A.M. Surf and Yoga Retreat

El Paredon, Guatemala

3 reviews
Jan 15 - 22, 2022
Group size: 12 - 15
A.M. Surf and Yoga Retreat
El Paredon, Guatemala

3 reviews

Jan 15 - 22, 2022
Group size: 12 - 15

About this trip

El Paredon (The Wall), Guatemala is a gem. This small fishing village brushes up against Guatemala's iconic black sand beach and a wave machine like no other. Our little piece of paradise is surrounded by Sipicate National Park - a massive area filled with mangroves, canals, and a beautiful estuary. The village itself is prosperous through local enterprise due to the growth of tourism over the years. It is a charming place where life is simple, every day. 

Our home for the week will be at Swell - a Surf and Lifestyle Hotel built and managed by my good friends Elan and Marie. The two of them, and their super warm staff, provide hospitality at it's very finest. Here we will spend plenty of time moving, breathing, getting to know one another, and growing a little. Fresh food will be prepared throughout the day, you can grab a smoothie and soak up some sun, or head over to the beach side palapa with a hammock. Either way, you'll have a cozy casita to climb into when the day is done. Get ready to breathe, move, laugh, push your body, open your mind, make new friends, and get really good at doing nothing.

We hope to see you here!

- Andy Manzi -


The setting at Swell is absolutely perfect to disconnect from the distractions of our busy lives and reconnect with our Selves. Imagine going to that morning class, but not having to rush off to work. Relax by the pool and enjoy a slow morning after. There will be two 75-90 minute group classes daily, one in the morning and another in the early evening - just before sunset. Each class will offer a variety of experiences, challenges, soul dives, and a lot of rest. All you need is an open mind. 

Our lead yoga instructor, Sarah Jones, will have an absolute treat of a yoga experience waiting for you. If you haven't met Sarah, she is a badass yoga instructor who has influenced many in their journey through yoga, including me. She has taught yoga for years and has been mentored by some of the best around. Sarah is always pushing herself and others around her to be the best version of themselves. She created and led the adaptive yoga program for Warrior Surf Foundation for years, she teaches locally in Charleston, SC, and has facilitated yoga programs here in Guatemala with me for the past several years. Sarah will bring her power to all of us, I'm sure.  

Private yoga and reiki sessions are available and can be scheduled for an additional cost that goes directly to our instructors.


Though the focus of our stay in Guatemala will be our yoga practice both on and off of the mat, one can't come to El Paredon without at least trying to surf. If you are a surf enthusiast, then you will be relieved to know that this village has one hell of a wave machine located in front of it. If you're a beginner, not to worry - the whitewash is a great place to learn. You're in good hands.

The winter months are an excellent place for beginners to learn and for advanced surfer to have the time of their lives. The local crowd is laid back and encouraging. The ocean is beautiful and the view of the volcanos from it can be breathtaking in the morning.  

We will have a mix of surf instructors from the U.S. and EL Paredon to work with you. Our goal is to make sure everyone catches waves, smiles, and stays safe in the process. Our daily class will meet everyone where they are at on their surfing journey. If it's the first time, then there is no better place to learn. 

Private 1:1 coaching is available and can be scheduled for an additional cost that goes directly to our instructors.

El Parèdon Excursions

El Paredon is a charming fishing village. It is a small town of 1,000 residents, many of whom have never left. Increased tourism has supported local enterprises throughout the village and surrounding areas. There are multiple local eateries and plenty of foreign-owned establishments to hang, drink, and eat. The national park is filled with miles of estuary, river, and canals. The national forest's main feature is its vast area of mangrove forests that lines its waterways. All additional activities outside of the retreat givee back to the local El Paredon community. Multiple venues and activities to explore during your stay include and are not limited to:

  • Walking around the village
  • Eating at the various restaurants around town - pizza, thai, local cuisine... 
  • Boat trip through the estuary to the river mouth for a sunset bone fire
  • An afternoon of fun with La Choza Chula staff
  • Visit La Choza Chula's shop - a great place to purchase souvenirs for loved ones missing out!
  • Or... get really good at doing nothing


The Swell Nosh Bar nourishes the feel-good vibe with lots of fresh juices, excellent coffee, and a variety of daily breakfast/lunch options and nightly specials. You will not go hungry. The majority of our meals will be prepared by one of the most talented (just you wait) and welcoming chefs we've ever met -  backed by a local kitchen staff that has been preparing meals for us for years. Every meal is thoughtfully planned, delicious, nutritions, and made from scratch with only the best local ingredients. On the nights that dinner isn't provided for us, there are plenty of options in town. 

