Frequently Asked Questions

Many people wonder what their entire vacation will cost when you include all the potential miscellaneous costs. Although nearly everything is covered in our packages there are a few things that vary by visitor. Please visit Budgeting a Panamax Vacation which has been specifically designed to help our visitors plan fully what they might expect.

The only major airport is in Guatemala City (GUA) which is conveniently only an hour and a half from the coast on a major highway.

Most clients arrive midday into Guatemala. Most of the big airlines accommodate this. This is nice so that you can be sipping on a cool one on the coast as the sun goes down.

For departures, if you spend the last night in Guatemala City you can be there at any time since you are only 15 minutes from the airport and the shuttle from the hotel runs hourly. Some clients like to spend the last night at the coast. For this to work your flight out has to be at midday.

If we have others who have arrived we will bring them to the coast and we will have our Taxi driver Edgar aka Puma be waiting for you at any time of the day or night with a sign with your name on it. Before your departure we will exchange phone numbers also.

The Que Vela! is docked at the floating dock at the Marina Pez Vela. It is the only marina on the Pacific that has smooth and easy access to the ocean. Gone are the days of navigating the dangerous and precarious inlet that actually still exists. Some operators still use this inlet.

No special licenses are required individually. We obtain and secure daily fishing licenses for the boat through the Guatemala Navy. We also are registered and licensed by Guatemala Navy to fish the waters off the coast of Guatemala.

Yes! Costa Rica gets a lot of notoriety about how good the sailfishing is. More people do go there to fish because think that they will be more comfortable there. Guatemala over the years has constantly had a better fish catch per angler ratio. There was an extensive and technical report done on this by Ehrhardt and Fitchett: Seasonal Dynamics of Eastern Pacific Sailfish in the Bulletin of Marine Science out of the Rosenstiel School of Marine And Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. http://caba.rsmas.miami.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/s131.pdf One way of telling is that Guatemala has the most prolific billfish captains in the world. They currently hold most sailfishing records. A look at The Billfish Foundation annual tag and release awards clearly go to more Guatemalan captains.

Another reason is Guatemala is one of the few places in the world where there is a lack of dissolved oxygen about a hundred feet below the surface. This traps bait and the pelagic fish close to the surface.

Please make a note ..... our lodge is very comfortable.

Actually, Guatemala is progressive with no smoking in restaurants. But at the lodge it’s puff away while being conscience of your fellow nonsmoker.

We have a dedicated laptop for clients connected to the internet. We also have wifi for your smart phones or iPads.

There will be a telephone at your disposal to dial to the USA. It is a Magicjack so you can talk as long as you want and also someone can make a USA local call to it here. Yep, the wonders of the internet.

Guatemala is known for its generally calm Pacific seas. That is one reason why fishing on a super panga can generally give you a great offshore fishing experience. Once in a while the seas do blow and if we can’t go out we can either do a tour of Antigua which is an incredible colonial town a little over an hour away. Or climb for an hour and a half an active volcano (Picaya) which is also nearby and one of the only volcanoes in the world where you can walk right up to lava. Some clients consider that experience as one of the highlights of their trip. Or we can do a more leisurely activity like taking a short cruise down the coast to a bamboo shrouded and palm covered beach resort and sip cool cocktails and get a message as the ocean waves break in the background.

That’s true to an extent. The Que Vela! has a clear plastic window that rolls down from the front of the t-top that on those really rough days can block the spray.

Most airlines only require 35000 miles on their mileage programs for a flight from Guatemala City and the US. Also some folks come to get affordable dental and medical treatments. Guatemala is fast becoming a destination for medical tourism because they have some first class dental and medical facilities. Bills can be 60 to 80% less than normal US prices. It wouldn’t take much to help pay for a trip after a bit of dental work!

Bring good hiking shoes. The lava rocks can be tough on the feet. We can rent hiking sticks there. There are also horses there to rent for the hike up if so desired.

There is a bank within the airport after immigration. It is not a "money change booth" but it is a bank with a fair exchange rate. The currency change booths give bad rates. You can always change your $ at a bank on the coast but sometimes the wait can be long. ATM's are the easiest way to go. They are everywhere in Guatemala.

Antigua is a great place to meander during the day. It hosts fantastic restaurants and has the best shopping for quality handicrafts in the country. This side trip can easily be arranged with or without a guide. Also, trips to MonteRico beach resort or climbing the volcano Picaya can also be arranged. We will be sure that she has something to fill her time.

  • Puerto San Jose to Guatemala City = 1 hr 45 min (sometimes less depending on traffic)
  • Puerto San Jose to Antigua = 1hr 30 min.
  • Puerto San Jose to Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) 2hrs 45min

Yes, back in 1995 Guatemala passed a law requiring all billfish to be released. Unlike Costa Rica this has helped maintain the sailfishing standards we have come to enjoy. On the Que Vela! we only use circle hooks to help promote a safe and healthy release.

A tourist visa is given upon arrival and lasts for 3 months. No need to acquire any beforehand.

Zika often causes no or only mild flu like symptoms and sometimes with conjunctivitis, rash and joint pain. The big reason why Zika gets so much attention is that it can affect a pregnant women’s fetus with microcephaly.

Our gated community and our lodge grounds are continuously sprayed for mosquitos. Also since our gated community is sparsely populated and mosquitos don’t fly very far we are that much more resistant to occurrences of Zika than the main population.

Zika in Guatemala has been said to have peaked last June. Once a certain part of the population has been infected and thus immune the epidemic fizzles out. This is called herd immunity.

We always have plenty of quality mosquito repellant that is imported from the US on hand.

A triple play on words. Que Vela if spoken with a bit of an Italian accent can easily be interpreted as “how beautiful.” Also, it can mean “nice sailfish” since Vela is the Spanish term for sailfish. Or it can mean “what sailfish?”