Going Home – Back to Antigua Guatemala

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After Puerto de San Jose Guatemala we were back again on the southeastward road that ran along the coast with Monterrico (Guatemala) as our nearby destination.  We highly recommend the coastal road to anyone interested in seeing a variety of small sandy villages flying past the car window.  Dogs lie in the middle of the road and we, like everyone else, obliged and went around the snoozing pooches.  The odd pig or chicken crossing the road had Dahr providing a slowed accommodating speed.

We stopped at three resort hotels along the way.  Here we found pristine lava sand beaches with no one on them.  It was during the week so there were only one or two guests in any of these resorts.  Weekends, we were told, find the resorts chock-a-block busy with families and partying groups.  If a real and truly restorative beach experience is what you are after, go during the week.

Yolkobsen’s inspection netted three resorts along this route that we can recommend:  El Pantanal; Cayman Suites; and Utz Tzaba.  Double rooms range from $70 to $90 US and all have swimming pools, ever-present bar drinks and an “American plan” to cover all meals.

We Got There – The Beach at Monterrico Guatemala

We continued down the coastal road.  Finally, the beach at Monterrico Guatemala was under our feet. By now it’s about 86 degrees F.  Monterrico Guatemala is a tourist beach town serving gringos and Guatemalans alike.  It’s full of hotels, bars and restaurants and the usual “muchachos” with official looking badges who will exhort you to go on a trip to the mangrove swamps, bird watching and viewing of turtles artificially released onto the beach.  We gave all that the big miss.

It’s a beautiful beach, but somewhat littered with party detritus.  And, again, no one was in the water and there were few people hunkered down on the beach’s warmth that work-a-day Tuesday.  We found a restaurant on the beach which served a competently prepared dorado, fries and salad.

On the whole, were pleased with our trip and our experience of the beach. Most important, we were toasty warm, hot, in fact.   None of us is a sun bunny, so we took pictures and applied copious amounts of sun block.  Please bring a good hat if you go.

Going Home – Back to Antigua Guatemala

Dahr, ever the imaginative and informed guide, took us home in a completely different way.  In Monterrico Guatemala, he steered the van toward the canal side of the town where we found flat-bottomed wooden barges docked along the marshy brackish fresh water canal that winds as a counterpoint to the sea.

Antigua Guatemala Weather | Update February 1st

Antigua Guatemala Weather celebrated the first week of February with weather as always, the weather was unpredictable. Mayan history in Guatemala Weather always tells us that February is a month of many changes and the first week of February.  Antigua Guatemala had weather as predicted, changing every day.

We found each of the first days of February in Antigua Guatemala Weather had temperatures ranging from 78 for a high to 45 for a low in the highlands surrounding Antigua. The second of February in Antigua was cold and damp and we decided to leave Antigua in search of warmer weather along the beaches of Guatemala.

We headed to the pacific coast of Guatemala in the region known as Monterrico which greeted us with high temperatures of in the mid 90s and very warm Pacific Breezes. The morning weather in Monterrico was foggy and overcast. Which quickly burned off by mid morning. We had a chance to play in the ocean, enjoyed the break from the cold weather that had stalled over Antigua Guatemala.

We checked in with friends in Livingston Guatemala to get a read on the temperatures on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. The Caribbean coast of Guatemala was basked in high 90 degree temperatures which is common for the Livingston Guatemala region of Guatemala. Livingston along with high temperatures for the first week in February had very high humidity.

Lake Atitlan maintained good weather with just a few showers in isolated spots around the lake. We checked in with Kayak Guatemala adventure center to get our report from around Lake Atitlan. Lee explained that winds came up a few days over the first week of February making for a few white caps on Lake Atitlan. Mostly pleasant weather prevailed over the Lake.

Friday a front come in from the Pacific coast of Guatemala brought rain to much of the country. In Antigua just a few drops of rain. The weather forecast for Antigua for the end of the second week of February is high temperatures closing in on the 80 degree range.

More weather for Guatemala and Antigua coming in a week.

Day trip to the beaches near Antigua Guatemala.

Guatemala Pacific Coast Beaches

A recent January “cold snap” (day temp. 67 degrees and night time 52 degrees F) in Antigua Guatemala sent Yolkobsens out in search of heat at the nearby Pacific beaches, targeting Monterrico (Guatemala) as our end destination.

Though we are Canucks through and through and used to the cold, we had become totally spoiled by Antigua Guatemala weather, a perfect climate by anyone’s thermometer.  Daytime, even January breaching February, is usually in the mid to high 70s F and evenings ring in with a low-60s sweetness, requiring a light sweater or shawl.  But this time, Mother Nature was playing one of her pranks so we set our sights southward.

First, a Warning about the Beaches

They all have an undertow and caution is advised.  Very few people venture into the water.  In part, this is because relatively few Guatemalans know how to swim.  The other reason is, even waist deep, the unpredictable force of the Pacific in this part of the world can take even a middling-strong swimmer away very suddenly.  Please be careful if you go to the beaches here.  Go for the warmth and beauty, but stay very close to the shore. There are no lifeguards.

Getting There – The Highway

At 8 a.m. I was wearing a few layers of clothing when we got in the van that would take us south, first via Highway #14 and then southeast changing at Escuintla Guatemala for Highway CA49.    Dahr, our trusted and expert guide was at the wheel.