About Swell

For a Guatemalan getaway that balances boho-chic with elegance and design, Swell is the ideal combination of a cozy home-like feeling with the personalized guest attention and service of a boutique hotel. 

The locally inspired thatched palm roof welcomes guests to enter a stylish indoor-outdoor lounge area of handcrafted wooden sofas and swings around an inviting bar made of locally sourced Guanacaste wood. The contemporary aesthetic of the furniture, designed by the owners themselves and handcrafted by a talented local carpenter, exudes a modern elegance to this main space. The natural textures and exotic touches make for a relaxed, convivial environment where guests can sit back and socialize. 

Set between a tropical garden and a cozy open lounge area, the guests are greeted by the captivating 20m turquoise-blue swimming pool surrounded by a natural pine wood deck. The defining signature architectural feature of the hotel is a series of polished white structural elements that animate one side of the pool’s length, poetically articulating the 4 Swim-Up Suites. 

Each of these four rooms features its own private pine wood terrace and swim-up platform for exclusive morning wake-up swims and afternoon lounging. These suites offer a contemporary environment of clean polished concrete interiors and built-in shelves, contrasted by the warmth of local wood furniture and handpicked Guatemalan textiles. All of the rooms enjoy the luxury of their own open air private bathroom offering a tropical shower under the stars surrounded by lush palms. 

The thatched roof bungalows, that characterize the other suites, vary in style and amenities to adapt to the traveler’s taste. Intimate terrace lounges set within landscaped tropical gardens adorn these locally inspired structures and offer the unique experience of sleeping under a traditional roof of woven palm leaves, cradled by the sound of the ocean waves.

After sunset, the hotel grounds are transformed by warm strategically designed lighting. The woven straw light fixtures, handmade by local artisans, are suspended throughout the communal spaces and reflect shimmering shadows in the swimming pool and over the white polished structures. 

What’s included

  • 7 nights Accommodations
  • 7 Days of Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, DInner
  • Fresh Snacks
  • Fresh Juices
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Morning Meditation
  • 2 Yoga Classes
  • Massage
    One 1 hour massage per guest
  • Boat Trip
    Sunset ride on a local river boat to river mouth for a sunset bonfire.
  • Optional Surf Class
  • Transportation
    To and From Guatemala City
  • Community Giveback
    % of revenue supports the remote library project with La Choza Chula
  • Photography
    We will have our own photographer in house with us during our stay. They will be diligent capturing you during your stay but not invasive.
  • Yoloha Water Bottle
  • Yoloha Yoga Mat
    Leave yours at home. New journey. New mat.
  • Flight
    Into and out of Guatemala City
  • One on One Yoga
    Our Instructors are available for 1:1 sessions for an addition cost - goes directly to the instructor.
  • Reiki
    Our instructors are both Reiki Certified and are available for 1:1 sessions at an additional cost - goes directly to the practitioner.
  • Additional Massage Work
    Additional massage sessions are available at an additional cost - goes directly to provider.
  • Extra Tours & Activities
    Local cooking class, salt farm and turtle tour, kayaking, etc.
  • Alcohol @ Swell
    Alcoholic beverages are not covered in the cost of your stay at Swell. There will be complementary beverages here and there, and feel free to start a tab at the bar and enjoy your downtime.

Available Packages

AC Swim Up Private Suite
Available until December 1, 2021Sold Out

Stay in style with your own poolside Swim-Up Suite. Equipped with A/C, a private indoor sofa lounge, private bathroom, and garden shower - the real draw to this room is the terrace that opens up to an oasis. Wake up and take a dip in the pool or enjoy a cup of coffee with your feet in the water.

