are no souvenir shops but you can buy locally made t-shirts, bags and bracelets at the La Choza Chula shop. There are no ATMs here so make sure you bring enough Quetzales with you. There is however an internet store – the majority of accommodation does not provide WiFi – though you may prefer to have a digital detox and unplug whilst in El Paredón.
That said, Paredon Surf House where I stayed has strong WiFi and could be a great place for a digital nomad to base themselves for a while. I’m working on building a worldwide network of quality hostels and boutique hotels that offer discounts to travellers (see my Travel Promos page for details https://wp.me/P9u5hw-1lC) and it was lovely to be able to work when I wanted to whilst also having plenty of opportunity for downtime when I needed it.
Though El Paredón is a quiet village, you can party daily at the Driftwood Surfer Hostel on the beachfront. I personally would not choose to stay there as it’s a party all day hostel and there are nicer places to sleep elsewhere but all are welcome at the Driftwood and it’s a fun place. Go there if you are looking for a good time.
Suggested Eateries in El Paredón:
- Yoli’s – behind Paredon Surf House. Some of the best value food in town.
- Priscilla’s – the place to go for fried chicken apparently.
- Sandra’s – offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Soul Food Kitchen – Thai and Indian food.
- El Tiburon (in the Pacifico) – pizzas made in a brick oven.
Selection of pictures from my stay: