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Katharina

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LRM_EXPORT_99844832493700_20190920_144331713-1024x820 Impact Hub Antigua -the coworking space with a view

My experience working online

When I moved to Antigua in Guatemala I started to work online. I am working as a Travel Blogger and Freelancer in Online Marketing and since recently we opened our Online Shop Mayalla. Most people who work online can relate that it can be very lonely sometimes. Because you don’t have any colleagues, you are basically the whole day by yourself with your computer. First, I started to go and work in different cafes that have fast internet. To escape my loneliness at home. But fast I realized that in a cafe you don’t really find the social interaction neither. Because most people won’t talk to you. They either are concentrated working on their computer or already came with friends, I looked for a better solution. That’s when my friend Katty invited me to go to work in Impact Hub Antigua. It is a Coworking Space that is centrally located and people from all over the world that work online come together here and use it like an office space. You basically pay a monthly membership fee of 108 $ and for this you can use their desks and internet and you can even use the kitchen for free.

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Impact Hub Antigua – The kitchen 

They have free coffee, microwaves to warm up your food, fridges and a lot of dishes that you can use. There are 2 employees that keep the kitchen and the workspaces clean at all times. I realized how much money I saved by not eating out in the restaurants the whole time. I started cooking my food for several days and brought it to Impact Hub. They have a pretty cool juice bar which where I often bought fresh smoothies and delicious ice coffees. 

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The community aspect

I felt like I wanted to share this experience with you because I can imagine that there are more people out there who feel frustrated working at home all day without any company. I can really advice anyone who feels lonely to try and go working in a cowering space. I got to know many different people from different nationalities and different professions and I even ended up collaborating with others from the Coworking Space in some projects. And it happened a lot that I found people there who were experts in a field that I was not good at and I could ask them for advice. 

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My favourite place in Impact Hub – the rooftop

My favorite place in Impact Hub Antigua was definitely working on their amazing rooftop with view over the volcanos. The internet was good up here and I always like to work in outdoor spaces with a nice view. There were even some couches with umbrella in case you want to take a break and relax. 

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Any recommendations?

Now that I will go to travel to Europe (Germany and Spain) soon, I am looking forward to exploring more Coworking Spaces in different countries! Can you recommend me a Coworking that you liked in particular? I want to travel to South America next year and would love to hear about your favorites <3 Just leave a comment below! 

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abb24a7a-6c34-4167-b043-be1058164357 El Paredon - The Secret Surfing Paradise on Guatemala's Pacific Coast
LRM_EXPORT_60900767147863_20190427_073924063-1 El Paredon - The Secret Surfing Paradise on Guatemala's Pacific Coast
EL Paredon, Guatemala – 2019

Being located only 2.5 hours by car from Antigua and Guatemala City at a volcanic black sandy beach, el Paredon is the perfect destination for all off-the-beaten-path lovers and surf enthusiasts. The small and lazy beach town is barely more than a single street that is only reachable by dirt road. The way to reach this laid-back surf town is an adventure on its own! But that is what it makes it so charming. Surf lovers from all around the world come here to ride the huge waves (with an average of 1.9m) of Guatemala’s Pacific Coast. It is slowly becoming Guatemala’s surf capital. But don’t worry, it is still far away from attracting large tourist crowds. For me it is the perfect place to enjoy some beach vibes when visiting Guatemala while relaxing under the tropical sun. Even for people who don’t surf, since there are many other things to do.

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

HOW TO GET TO EL PAREDON, GUATEMALA

My recommended way of transportation is either to go by private transportation or Shuttle. From Antigua there are two shuttles per day, at 9.30 AM and 1.30 PM. From Guatemala City the shuttle leaves at 6.00 AM or 12 PM, the shuttle makes a stop in Antigua. It takes around 2.5 hours and costs 165 Q. There is a lot of parking in EL Paredon if you want to come by private transportation. Just take in mind that the last 40 minutes are a dirt road, so your car should be able to handle it.  

Shuttle to El Paredon: CLICK HERE

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El Paredon, Guatemala – 2019

The cheapest and most adventurous way to get to El Paredon is definitely by Chicken bus (the local bus in Guatemala). You can take it from Antigua or Guatemala City, it takes around 5 hours and costs around 40Q. I haven’t tried it but from what I have heard I wouldn’t recommend it. Chicken busses are known to be unsafe and uncomfortable!

Read more in the El Paredon Transportation Guide: CLICK HERE

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

WHERE TO STAY IN EL PAREDON, GUATEMALA – SWELL

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019  

We found paradise in El Paredon, the boho-chic Surf & Lifestyle Hotel “Swell” is definitely the best place to stay in. It is one of the nicest places that I stayed in in my entire Central America trips and very Instagram worthy. And that for many reasons. First, the hotel is owned by a French and Canadian couple who is super nice as well as the other staff members. Everyone tried to make our stay as nice as possible and we felt very welcomed. The decoration of the hotel is simply amazing. I loved the style and cleanliness and so much attention to detail. It directly made me feel super comfortable there.

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

My boyfriend and I stayed in one of the swim-up suits, which I can highly recommend! You can dip in the pool directly from your terrace. Especially at night with a bottle of wine that is very romantic 😉 Another highlight is the private outdoor jungle shower, that is integrated in the room. Simply amazing! And the room is very tastefully decorated and very clean. We slept super well with the fresh breeze of the air-conditioning. It was very quiet and relaxing.

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019  
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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019 

The breakfast is very delicious, I recommend the yogurt bowl with granola and fruits. Together with a French Press coffee (one of our absolute favorites <3) and a Zucchini bread with cream cheese and chocolate chips. Wow! I was so surprised how good this Zucchini bread was! I kept ordering it over and over again during my stay.

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Swell, El Paredon – Guatemala – 2019
IMG_9832 El Paredon - The Secret Surfing Paradise on Guatemala's Pacific Coast
SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

The day we spent with sipping delicious cocktails in the pool or reading a book in the hammock. Especially in the morning around 7.30 AM and in the afternoon around 5.30 PM, it was nice to walk to the beach and have a swim in the sea, because waves are lower at this time of the day. It’s only a 3 min walk from the hotel to the beach. After the swim we relaxed in the hotel own chill out area at the beach and watched the surfers. They have some sun launchers there and some hammocks with sea views. Such a great idea! Next time I want to try surfing!

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

Swell also has great Internet and is the perfect place for people who work remotely like me. You have plenty of shady places to sit with plug and you have the chance to meet other digital nomads here and exchange ideas. Last, I wanted to mention the Yoga area under the roof. Such an amazing view, and a fresh sea breeze thanks to its big open windows, makes it to the perfect hangout area! We will definitely be back <3

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019 

Book your accommodation at Swell: CLICK HERE

WHAT TO DO IN EL PAREDON, GUATEMALA

There are a few things to do in EL Paredon besides slurping cocktails, relaxing in the hammock or swimming in the sea, it provides a variety of activities. Here are some of the things you can do.  

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

SURFING

El Paredon is known to be a surfer’s paradise with nice waves all year around. The waves are suitable for all levels, beginners and experienced surfers alike. Depending on what level you are you should see what the best time is to surf for you. Generally speaking, the best time for surfing is from 6 to 9 AM and 4 to 6.30 PM, when the sea is glassier. There are many surf schools offering classes or renting out boards,

WATCH BABY TURTLES HATCH

A real highlight is to watch hundreds of baby turtles hatch at the beach early in the morning. It is fascinating to see the little babies running towards the water and disappearing in the big great ocean. You have to be lucky so to come in hatching season which is from mid-September to mid-December. You can help release the baby turtles into the ocean. Driftwood Hostel has a meet up spot every morning at 5.45 AM to walk to the turtle hatchery. You are asked for a donation in exchange.

WATCH TURTLES NESTING

Being an important nesting site for green sea and leatherback turtles, you can watch something truly unique here from June to November, with August and September being the peak time. You can observe how the turtles lay their eggs on the beach at night. The tour is offered for free by the Paredon-Surf-House.

GO HORSEBACK RIDING

For 150 Q per hour you can ride a horse along the beach. I recommend you do that during either sunrise or sunset, otherwise it will be super-hot, and you won’t be able to enjoy the ride! The horses in El Paredon seemed well taken care of.

