Accommodations and Food
In Iztapa, adequate accommodations can be found at Sol y Playa Tropical (1a Calle 5-41, tel. 7881-4365, $22 d), which has rooms with private bath and ceiling fan or air-conditioning built around a nicely landscaped swimming pool.
Across the Canal de Chiquimulilla and right on the beach, Iztapa’s nicest accommodations are at the
Sailfish Bay Lodge (tel. 2426-3909 direct or 800/638-7405 U.S. reservations, www.sailfishbay.com, $125 d). Accommodations here are usually sold as part of a sailfishing package, but you are more than welcome to stay on your own.
The Guatemalan Pacific Coast’s best-kept secret is a modern, well-designed lodge featuring a thatched-roof seaside bar and swimming pool with whirlpool bath, comfortable ocean-view rooms with all the usual amenities, and an excellent restaurant fronting the canal. You can enjoy phenomenal views of three volcanoes rising above the surrounding mangroves while you dine. The outstanding feature of this place is that it’s the only lodge sitting right on the broad, black-sand beach. A number of luxurious beach villas are the only neighbors. There are surfboards for guests’ use. Transportation to the lodge from Guatemala City or Antigua is also available.
Another option is Buena Vista Sportfishing Lodge (Calle Baja Mar, Aldea Buena Vista, tel. 7880-4203/05 or 866/699-3277 U.S., www.buenavistasportfishing.com), housed in a large yellow villa fronting Chiquimulilla canal. Boats dock right in front of the property, so it’s a quick trip to your shower or the lodge’s swimming pool. The large somewhat spartan rooms feature a/c and private bath.
Iztapa’s best-known restaurant is popular with anglers and locals alike. El Capitán (tel. 7881-4403, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) serves large portions of tasty seafood and meat dishes under a thatched-roof palapa facing the lagoon. It also has a lively bar.
Next door to El Capitán, the Pacific Fins Resort & Marina (tel. 888/700-3467 U.S., www.pacificfins.com, $150–250 d) is an attractive lodge with six two-bedroom/two-bath villas with kitchenette and living room. Rooms include satellite flat-screen televisions, hardwood accents, wireless Internet, and brand-new furniture. All rooms have air conditioning. The bar and restaurant, facing the lodge’s swimming pool, offer a varied menu that includes sandwiches, pasta, grilled, sauteéd, or breaded fish, chicken Florentine, and Argentinean-style parrilladas.
Stays at the resort are usually part of a multiday fishing package, but they are also open to receiving guests just looking for a place to relax in the tropical swelter. If you’re not in Guatemala to fish and just want to stay here, your best chance for scoring a room is during the off-season (May–Oct.).
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com