Puerto San José is where Guatemala City dwellers escape to for a quick dip in the sea. The Puerto San José region offers a lot of rivers and is the gate to the Pacific Ocean, where the sun and the water mixes in magic scenery. The town’s seaboard offers a lovely place to enjoy some time by the sea, though nearby Iztapa may be slightly more beautiful.
Once Guatemala’s main shipping port, Puerto San José has been displaced by the newer Puerto Quetzal just a few kilometers away along the same stretch of coast. Cruise ships dock at Puerto Quetzal, which has its own cruise ship terminal. Most visitors either stay at the terminal, where they can eat and shop, or are quickly whisked away on package tours to a local resort; others go sail fishing or visit Antigua for the day, leaving Puerto San José free of crowds.
Travelers can go from cloud forest to a black sand beach on the Pacific Coast in just a few minutes. There are also many protected areas which range from mangroves to coastal ones. In addition, the Puerto San José area is an unequalled destination for birdwatchers. The climate and the widespread green area practically guarantee a wide variety of birds of different species.
Guatemala is especially exciting to birdwatchers because it is on the North-South migratory path of birds from South and North America, the two coasts of the United States, and Canada. Birds of different feathers do flock together in Guatemala. Some of the best places in the area for bird watching include Lachua Lake, Verapaz, Yaxha, Cerro Gil, Quetzal Tiotope, Cerro Alux, Cayala Park and of course, Monterrico.
Puerto San José Weather and Best Time to Visit
Guatemala has one of the most pleasant climates on earth with much of the country enjoying warm days and mild evenings year-round. The climate is largely determined by the altitude of the region. In those areas between 1300 and 1600m, which include Guatemala City, Antigua, Lago de Atitlán and Cobán, the air is almost always fresh and the nights mild and, despite the heat of the midday sun, humidity is never a problem.
The low-lying region that includes the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, such as Puerto San José suffer from sticky, steamy conditions most of the year, usually relying on the welcome relief of a sea breeze. The climate in Puerto San José typically stays between the temperatures of 64°F and 91°F all throughout the year.
The rainy season runs roughly from May to October, with the worst of the rain falling in September and October. Even at the height of the wet season, though, the rain is usually confined to late afternoon downpours with most of the rest of the day being warm and pleasant. So, grab a hammock and let the crashing waves of the Pacific lull you to sleep in relaxing Puerto San José.
Experience Puerto San José
A chain of volcanoes divides the cool air of the mountains from a strip of low-lying, tropical land, some 300km long and 50km wide. Usually known simply as La Costa, the Pacific Coast of Guatemala is fairly featureless yet a supremely fertile coastal plain. Once swamp, forest and savannah, today is a land of commerce-driven towns and ramshackle seaside resorts scattered along an unrelentingly straight, black-sand shoreline.
Farther west along the coastline are the lovely beaches of Iztapa, which are remarkably clean, wide, and sandy. Although the town itself is a dilapidated old port town, it is becoming increasingly popular as the jumping-off point for some of the world’s best sail fishing. Iztapa is Guatemala’s original port, used by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Alvarado to build boats and set sail for his onward journey to Peru.
Anglers will find world-class accommodations to complement the first-class fishing just off the coast. Surfers will find plenty of waves to ride here, as there is a fairly decent break. All beach access in Iztapa is private and visitors have to cross the canal to get to the beaches. Your best bet to enjoy these stunning sandy stretches is to stay at an area lodge.
When vacationing in p make sure to set aside some time to visit Monterrico, Guatemala’s most famous beach. Monterrico is today a coastal village with a large wildlife reserve and two centers for the hatching and release of sea turtles and caimans. The beach here is dramatic, with powerful surf crashing onto black volcanic sand at odd angles. The odd-angled wave-print signals that there are rip tides; injury and even death has occurred at this beach, so swim with care. Strong swimmers can easily handle and enjoy the waves in this fabulous beach destination.