Guatemala offers some of the best sailfishing in the world. Back on land, Guatemala City has at least four good golf courses—with another star player just one hour outside the city. Numerous sailfishing outfitters and accommodations can host your stay; virtually all of them have agreements with golf courses, allowing you to combine the two activities for a “surf and turf” vacation.

A golf cart heads down a cement path, through a verdant golf course.

If you enjoy golfing (and even if you don’t), head 20 kilometers outside of Antigua to La Reunión Antigua Golf Resort overlooking the Pacific Coast and in the shadow of four volcanoes. Photo © María Renée Batlle Castillo, licensed Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivatives.

Sailfishing and Whale-Watching

Other species you might spy include pilot whales, whale sharks, sea turtles, and bottlenose dolphins.Your base for sailfishing will likely be Iztapa, about 90 minutes from Guatemala City. Sailfish Bay Lodge is among the best outfitters, with a lodge right on the beach. Another good option is Casa Vieja Lodge, near Puerto San José. You can fish from one to five days (or more) and then tack on an extra day or two for golf.

Guatemala is also a stopping point along the migration path of humpback whales, so you can take a morning for whale-watching in season (December-February). Other species you might spy include pilot whales, whale sharks, sea turtles, and bottlenose dolphins. Scheduled tours leave weekend mornings from Antigua Guatemala or Iztapa, beginning and ending in the Puerto Quetzal marina.


Set on a former coffee plantation just 20 kilometers from Antigua, La Reunión Antigua Golf Resort is the only place in the world where you can enjoy a round of golf with a view of four volcanoes, two of which are active. Practice your swing at the driving range in the shadow of smoke-belching Fuego Volcano; its 18-hole, Pete Dye-designed Fuego Maya golf course takes its inspiration from the 19-month Mayan solar calendar. The adjacent 26-suite hotel offers fabulous accommodations and delectable culinary creations. You may never want to leave.

It’s only an hour from La Reunión to Guatemala City, or 45 minutes to the Pacific Coast. You can easily combine a stay in Antigua or Guatemala City with some golf time; Guatemala’s near-perfect climate makes golf possible almost any time of year. In the vicinity of Guatemala City, the best place to tee off is San Isidro Golf Club. The surrounding hillsides offer wonderful views of the city.

Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Guatemala.