Surf Tripping: Guatemala
Guatemala has glassy morning peaks just like the rest of Central America. And that black sand beach gets up to 120 degrees at noon -- just like the rest of Central America. It's the lack of travelers and local hospitality that sets the place apart.
While other Central American countries develop five-star resorts, Guatemala is keeping it rootsy. Besides, a hammock's a hammock (or a hammoca).
Any place where you can get into a colorfully painted little boat and cruise across a glassy waterway to surf is a great adventure.
Like The Good Old Days
Morning glass, reminiscent of 1970s Peterson/Naughton adventures.
Not exactly your lame, First World filet-o sandwich. When you get over that eye looking at you, take a bite and realize this guy was caught this morning, you'll get it.
In Costa Rica, these are called "palapas." In Mexico, they are called "ranchos." And you best not get them confused. In Guatemala, you can call them whatever you like.
Empty and Waiting
A Spanish-speaking developing nation with perfect surf? Do Fernando Aguerre and the ISA know about this place?
Old World Aesthetic
Like much of Central America, Guatemala has a rich history and the cathedrals have fantastic architecture.
If you think there's no surf in Guatemala, that's probably fine with local boy Henry Rivera here.
When most remote surf destinations start to catch on the male/female ratio is about 10 to 1. Might Guatemala be different?
The cool thing about Central America compared to some tiny island is the range of different animals that can attack you. It makes things way more interesting.
Natural beaches are one of the greatest discoveries on a surf trip. But if development, harbors, pylons and marinas create waves, no one's going to argue.
Guatemala is also world-renowned for language schools, craftwork and artists. You wouldn't find this guy hanging out in Jaco.
These Quetzales are making me thirsty ....
Myth of Perfection Realized
There are still places in the world where you can go and get empty waves. We just didn't know that they were barrels.
Rodrigo Sandoval eyeing up the surf in front of Guatemala's sweet accommodations.
The photographer takes a break from behind the lens to get wet and refresh. What better way than a perfect little nugget like this one?
Not Just Souvenirs
Guatemalan handiwork is a little more ornate than marijuana-leaf pendants and surf-company knockoffs.