Puerto San José
When Guatemalan urbanites need a break from the city they head to Puerto San José. Set along the Pacific coast, Puerto San José is Guatemala City’s nearest and most popular beach destination. It isn’t the most idyllic place in the world, but it is a tolerable spot to spend some time by the sea.
Puerto San José opened as a port in 1853 and was once Guatemala’s main shipping terminal. Traffic at the port declined dramatically after the opening of Puerto Quetzal, which is just a few miles east and has much more modern facilities.
The Canal de Chiquimulilla separates San José’s black-sand beach from the mainland and its resorts. The coastline is decently pretty, especially during more mellow periods. Stay away during major holidays like Semana Santa when the beach and hotels become crowded.
While visiting Puerto San José, it’s worth checking out the local ostrich farm or the water park at Aqua Magic. This area is also prime sport fishing territory—a few miles east you’ll find the small town of Iztapa, which has some of the best sailfishing in the world.