COOKING CLASSES

Learn how the locals cook and get an authentic experience in how to make the traditional Guatemalan tortillas, ticucas, empanadas and a delicious Guatemalan lunch. The tour is offered by La-Choza-Chula’s-Nonprofit-organization and all profits go to educational projects in the village! It costs around 12 Dollars per person. Book it HERE 

TURTLE AND SALT FARM TOUR

La-Choza-Chula’s-Nonprofit-organization will take you on a 20-minute boat ride from El Paredon to watch turtles in a beautiful spot. On the way back you will pass the salt farms and a local guide will explain you the extraction process. Enjoz the beautiful sunset from the boat. Turtles are present in El Paredon all year around! Book it HERE

MANGROVE TOUR

La-Choza-Chula’s-Nonprofit-organization offers a 2-hour tour with a traditional lancha boat. A local guide will paddle you through the beautiful mangroves of the Sipacate El Naranjo National Park. He will show you different wildlife and teach you the local way of fishing. Book it HERE

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El Paredon, Guatemala 2019

TIPS

The best wave breaks between December and April. Bring cash! There are no cash machines in El Paredon or nearby. It is still a very unspoiled place; I am sure in the future this will change so don’t wait to long to visit!

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

It has been a very nice & relaxing time in El Paredon! Have you ever visited? Do you maybe have something to add to my to do list or any other advice for fellow travelers? Share it with us in a comment below.

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SWELL, Guatemala – 2019

If you love secluded beaches and you are currently traveling through Central America, you should check out my Blog post about: The Corn Islands – A Secluded Island Paradise in Nicaragua.

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El Paredon, Guatemala – 2019

Where are the Corn islands?

The Corn islands are two beautiful islands lying around 70 kilometer or 50 miles off the Caribbean coast of Nicaraguan in Central America. The islands are very unspoiled since no cruise ship tourist and mass tourism has set in yet. If you are looking for a more adventurous holiday in an authentic place with amazing sandy beaches, Caribbean vibes and incredible underwater life, then you should visit these two Caribbean islands. They are real secret jewels and only few insiders come here. One of the best secluded Caribbean islands that you can find nowadays.

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Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

How to get to Corn islands?

To get to the Corn Islands is a bit of a challenge, but a price you should be willed to pay in order to enjoy this secluded island paradise without tourist crowds. There are two options, and I highly recommend you taking option 1.

Option 1 is taking the small airplane from La Costena, they offer flights from Managua and Bluefields airport. You can find their schedule here. It cost around 170 USD to book roundtrip with them, and make sure to reserve. They can be booked out fast since there are only limited seats on the plane! The flight only takes around 1.30 hours.

Option 2 is a bit uncomfortable and dangerous if you ask me, but i haven’t tried it yet. There is a boat leaving from Bluefields which takes around 6 hours to reach Big Corn Island and costs around 8 dollars. The exact way of how to reach The Corn Island as affordable as possible describes Along Dusty Roads in its Blog, check it here.

IMG_7362 The Corn Islands - A secluded island paradise in Nicaragua
Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

From Big Corn to Little Corn Island

From Big Corn Island you have to take a boat to the smaller and more secluded Little Corn Island. There is no other option! You can take a taxi from the airport in Big Corn Island to Brigg Bay, where the boat to Little Corn Island leave. It takes around 10 mins and should cost around 20 Cordoba per person.

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Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

You can either pay a bit more to a private boat (talk to your hotel) to pick you up or take the public panga. The panga is scheduled considering the landing hours of the airplane La Costena, and usually waits in case of a delay for the airplane passengers. It costs around 7 USD to take the panga and takes around 30 mins to reach Little Corn island. You can buy tickets at Brigg Bay. I recommend buying tickets 2 hours before the boast leaves, so you make sure to get one. Sometimes all tickets are sold out fast. There is no online booking option.

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Arenas Beach Hotel, Big Corn Island, August 2017

Schedule Panga

Big Corn to little Corn Panga: 10 AM , 4.30 PM

Little Corn to Big Corn Panga : 6.30 AM, 1.30 PM

There is usually no problem to take the early panga and then arrive in time for the La Costena flight. However, if there is a storm and waves are too high the boast won’t leave. It might be smarter to leave Little Corn one night earlier and sleep in Big Corn before flying out the next day. The ride on the panga is a bit raff and adventurous if you ask me. But many tourists take it, I haven’t heard of any accident so far.

Which Corn island is better?

