Looking for the easiest and safest ways to travel to El Paredon, Guatemala? Here is a comprehensive guide for how to get to El Paredon.
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If you’re planning a trip to Guatemala and looking for a beach destination, El Paredon is an absolute must-visit.
Located on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala, El Paredon is known for its beautiful black sand beaches and wide range of activities.
But getting to El Paredon can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to get to El Paredon, Guatemala.
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Getting To El Paredon
There are several ways to get to El Paredon, depending on where you’re coming from.
No matter where you’re coming from, you can travel to El Paredon by taxi or Uber. While this is definitely the most convenient option, it will cost the most.
If you want convenience and a better price tag, you can reserve a seat on a shared tourist shuttle. This will take a little bit longer than a taxi, but is still much faster than taking a local bus.
The journey by taxi or shuttle can take anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the number of stops your driver takes and the traffic conditions.
If you’re on a strict budget, it’s also possible to travel to El Paredón by chicken bus. The chicken bus is basically just the local bus system in Guatemala.
However, this method can be several hours longer than other modes of transportation, and may require you to change buses a few times.
Let’s take a closer look at how to get to El Paredón using these transportation methods.
Taking A Taxi / Uber To El Paredón
The most straightforward option for traveling to this coastal destination is to take a taxi or Uber.
I prefer taking Ubers in Guatemala because they feel a bit safer. You also will know the price ahead of time so you will be less likely to get scammed.
If you do want to take a taxi, make sure you choose one from a reputable company like Amarillo Taxis or Mariscal Taxis.
An Uber or Taxi from the Guatemala City airport will typically cost between 800-1000GTQ ($102-127 USD) and will take a little over 3 hours.
If you are traveling from Antigua, the price will be similar but the drive should only take 2.5-3 hours.
From Panajachel on Lake Atitlan, you likely will not be able to find an Uber to El Paredón. You can take a regular taxi from the lake, but expect to pay around $100-130 for a one-way trip.
If you are traveling in a group, a taxi may actually work out to be a similar price to a tourist shuttle. However, for solo travelers who aren’t splitting the bill, there are definitely cheaper options.
Keep in mind that while there are plenty of taxis to take you there, it will likely be very difficult to find one departing from El Paredon. And Uber does not run in this area of Guatemala.
So even if you take an Uber or taxi to El Paredón, be prepared to take a bus or shuttle to your next destination.
Shared Tourist Shuttles To El Paredon
If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort to save some money, a tourist shuttle is a super convenient option for traveling to El Paredon!
Shared tourist shuttles are the most popular way to get around Guatemala. They’re affordable, convenient, and usually fairly comfortable.
There are a few shuttle options from Guatemala City, but most will make a short stop in Antigua. These shuttles cost between $36-40 per person and typically take 3-4 hours.
If you’re already in Antigua, you’re in luck! This tourist hub has plenty of shuttle options to El Paredón (and all over Guatemala).
A seat in a shared tourist shuttle from Antigua will cost $15-30 per person and take 2 to 2.5 hours.
It’s also possible to take a shared transfer from Lake Atitlan to Paredon. These shuttles depart from Panajachel, which is the biggest town on the lake, and cost around $27 per person.
How To Book Tourist Shuttle Tickets
Here are some of the best options for tourist shuttles to Paredón, including how to book them.
Roadrunner Guatemala offers shared shuttle services to El Paredón from Antigua, Panajachel, and Guatemala City. You can book with them directly on their website.
NEWay Tours is another shared shuttle service that offers transportation from Antigua or Guatemala City. You can contact them via WhatsApp to book a spot on a shuttle.
Guatemala Transportation is another great resource for finding shuttles to Paredón. They have options for Antigua, Guatemala City, and Panajachel. You can fill in the request form on their website to reserve your seat.
If you’re already in Antigua, you can also just pop into any of the tourist shops and ask for the shuttle schedule to El Paredón.
Because Antigua is such a big tourist hub, there are countless little storefronts that offer shuttle booking services for really affordable prices.
Tips For Taking Shared Shuttles
The shuttles in Guatemala are pretty straightforward, but there are a few things that you should know ahead of time:
- Most shuttles will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodations. Unless you’ve booked a very remote Airbnb, your shuttle service will be able to provide door-to-door service.
- Expect to be packed in. Most of the shuttles we’ve taken in Guatemala have been completely full. Don’t expect much leg room or personal space to stretch out on shared shuttles.
