Monterico - Black Sand Pacific Beach
Left Panajachel after nearly a week. We'd been sent off with an awesome fireworks show, and were ready for some offshore sailfishing. Our friend Allen in Pana had recommended a budget fishing option, and we made tracks for the ocean to take advantage.
Elyse came with us, and we picked up another, Jon the Surfer, who also needed a ride.
Once we made it to port, we found the Marina Pez Vela, but not the captain or boat owner, so we spoke with some of the captains that were cleaning up on dock.
The marina hosts a variety of fisherman -- everything from million dollar yachts to dry dock storage for small craft. It's located between San Jose and Puerta Quetzal, two of Guatemala's large port cities.
The captains we met were helpful. They confirmed what we'd heard -- that the fish were about 30+ miles out, and if you wanted to catch them, that's where you had to go. We worked the phone with Dennis Wheeler, the boat owner we'd spoken with, and secured some fishing for two days later, and reiterated that although his boats were smaller, we wanted to go all the way.
So, with nothing else to see or do in the area, we went an hour down the coast with our crew to Monterico, known for its proximity to the capital city, black sand beaches, surf, and turtles.
Found the Hotel San Brisas for the night, 2 rooms at 40 quetzals ($6) each per night. No AC, nor hot water, but you don't even notice. Secure parking, pool, etc.
After some fried trout ($3) we walked looking for a good bar, found the police, and asked for directions. They told us the best was El Delfin. We jumped in the back and they gave us a ride. Very cool.
The bar is a trancy-sorta-techno-kinda-weird vibe, with an awesome pool that changes color. It's a hotel, too, but too pricey for us. The owner, Robert, operates shrimp farms, is running for mayor, and rides a sweet four wheeler everywhere, sometimes over the landscaping.
The next morning the plan was to chill. We found internet (a crawl) no phones in town, but plenty of Gallo at the hotel bars. Besides the hotels that line the beach, there's really nothing to do.
We did walk down to the turtle sanctuary, which had managed to imprison one turtle in a concrete bunker of a swimming pool... Don't waste your time, unless you just wander in without paying.
Beach was pretty, and the black sand murder on the feet, it's hot. Johnny's was the place to be, and we came and went several times throughout the day, dreaming of sailfish to come.