Break Time On The Beach

By: Elena Alvarado

Some reporters have all the luck. Instead of getting stuck at a soccer game in the rain or writing about the park, I got to take a trip to many of the major beach towns on the Pacific. Now about that expense account…

Anyway, the small towns on the Pacific are as varied as the small towns on Lake Atitlan and are a perfect place to take a break. Want to know which town is for you? Read on.

Champerico. Champerico is grungy, kinda gross, and recently dumped Q400 million in failing at building a port.  What’s nice about Champe? Well, it’s the closest town to Xela, so if you have limited time head here.  Also, if you’re a fan of taking pictures of trash then you’ll be pleased.

Should you go here? No. Did you read the review?

Getting there: take a bus to Reu at the Rotonda, switch to Champe.

Tulate. Tulate is a gem. Just a half hour more to get there than Champerico, but boy is it worth it. For whatever reason Tulate has the cheapest food on the Pacific despite National Geographic-worthy shots. Plus one of the two hotels there has a water slide? Can you beat a water slide?

Should you go there? Yes. If you’re looking for a nice weekend with friends, then this is the place to go.

Getting there: Ask at the terminal for the fastest route to La Maquina.  Sometimes you can luck out and go direct. From there transfer to Tulate.

Tilapa/Tilapita. Tilapa is a decent beach that is near the Guatemala/Mexico border.  Tilapita, however, is like going to your own private island because it is, well, pretty much that. If you’re going to spend the 5 hours to get to Tilapa, you may as well spring for the lancha ride out to the island. This is a gorgeous, romantic getaway.

Should you go there? It takes a while to get here, so if you want to spend a few days it’s worth it.

Getting there: Catch a bus to Coatepeque and then transfer there.

Other beaches farther south. If you’re in the area maybe check out Monterico (near Guate) or Las Lisas (on the border with El Salvador) but neither are worth the trip otherwise.

What to do on the beach? Well, a book in one hand, a mojito in the other hand and a hammock nearby. Heaven.

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