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Population: 4,000

A small collection of slowly rusting boats is testament to the dying legacy of the first seaport in Guatemala. Established by the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, who in the mid-16th century found safe harbor for his fleet here, Iztapa was used for 300 years before a decision was made to move the port to Puerto San José.

The coast around Iztapa is known as one of the best in the world for deep sea fishing. Sailfish are the prime target. However, the hotels that cater for these aficionados tend to be all inclusive and are located out of town on the road to Puerto San José – see individual reviews. Iztapa itself is hot and unattractive, catering primarily to the day-tripper crowd. There seems little reason for most tourists to venture here unless in dire need of an ATM, which is on the main square.

The only exception is die-hard surfers who may want to consider staying here for the fast break, best caught on a low to rising tide. Keep in mind, there is no direct access to the beach, you have to take a boat across the canal for $1.20 each way.

There are four hotels in town. Hotel Villas de Michatoya, twos blocks back from the park, just off 4a Avenue, has the best rooms for $10 p.p. including fan and TV. Hotel Club Sol y Playa, on the main square, costs $12.50 p.p. and has a cleanish swimming pool. The cheapest rooms in town are at Hotel Brasilia and Hostel Posadje Familiar Maria del Mar, starting from $2.50 p.p.

Iztapa has a large number of comedores scattered around. For something different try Cafeteria Mei-Ko on 6a Avenue that specializes in Chinese food. Lanchas can take you across the canal to basic restaurants on the beach but they only open on the weekend. Perhaps the most pleasant places to eat at are near the road bridge, on a broad swathe of the Canal de Chiquimulilla that gives them a riverside feel. Rancho San Rafael serves the usual run of Guatemalan seaside fare and is open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.


Other places nearby Iztapa: Sipacate & La Paredón, La Democracia, El Tulate, Escuintla, Champerico, Puerto San Jose, Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Cuilapa, Chulamar and Guatemala's Pacific Coast.

By Kathryn
Independent and optimistic, I believe in following your dreams and have been doing just that, traveling the world for the last 9 years. British by...
09 Mar 2010

Things to do in Iztapa

Sport Fishing

Sailfish. The holy grail of deep sea fisherman and found in such numbers off the coast of Iztapa that it is possible to actually get a little bored of them. However, there are also large numbers of ...
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Iztapa, Guatemala
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