Big Corn Island 

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Arenas Beach Hotel, Big Corn Island, August 2017

This island is much bigger than Little Corn Island. Cars are driving around here, and many local people live here. It is a great spot to spend 2 or 3 days. Especially if you want to get into contact with local people. Big Corn is much less touristy and less fancy than Little Corn, it has around 7000 residents. It is more developed and doesn’t have many tourist shops. Internet is faster here. Big Corn Island is your chance to experience the mix of local culture. Besides it is cheaper than on Little Corn. Big Corn has a bunch of nice cafes and dive shops.

Where to stay on Big Corn Island

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Arenas Beach Hotel, Big Corn Island, August 2017

I really enjoyed staying at Arenas Beach Hotel. It has a nice decor and is very clean and comfortable. It is ideally located right at the beach and has nice sun launchers. It is probably one of the most expensive and fanciest hotels on the island but compared to Western countries it is quite cheap. I really loved spending the day by the beach here! The staff was very nice too and I loved their local food <3

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Arenas Beach Hotel, Big Corn Island, August 2017

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Arenas Beach Hotel, Big Corn Island, August 2017

Little Corn island

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Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

Little corn is much more secluded, only reachable by boat. There are no roads and cars on Little Corn. It is free of pollution and the perfect place to enjoy the nature. Little Corn is the ideal place to really disconnect, since there is not much internet.  The island has a very beautiful beach and amazing diving. It is very little visited even so it is known to be one of the jewels of the Caribbean. The reason is that is so hard to get here, and no cruise ships are passing by. Little Corn is much smaller than big Corn, with only 1000 residents. It has a fancy boutique hotel with an incredibly beautiful beach. You will feel like Robinson Crusoe stranded on a lonely island here. I would spend a week here if you like it calm and quiet! Many describe Little Corn as a little known paradise island lost in the Caribbean. 

Where to stay on Little Corn Island

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Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

Stay in Yemaya island hideaway one of the most beautiful and secluded places I have ever seen! The Eco-Chic Oceanview Luxury Villas on Little corn Island are the perfect place to disconnect and by far the nicest hotel on the whole island. It is very modern, has a beautiful interior and each villa has a pool with ocean view. It has a very nice restaurant and beach bar with delicious food. And the beach in front of the hotel is the most beautiful beach with the most turquoise water! Many island visitors walk here from the other side of the island. If you want to enjoy the secluded island life with a bit of luxury, this is your place <3 It is surrounded by lush jungle and coco palms, far away from the other hotels. The hotel offers a private pick up from Big Corn which is very comfortable. A real little piece of paradise in the Caribbean.

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Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

IMG_4678-1 The Corn Islands - A secluded island paradise in Nicaragua
Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

Thanks a lot for visiting my Blog! I wish you all the best traveling to this little unknown paradise. If you have any advice, anything that I can add or you have been to the Corn Islands – Leave a comment below 🙂

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Yemaya Hotel, Little Corn Island, August 2017

One of my favorite places that I have visited of all times is the small city of Tulum in Mexico. It is located in the Yucatán Peninsula right on the Caribbean coast of Quintana Roo. This small Mexican paradise offers much more than the neighboring tourist towns Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Tulum stands for tranquility, relaxing and being authentic. The most beautiful white sandy beaches await you here. And the best thing is that they are empty, no noisy tourist crowds like in the other places. But don’t worry also in Tulum you have the chance to go out and do things. In this Tulum Travel Guide I will share with you my experince and the best thing to do here. 

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Coral Tulum Hotel Boutique Mexico, September 2017

Tulum Travel Guide – Things to do

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Coral Tulum Hotel Boutique Mexico, September 2017

1. Relax on the beach in a sun launcher drinking a cocktail

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Coral Tulum Hotel Boutique Mexico, September 2017

There is nothing better to start the vacation relaxing on a white sandy beach with turqoise water and no tourist crowds. I recommend you to go to the Southern beach of Tulum, not the one near the Mayan ruins. This one is more crowded! Tulum’s southern beaches are private, if you don’t stay in one of them don’t worry. You can just go there and buy a drink or meal in their beach bar. They give you a free launcher for the whole day. I recommend you the Coral Tulum Hotel Boutique. It has amazing white sunbeds, awesome food and freshly prepared juices and cocktails.