- Your bag may go on the roof. Oftentimes the shuttle drivers will strap everyone’s bags to the roof of the van. Don’t worry – this is a common practice in Guatemala and the drivers are very good at making sure everything is secure. Just make sure you have your valuables (passport, electronics, wallet) with you inside the shuttle in a smaller bag.
- Expect a bumpy ride. The road to El Paredón isn’t completely paved, so expect some bumps along the way. If you get very carsick, I recommend popping a Dramamine before this ride.
Private Shuttles To El Paredón
If you’re traveling in a larger group, it may make more economic sense to book a private shuttle. Private shuttles are very similar to the shared ones, but you’ll have the whole van to yourselves.
You can book private shuttles through transportation booking sites, or you can see if your accommodation offers private shuttle services.
For example, Paredon Surf House offers a private shuttle for 700GTQ ($89 USD) from Antigua or 850GTQ ($108) from Guatemala City.
Private shuttles are a door-to-door service, meaning they’ll pick you up from your original accommodation and take you right to your next hotel. No need to haul your baggage to a bus station.
If your accommodation doesn’t offer private shuttle services, I recommend booking with Roadrunner Guatemala. They offer private shuttles to El Paredon from the following locations:
- Guatemala City / Airport
- San Lucas Toliman (Lake Atitlan)
- Semuc Champey
- Panajachel (Lake Atitlan)
You can book with them directly on their website, which makes it very easy to reserve your shuttle in advance.
Taking A Chicken Bus To El Paredón
It’s also possible to get to Paredón via “chicken bus” if you’re on a tight budget.
Chicken buses are old school buses from the United States that now function as public transport in Guatemala.
These buses follow fixed routes through cities in Guatemala, but typically don’t have fixed bus stops. This means that you can flag one down along the road.
For that reason, traveling via chicken bus typically takes much longer than other transportation methods. There are no set number of stops so it’s hard to estimate travel times when traveling this way.
From Antigua, you can catch a chicken bus heading to Escuintla from the Antigua bus stop near the market.
You will change buses in Escuintla and head to Sipacate. From Sipacate you will need to grab a TukTuk. toEl Paredón. The whole journey will come out to around $12 USD and may take around 4-5 hours.
It’s important to note that this transportation method is significantly less comfortable and safe. It is more common for tourists to be targets for theft and scams on the chicken buses.
Tips for Visiting El Paredon
When visiting El Paredon, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Here are some tips to help you out:
El Paredon is considered one of the safest places in Guatemala. However, it is always important to take precautions when traveling.
We recommend keeping your valuables in a safe place and not carrying large amounts of cash.
It’s also a good idea to avoid walking alone at night and to stay in well-lit areas. Paredón is pretty undeveloped, so many of the streets are dark and empty at night. Stick to the main roads when walking around town.
While El Paredon is a small town, many hotels and restaurants offer free wifi to their guests. However, the connection may not be as strong as what you’re used to.
We suggest bringing a portable wifi device or purchasing a local SIM card if you need reliable internet access.
There is only one ATM in El Paredon, but it often runs out of money and doesn’t get reloaded very often.
For that reason, it’s best to bring plenty of cash with you. Some hotels and restaurants may accept credit cards, but cash is still king in El Paredon.
If you need to grab cash, the ATM is a 5B brand one and is located inside the Super24 store along the main road.
Once you’re in town, walking or renting a bike are the best ways to get around. The town itself is very small, so there’s really no need to have a car here.
If you need to get to another destination in Guatemala, check with your hotel’s front desk about booking a shared shuttle or private taxi.
- El Paredon is known for its surfing, so be sure to bring your board if you have one.
- The town is small and there’s not a ton to do, so plan on spending most of your time relaxing on the beach or exploring the nearby mangroves.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and bug spray, as the sun can be intense and the mosquitoes and sand flies are brutal. I would also pack some itch cream to soothe the inevitable bug bites you’ll get.
In conclusion, El Paredon, Guatemala is a hidden gem that is definitely worth visiting. With its breathtaking black sand beaches and perfect waves for surfing, El Paredon is a must-visit destination for any beach-loving traveler.
Getting to El Paredon is relatively simple, with options including shared shuttles, private shuttles, chicken buses, or taxis. We recommend taking a shared shuttle for affordability and safety.
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