Monterrico

Lonely Planet review

With Guatemala's best ocean beach and a sultry, tropical flavor, Monterrico is a hammock-swinging coastal village. What's more, the area is home to a large wildlife reserve and two centers for the hatching and releasing of sea turtles and caymans. Monterrico is fast becoming a popular weekend spot both with Guatemalan families and foreigners.

The highlight here is the long Reserva Natural Monterrico (20km/12mi), which preserves coastal mangrove swamps that are bursting with avian and aquatic life. Its most famous denizens are the endangered leatherback and ridley turtles, which lay their eggs on the beach along the coast. A sunrise boat tour of the reserve and lagoons is the best way to see wildlife.