A five-night fishing package (includes boat, captain, meals, transport from Guatemala City airport, accommodation in Iztapa and Antigua/Guatemala City hotels) generally starts at US$1,550 per person, based on a group of four. Add-ons include golfing in Guatemala City or La Antigua. Tips for the boat captain generally run about $100 per day per group.
Among the recommended outfitters is the American-owned and -operated Sailfish Bay Lodge (tel. 2426-3909 direct or 800/638-7405 U.S. reservations, www.sailfishbay.com). Packages include food and accommodations at a beautiful eight-room lodge right on the beach across the canal in Iztapa.
Another option is the upstart Buena Vista Sportfishing Lodge (Calle Baja Mar, Aldea Buena Vista, tel. 7832-1991/05, www.buenavistasportfishing.com), owned by an American expatriate. Its developer sees huge potential along the Guatemalan coast after having drifted here from Costa Rica.
Based in Antigua, and a joint Guatemalan-American venture, is The Great Sailfishing Company (tel. 7832-1991, 5966-4528 Antigua or 877/763-0851 U.S., www.greatsailfishing.com). You can fish using conventional methods as well as fly-fishing and the company’s informative website can point you in the right direction when planning a sailfishing trip to Guatemala. Guests stay at Villas del Pacífico Resort or a private villa within the same compound.
Under new ownership, Pacific Fins Resort & Marina (tel. 888/700-3467 U.S., www.pacificfins.com) operates out of its very attractive namesake lodge and restaurant. They also offer whale-watching tours.
Guatemala Sport Fishing (tel. 5709-8697) has a charter desk at Puerto Quetzal’s Marina Pez Vela.
Based in Florida and operating out of its namesake lodge one mile west of Puerto San José, Casa Vieja Lodge (tel. 866/846-9121, www.casaviejalodge.com) is one of the larger outfitters. Many of its staff members worked for Iztapa’s original sailfishing lodge, Fins ’N Feathers. The lodge is in an old wood house (as its name implies) that has been wonderfully restored to afford anglers a comfortable place to come back to after a day of fishing.
Last but not least is Rods & Reels Sportfishing Adventures (tel. 5502-5353 or 305/432-2554 U.S, www.rodsandreelssportfishing.com).
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com