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Coral Tulum Hotel Boutique Mexico, September 2017

2. Go snorkeling/diving in the Cenote Dos Ojos

One of the biggest adventures on our trip to Mexico was the diving trip to the Cenote Dos Ojos with Getyourguide tours. A cenote is an underwater cave that are very common in the Yucatán area. It is the most famous cenote in the area and perfect to discover by scuba diving. It takes around 30 minutes by car to get there from Tulum. If you are not a certified diver don’t worry, you can also book a snorkeling trip. The difficulty level for divers is medium. The water is quite fresh so make sure to wear a wet suit. It is in unforgettable experience to swim in the cenote and watch the sunlight entering the crystal-clear water. For divers it’s a real adventure to dive through the underwater labyrinth. But please never go without a guide!

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Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum Mexico, September 2017

3. Rent a bike and explore the area

The perfect way to explore the beauty of Tulum center and the surrounding area is to rent a bike. Most of the hotels provide a bike rental. Otherwise you can find bike rentals all around the center. Like for example Olabiketulum.

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Tulum Mexico , September 2017

4. Visit the Mayan ruins 

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Mayan ruins Tulum, September 2018

One of the most famous sights in the area are the Mayan ruins in Tulum. The opening hours are from 8 AM to 5 PM and the entrance fee is around 40 pesos. It’s very nice to explore the different pyramids which are located right at the coast. There is also a beach inside the area which allows you to swim and refresh yourself after the long walk. Take your time for the visit, there is quite a lot to see. I would suggest at least 3 to 4 hours.

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Mayan ruins Tulum, September 2018

I would love to hear how you liked Tulum. Leave a comment below and share your experience!

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Mayan ruins Tulum Mexico

Many people that are visiting Barcelona always ask me for a good beach to snorkel that is reachable by train. Therefore, I thought to share with you one of my favorite spots. The beach that I am introducing to you now is a real secret spot and not many people know about it. Thanks to which this beach is always quite empty, even in high season.

Sant Pol de Mar – El Morer Beach

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El Morer Beach, August 2018

How to get to Sant Pol de Mar beach:

By train

If you are in Barcelona but don’t have a car, don’t worry because this dream beach is reachable by public transportation. You can take the train R1 (Renfe – rodalies Barcelona) from Plaza Cataluña or Arc de Triomf. Take the train that goes in the direction Macanet-Massanes, Blanes or Calella. It goes every 20/30 mins and takes around 1 hour. You can find the train schedule here. The train ticket costs around 10 € both ways. On the way back from Sant Pol de Mar to Barcelona don’t forget to validate your ticket in the train station.

Google Maps

IMG_2710-1 The best beach near Barcelona to snorkel - by train

By car

If you come by car it’s easy, too. just follow the highway C32 along the coast and take the exit 122 toward Calella/Pineda de Mar/Sta Susanna. Follow the road Carrer Torrent dels Frares until you reach the small town of Sant Pol de Mar. It takes you around 45 min and 59km. Be aware that in Spain you have to pay highway tolls. Besides it can be tricky to find a parking spot in Sant Pol de Mar.  That’s why I recommend taking the train.

Google Maps

IMG_2603-1 The best beach near Barcelona to snorkel - by train

How to walk

Once you reach the train station of Sant Pol de Mar you must walk North. Along the coast near the rails in direction Calella for around 15 min. You will see that there is a small walkway on the right side of the rails which is safe to take and is used by many locals. If you don’t feel comfortable walking close to the rails you can just walk on the beach. Until you reach cliffs and you see a small secluded bay with rocks in the water and birds sitting on it. Congratulations, you have made it!

Google Maps

IMG_2583-1 The best beach near Barcelona to snorkel - by train

What to expect

The long way was definitely worth it, trust me. Not many people come here, mostly locals. Some of them like to sunbathe naked so be aware. If you feel uncomfortable with seeing naked people around this might not be the place for you. The bay has beautiful natural sand and super clean and clear blue water. The birds on the photo are always in the same spot and love to dive for fish. You can even observe them while snorkeling.

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Sant Pol de Mar Beach, August 2018

The bay is the perfect spot to snorkel, you can swim a bit to the right and will see many corals with all sorts of fish. Of course, you cannot expect Caribbean underwater life here, but what I have seen in Spain so far, this is one of the best places! In the high season in July and August I recommend bringing an umbrella because the sun can be too hot and there are no shady places around. Also, bring enough food and drinks for the day since the bay is very secluded and there are no possibilities to buy something. 

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Sant Pol de Mar Beach, August 2018

Enjoy your day at the beach, let me know in the comments below how you liked it!

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