*This package is based on one person staying in the suite. Please email Andy directly if you wish to add another person/partner to your stay.* a.m.surf.wellness@gmail.com

Deposit: $1,000
AC Private Suite
only 2 left

Settle into a suite and enjoy all the comforts of home. To the front, a private refuge of peace and tranquility on your sofa and lounge open towards the garden of tropical flowers and trees. To the back of the room, the light and greenery of the tropical garden shower flood in and brighten up the cozy space.

*This package is based on one person staying in the suite. Please email Andy directly if you wish to add another person/partner to your stay.* a.m.surf.wellness@gmail.com

Deposit: $1,000
Open Air Private
Available until December 1, 2021Sold Out

Nested under a traditional thatch palm roof, our open-air suites are a cute space ideal for couples or single travelers. This lovely space offers a beautiful view of our garden, made up of a variety of lemon trees, palm trees, and tropical flowers. Below, breathe in the fresh air in your private nook surrounded by lemon trees. These suites also include a private bathroom and shower at ground level 

*This package is based on one person staying in the suite. Please email Andy directly if you wish to add another person/partner to your stay.* a.m.surf.wellness@gmail.com

Deposit: $1,000
Open Air Triple
Sold Out

The biggest of our rooms, the Bungalow is designed over two levels and sleeps up to 3 people. The ground floor is made up of a first bedroom which opens directly to the front terrace surrounded by garden and greenery and a bathroom and tropical garden shower outback. Climb up to the second level and soak in the views of the sea in one direction, and the garden and not so distant volcanoes to the other direction.

2 Queen  + 1 single 

*This is a shared living space.  

Deposit: $1,000

Your Organizer

A.M. Surf & Wellness
3 reviews
Surfing, yoga, travel, and community engagement changed my life and helped me overcome those difficulties I had from childhood and war, opened my heart back up to the world, and helped me love a little more. Which eventually led to the creation of the Warrior Surf Foundation, a community-based mental program, and AM Surf and Wellness.


While yoga retreats are common, this one also offered surfing lessons with skilled surf vets as instructors (actual military veterans – never felt safer). I thought I had signed up for a week to get in shape, ride some waves and eat tacos. Not the case. Andy’s itinerary was thoughtful and thought-provoking and powerful, both physically and mentally. El Paredon is a tiny hamlet tucked into a mangrove forest on the Pacific Coast. It is becoming a destination unto itself – despite being remote and with some development growing pains. The warm waves were gentle and rough at the same time and right around the corner from Swell. The perfect name by the way, for our swanky yet totally chill home for the week. Waking up to a modern vibe and turquoise pool you can literally roll out of bed into was a dream. Tarra, our five-star chef surprised us with a new menu daily – full of local flavors - savory and sweet; rich and light, and a little bit of home for our Charleston, SC tribe – shrimp and grits.
By Carolyn S for A.M. Surf and Yoga Retreat on 13 Feb, 2022
This was a very well organized fabulous trip! In addition to meditation, surfing and yoga every day (all optional), there were cultural activities, a massage, a river boat cruise to a beach bonfire, shopping, and lots to do! We were transported to and from the airport and didn't have to worry about a thing. The food was truly phenomenal. Fresh juice, smoothies and adult beverages were available to order. The facility was absolutely gorgeous with a super friendly staff. Paradise! I can't say enough great things about Swell, Andy, the organizer, and the people he chose to help teach the surf classes, yoga, meditation and massages. I'll never forget the week I had and the amazing friends I made!!!
By Rachel B for A.M. Surf and Yoga Retreat on 24 Jan, 2022
Andy's retreat was nothing short of life-changing. Every day was thoughtfully planned out and beautiful. The food was INCREDIBLE; the resort and staff there were amazing; everything was amazing, truly. I plan to go again!! Thank you Andy for giving us such a beautiful and spiritual experience. I can't wait to go back to paradise!
By Janessy F for A.M. Surf and Yoga Retreat on 24 Jan, 2022