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Monterrico

Population - 2,900

On the face of it, Monterrico appears to be your typical sultry, tropical beach town, but dig a little deeper and contrasts soon start to emerge. From its humble beginnings as a fishing village, Monterrico is re-inventing itself as the premier destination on the Pacific Coast. Guatemala City day-trippers mix with European vacationers, older back-to-basics hotels mingle with new resorts and among the numerous comedores are a handful of truly great restaurants.

However, Monterrico is much more than just a beach town. A barrier island, Monterrico is surrounded by water; the Pacific Ocean on one side, the Canal de Chiquimulilla on the other. This creates a unique environment allowing species which have died out in the rest of the world to survive here, amid the mangroves and lagoons of the protected Bioptopo de Monterrico..

The beach itself is a 22km long, straight strip of black volcanic sand bordered by the white foam of crashing waves. During the midday heat, the black sand is unbearably hot but it cools down quickly in the late afternoon when sun-seekers come out to lie on towels, stroll along the waters edge or fit in a game of volleyball.

At night a different visitor appears. For six months of the year, Monterrico is the nesting site of three types of turtle: an amazing claim to fame and one that is essential to preserve. The commercialization of beaches usually means turtles become scared off. However, the development in Monterrico is low-key so tourists still have a chance, in season, to see a nesting turtle near their hotel.

The streets of Monterrico are simply laid out in the form of a cross. Calle Principal is the long paved road that leads from the canal docks and through the center of town to the beach. Just before it reaches the pedestrianised zone near the beach, one sandy street, called Calle des Hoteles, goes to the left and another sandy street, Calle Cementario (after the cemetery) heads to the right. At the crossroads there is a helpful signpost listing many of the hotels and their distances from that point.

There are two paved roads that lead off Calle Principal. One travels west, past Hotel Utz-Tzapa on a scenic route to the towns of Itztapa and San José, eventually finishing at Escuintla on the Pacific Highway. The abundant zucchini-type vegetable that can be seen growing along this road is actually a loofah, also often left drying out under the sun in long rows. The other road goes east towards Hotel Dos Mundos and Parque Hawaii.

Neighborhoods in Monterrico: Parque Hawaii,

Other places nearby Monterrico: Escuintla, El Tulate, Taxisco, Retalhuleu, Cuilapa, Tilapa & Tilapita, Sipacate & La Paredón, Champerico, Guatemala's Pacific Coast and Iztapa.







By Kathryn
Independent and optimistic, I believe in following your dreams and have been doing just that, traveling the world for the last 9 years. British by...
06 Feb 2010

Top Places in Monterrico

Parque Hawaii

137550Parque Hawaii is a picturesque stretch of beach 7km from Monterrico, which is fast turning into an alternative destination on this part of the coastline. A handful of luxurious hotels have set up ...
City Zone
Parque Hawaii, Monterrico, Guatemala

Things to do in Monterrico

Things To See And Do

137545 The most obvious things to do are lie by the pool or take a walk on the beach. Horse-riding on the beach is available at $8.75 p.p. for one hour or quad-biking for $37.50 an hour. To ...
Other Activity
Monterrico, Guatemala

Biotopo Monterrico-hawaii

137546 Covering 2,800 hectares, the Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii was set up in 1977 to protect the delicate eco-system that has evolved along the coast, the estuarine channel and among the ...
Other Activity
Monterrico, Guatemala

The Turtles Of Monterrico

137547 Three species of turtle come to Monterrico to lay their eggs. The leatherback (baule) is an awesome turtle with a soft, leathery skin that grows up to two meters long and nests here ...
Other Activity
Monterrico, Guatemala

Tortugario Monterrico

137549 In operation since 1976, Tortugario Monterrico breeds and releases several species of wildlife including turtles, caimans, green iquanas and a pre-historic freshwater fish. A ...
Other Activity
Monterrico, Guatemala

Parque Hawaii Arcas

137552 Parque Hawaii is actually the stretch of beach 7 km east of Monterrico but also refers to the respected Guatemalan NGO, ARCAS, who have a base here and run conservation and community ...
Other Activity
Parque Hawaii, Monterrico, Guatemala

Mangrove Swamp Tour

137553 Waking up at 5 a.m. might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the early bird catches the worm and there are a lot of birds to be seen in the mangroves. Watching the sunrise from a ...
Other Activity
Monterrico, Guatemala

Nightclub - El Kaiman

137570 El Kaiman is where the Guatemalans come to bump and grind. A large open-air dance floor is packed with sweating bodies dancing to Latino pop music. From here revelers spill out onto ...
Entertainment
Monterrico, Guatemala

Nightclub - Playa Club

137571Johnny’s Place kicks it up with their own nightclub, open on the weekends. Here you can dance on the tables to an eclectic mix of pumping dance oldies and modern Latino pop. When tired of that, ...
Entertainment
Monterrico, Guatemala
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