Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed May 06 2015

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  • Shannon Wolf | May 6, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Monterrico: Relaxing in this Sleepy Beach Town

    Monterrico: Relaxing in this Sleepy Beach Town

    The view from below; swinging in my hammock on the black sand beach of Monterrico

    Although I love the highlands of Antigua, I have been craving sun and sand between my toes ever since I left behind the cold embrace of Canadian winter, so I booked the first collectivo leaving at 8 a.m. to the sleepy beach town of Monterrico.

    I slept 90 percent of the way and awoke to a soft breeze blowing against my face. Windows were lined with palm trees, tiny villages, and not much else. I sighed happily with the relief that I soon would see the Pacific coast and its black sand beach.

    When I arrived in the tiny town, I walked down the dirt road to Hotel El Delfin, which is a cheaper and quieter hostel and a whopping $5 per night in comparison to $30 per night charge at the party hostel, Johnny’s Place. I got a basic dorm and in less than 10 steps, I walked barefoot from my room, past the bar and right onto the beach. I brought my book “Eat, Pray, Love,” bought a cheap beer and spent the next four days with a permanent smile across my face, lying in a hammock, reading, drifting in and out of sleep or on the beach getting some vitamin D for less than $15 a day.

    Sunset over the pacific coastline in Monterrico along with fresh fruit bowls and honey for breakfast at Hotel El Delfin

    If you’re looking to get away from the “busy” city life in Antigua or recover from overspending, this sleepy town is the perfect spot for a few days of R&R. You will leave Monterrico feeling rejuvenated and ready to move onto the next destination: El Salvador! Besides tanning, swimming, or relaxing there isn’t much else to do … which is kind of the point!

    How to get there: Take a $10 collectivo from Antigua that will pick you up at your hostel. A chicken bus is possible but it is a huge hassle and not worth it.

    Weather: Hot! Hot! Hot!

    Cheapest Hostel: Hotel El Delfin ($5 a night - stay 3 nights, you get the 4th night free).


    • Hostel is right on the beach and is far cheaper than the more popular party hostel “Johnny’s Place.”
    • Basic dorms, but they come with mosquito nets and lockers.
    • Owners are inviting and wonderful people.
    • Bar/restaurant serves 5Q beers and big fruit bowls for 25Q .
    • Free towels .
    • Tons of hammocks right on the beach.
    • Cold showers (but you don’t need heat when it’s so bloody hot there).

    Cheapest Food: The small tiendas sell vegetables and fruit for pennies — You’re not allowed to bring outside food or drinks into the hostel but when you’re on a budget like me, you’ll sneak it in. Bananas are 3 for 5Q otherwise Hotel El Delfin’s prices are the best in town.

    Cheapest Alcohol: At the tienda closest to Hotel El Delfin (on the corner), a tall can of Brahva beer is 5Q .

    Fastest Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is scarce or non-existent.

    Bank Machines: None. Bring extra cash!

    Things To Do: Tan/Swim in the Ocean, Read and lay in a Hammock — FREE!!!

    Note: There's an undertow and the waves are strong so if you decide to swim, stay close to shore.

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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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