About 10 minutes outside of Antigua Guatemala the full force of countryside beauty was smacking us awake.  To the east were volcanoes, collared with clouds, and highlands standing guard over a topography that would soon take us to the plains.  To the west loomed “La Montana Encantada,”  the Enchanted Mountain.  You can make out the faces etched by nature into its sides:  a young woman’s profile; another, a cross between a Chinese style Buddha and a Maya icon.  Even the dullest and sleepiest imagination could make them out.

Dahr told us the legend of the Enchanted Mountain.  If you go up the mountain, you can eat anything you find there: vegetables, fruit, animals.  But if you try to take food out, you will be forever lost up there.  We decided to do our snacking at the beach instead.

About 20 minutes outside of Antigua Guatemala, the palm tress started to appear and some of my outer layers came off.  It was now about 75 degrees F and humid enough that you could hear your hair curl.

After about 30 minutes we were on the plains.  Here you see splintered herds of steer grazing, but most of the land is given over to sugar cane.  After passing Escuintla Guatemala, we were headed southeast on C49.  As we approached signs for Puerto de San Jose (Guatemala) were took the coastal road that winds strongly southeastward shadowing the shore.

First stop – The Beach at Puerto de San Jose Guatemala is about 45 minutes from Antigua Guatemala.  This was my first sight of the famous black lava beach sand.  We found ourselves in a Guatemalan beach town for blue collar Guatemalans.  It has a carnival ambience and somewhat brutal architecture. Charming it’s not. It’s set up for fast and furious partying by Guatemalans on a weekend toot.  It was Tuesday and the beach was still littered with the aftermath of the weekend.  We stayed for about 30 minutes, mostly to warm our bones, took pictures and got back in the car.  It was now about 82 degrees F.

Antigua Guatemala Weather Colder

The last week of January has again seen Antigua Guatemala Weather reach below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The days have remained pleasant in Antigua  consistently in the low to mid 70 degree range and mostly sunny.

Sunday saw Antigua blanketed in dark clouds that looked like rain which never materialized.

Lake Atitlan has been reported to be windy on the lake with a few rain showers over the weekend. Temperatures remain warm with sunny breezy days.

Monterrico Guatemala Weather remains as always in the high 80 degree ranges with as always sunny and clear skies. The weather in Monterrico is pleasant and has offered the sports fishing charters out of all major harbors great fishing conditions.

Guatemala Travel Review will be heading to Monterrico for a few days of warmer weather then Antigua and will be exploring a number of locations along the Guatemala cost line. The planned trip will start in Antigua head to Monterrico and north along the coast line to Port of San Jose Guatemala.

We expect great weather for this trip along the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Guatemala Travel Review plans to stop and interview as many business owners along this route to expand the travel information available for travelers about Monterrico. Monterrico is only a small part of the The Beaches and the Great Sports Fishing that is part of this region and an important part of the overall Guatemalan Tourism Industry.

Monterrico and Livingston | Not a lot is written about the beaches of Guatemala

In Monterrico Guatemala you will find many inexpensive hotels in the area. Not a lot is written about this area of Guatemala. Some from $49 US a night right on the beach. As you head north of Monterrico you head into what is considered among the prime sport fishing sites in the world! Most sailfish all time records are held in Guatemala! Whether it’s fly-fishing for sailfish or tarpon, conventional light tackle marlin, Dorado, Wahoo, tuna or rooster fish this area offer the best fishing.

The town of Monterrico is situated on the Pacific coast of Guatemala in the departament of Santa Rosa. Known for its volcanic black sand beaches and annual influx of sea turtles, the town also serves as a major weekend beach resort for citizens of Guatemala City. The town is growing more popular with foreign tourists largely because of the local sea turtle conservation efforts as well as the laid-back atmosphere of the area.

Monterrico is the most popular beach in Guatemala and also the closest to Guatemala City and Antigua. The beach is 50 – 80 feet wide and stretches for miles. It is busiest(not crowded by any measure) on Sunday with mostly Guatemalans. Most local girls prefer to swim in sweat shorts and t-shirts although you will find a few who brave a bikini. The beaches are mostly clean, and the hotels between the Dulce y Salado and the Eco Beach place generally keep it the best. You can take a 2 hour boat tour of the mangrove swamp for $5. The main road leads from the beach to the mangrove swamp dock and is a pleasant little 10 minute walk.

Livingston is the name of a town in Izabal Department, eastern Guatemala, at the mouth of the Río Dulce at the Gulf of Honduras. The town (whose name is occasionally adapted into Spanish orthography as Lívingston) serves as the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name. It was Guatemala’s main port on the Caribbean Sea before the construction of nearby Puerto Barrios.

Livingston is a very small town and it does not take long to become familiar with the place. The main street running through Livingston is Calle Principal. The majority of the towns shops, restaurants and bars are situated on this road. Everything else is situated on roads directly leading from Calle Principal. Should you need a taxi, the price is Q10 (August 2011), no matter where you go. Make sure you negotiate the price in advance!

Livingston has an unusual set of Beaches to offer travelers. Livingston is considered an Island not as we think of one. However you do need to take a boat from either, Rio Dulce Town and Puerto Barrios. Rio Dulce is the best ride versus Puerto Barrios.

Livingston is noted for its unusual mix of Garífuna, Afro-Caribbean, Maya and Latino people and culture. In recent decades Livingston has developed a large tourist industry. On the Atlantic side of Livingston which is a ten minute walk through this sleepy Caribbean town. On the other side of the town of Livingston Guatemala is the Rio Dulce river. Thus you get the best of both Guatemala Beach offerings. Sweat, River Rio Dulce and The Caribbean.

Livingston is a cheap place to hang out and enjoy the weather.