Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

When visiting Guatemala, many people tend to stay on the same-old, same-old route – Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and Tikal. More adventurous folks with a bit of extra time might also visit Rio Dulce, Livingston, Lanquin and Semuc Champey. Either way, they’re missing out on Monterrico and other beach areas of the Pacific Coast.

What To Do, See, and Stay in Monterrico, Guatemala

Turtle Release Program and Hatchery

Releasing baby sea turtles is the most incredible attraction in Monterrico. It is a special event where you can hold a baby sea turtle in your hand and release it into the sand in a controlled environment so it gets safely to the sea.

If you love animals, make some time to come to this beach to experience turtle release, you won’t regret it. If you come with kids, they will never forget it.

Monterrico Beach

Most people come here for the beach, a black sanded, volcanic beach. It is fun for playing, building and creating.

But this is not a swimming beach. The riptide is really strong. Its relentless waves are actually what make it such a perfect spot for sea turtles.


Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Monterrico Town

I love small towns where the main street is still made of dirt and sand. It makes the village even more unique.

In it you can also find: cute local eateries, food stands in the center of town, street stands with jewelry, local street art and tiny canals on the sidewalks with live fish.

However my favorite thing is that you can enjoy a cold Michelada as you walk around the town with a bathing suit and flip flops. You can get your Michelada, iced teas and other important necessities to survive the heat at the small, local super market.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Monterrico Ferry

The quote “Getting there is half the fun” is accurate in this case. There is a bridge now, but before that, the only way to get to Monterrico was by taking a ferry through mangroves and canals. You can still choose how you want to get to the beach.

Crossing the short bridge costs around $2 to drive over, and it’s not much of a drive. Or you can pay $10 for the ferry and have a blast!

This isn’t an ordinary ferry, it is actually one of the most fun parts of visiting Monterrico. Just getting the car in this tiny ancient ferry is a feat. The whole village gets involved to help.

Waiting is also a lot of fun! I got to chill out with my boys on the ride. There was even a bit of a traffic jam of ferries.


Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom


Lodging and Serious Pool Time

You can’t go to a hot beach destination with kids without getting into a pool.

Monterrico has extremely hot weather. And it can have way too many mosquitoes during certain times of the year.

So as I looked for hotels for my family I kept two things in mind:

1. Air Conditioner – We need something to keep us cool and the bugs out!
2. Pool and Garden

After some research I found hotel Atelie. It had exactly what I was looking for.

This tropical hotel had the biggest swimming pool that we have found in any of the hotels we have visited in a long time.

The hotel very simple with cable TV and a restaurant.

A typical Guatemalan breakfast is included in the price per night. We ate it in an outside patio. There aren’t a lot of things that can top that.