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The beach here is rather unappealing. In fact, the beach is separated from the town by a broad canal. Small boats will take you across the canal throughout the day for around Q5 (65¢/35p). If you want to do some swimming or just hang on the beach, you're better off heading west out of town to the nearby beach of Chulamar.

If you're looking to try your hand at landing a sailfish, marlin, or mahimahi, check in at the Marina Pez Vela (tel. 502/2379-5778) which, in addition to serving as the cruise ship terminal, is also home to the area's main fishing fleet. You can ask around the docks for a boat and captain. If you prefer to line things up in advance, I recommend two dedicated fishing lodges below, or you can contact the Great Sailfishing Company (tel. 877/763-0851 in the U.S. and Canada, or 502/7832-1991; www.greatsailfishing.com) or Parlama Sport Fishing (tel. 502/5704-4254 or 7832-2578; www.parlama.com). Both of these operations run day trips for folks staying in this area, as well as in Antigua or Guatemala City. Rates run around Q2,625 to Q9,000 ($350-$1,200/£175-£600) per day, depending on the type of boat and number of people fishing. The best fishing season runs from November to May, when the sails are plentiful and the seas relatively calm. However, locals swear that the fishing is superb year-round.

Let's Go Surfing Now -- Guatemala's Pacific coast is just beginning to be discovered by wave riders. The long and mostly undeveloped coast boasts a long string of beach breaks and the occasional point, either natural or off a breakwater. Prime surf destinations include the beaches and jetties just south of Puerto Quetzal, and the very isolated beach of Sipacate to the north. If you want to surf, I highly recommend you contact Pablo Vergara at SurfingGuatemala.com (tel. 502/6637-9593; www.surfinguatemala.com), which is also known as Maya Extreme. You won't find a nicer, more knowledgeable local surfer to help you orient yourself or book a surf trip.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.