One of the opportunities that the International Billfish/ Sailfish angler traveling to Central America can experience during their deep sea saltwater sport fishing charter vacation is the sights and culture of host country. The Great Sailfishing Company can put together a custom tour package that will enhance your central America / Guatemala sport fishing vacation. Please read about these destinations and let us put together a truly custom deep sea charter adventure, that you or your family will remember for years to come. Remember, when it comes to International bill fishing for sailfish Guatemala, Central America is number one worldwide.


Around 2,000 years ago, where Zone 7 of Guatemala City is located these days, was found the Maya city of Kaminaljuyú. As a result of an alliance with the great northern city of Teotihuacán early in the classic period (250AC), Kaminaljuyú dominated the highlands of Guatemala and eventually provided the commercial and political backing that propitiated the rise of Tikal in the lowlands. The city was located at the crossroads where the east-west and north-south commerce routes converged and some people have suggested that it resembled a scaled down version of Teotihuacán. It is estimated that during its apogee around 50,000 people inhabited Kaminaljuyú. However soon after the decline of Teotihuacán in 600 AC, the city was surpassed by the great cities of the lowlands it helped form. Between 600 and 900 AC the city was abandoned. Alfred Maudsley was the first to comment about Kaminaljuyú at the end of the 19th century but its importance was not recognized until the decade of 1940 when excavations began. Approximately 300 adobe buildings and 13 ball courts have been discovered; some of them destroyed by erosion and the expansion of Guatemala City.

The City

The New Guatemala de la Asuncion, as it was called, was founded in 1775 in the Valley of the Cows, after the destruction of Antigua Guatemala in 1773. By Royal decree from Carlos III of Spain, it was officially inaugurated January 1, 1776 and made capital of the Capitanía General de Guatemala that comprised Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Now days Guatemala City has almost 3 million inhabitants which makes it the largest and most densely populated city of Central America. Its architecture is a mixture of contrasts: modern glass and concrete buildings; the church of San Francisco (1780) famous for its engraving of the Sacred Heart and for having sugarcane juice, egg whites and cow milk included in its mortar so as to be resistant to earthquakes; the Cathedral (1868) its design defensive, solid and of low stature with its catacombs and secret tunnels; the National Palace (1939) known as the "Big Avocado" due to its green paint. As an interesting bit of trivia, all distances in Guatemala have their origin at the Guatemala City Central Park. Guatemala city is the undisputed center of politics, power and wealth of Guatemala.


During Holy Week in Guatemala City can be observed majestic processions but they are not so well known as their counterparts in Antigua Guatemala. The floats penitents carry are larger and heavier than those used in Antigua Guatemala since the streets and avenues of the capital city are wider thus permitting larger turning radiuses.

Located in the Panchoy Valley (big or dry lagoon in Kakchiquel) at 1530 meters over sea level, Antigua Guatemala possesses a spring climate all year long. Impressive hills and volcanoes surround the city: to the north, the Manchén and Candelaria hills. To the south rises Volcano Agua, a popular tourist destination because of the extensive, beautiful view seen from its summit. To the east the Manzanillo and La Cruz hills, La Cruz being the most popular spot to observe the city from, obtaining its name from the large cross near its top. To the west volcanoes Acatenango and Fuego, which recently erupted, and from the city, on clear nights, a lava flow can be seen moving down its side.

The city of Santiago de Los Caballeros de Guatemala was founded July 25, 1524 by the Conqueror of Guatemala, Pedro de Alvarado. The Italian Antonelli made its urban design in 1543. The first printing press arrived in 1660 and today at the Museum of the Book some books dating from the XVI and IXX centuries can be found along with copies of other works printed there. In 1678 the third university to be opened in Latin America was founded: the Royal and Pontifical University of San Carlos of Borromeo. In 1729 one of the first newspapers of the Americas appears: the Guatemalan Gazette. The Central Park fountain, called the Mermaid Fountain, was built in the XVIII century. During its apogee in the XVIII century, the city had 50,000 inhabitants. The Santa Marta earthquake and political issues forced its abandonment between 1773 - 1776. UNESCO declared Antigua Guatemala a World Heritage site in 1979.

At a first glance the city of Antigua looks to have been abandoned due to the earthquake of Santa Marta that occurred July 29, 1773 and the capital transferred to the New Guatemala de la Asunción. The principal reason why the capital was transferred was political since once before an earthquake in 1717 had damaged it but this disaster, instead of causing its abandonment, generated a tremendous boom in construction without precedent. The government wished to diminish the influence the church had over it and reduce its economic power. Through the years religious orders had acquired a huge amount of property in Antigua Guatemala, which made them extremely rich and powerful since merchants, politicians, common people, etc., either had to pay rent or acquire property from them. What better way to take away wealth and power from the church than move the capital to a place where the church had no property and at the same time reduce the value of that which it possessed? At the beginning there was resistance and as an incentive and to speed up the pace, several buildings were totally or partially demolished until the inhabitants became convinced that it was in their benefit to move to the new city.

Antigua has many characteristics that endear it which the visitor. The streets were covered with cobblestones, not to ruin the suspension of cars or break the heels of high heeled shoes as many residents and visitors suspect, because during colonial times cobble stoning streets was a defense mechanism….shod horses cannot run over cobblestones: when they try to run they slip and slide endangering themselves as well as their riders. On some old big entryway doors you might observe doorknockers too high to use. These doorknockers were designed to be used by horse riders and not by very tall people or placed there by recluses that did not appreciate visitors. The ornamental balconies, made out of iron or wood, are beautiful reminders of a time when gallant men visited their beloved and talked to them and gave them serenades through the bars.

Antigua is a beautiful city with many places to visit and activities to do all year but for Holy Week, it dresses in its finest. Thousands of people from around the world, motivated by faith and a feeling of adventure, travel to see processions considered the most impressive and extravagant of Latin America. Devout persons labor long hours making rugs out of sawdust of different colors, flowers, pine, leaves, small ceramic pieces, etc., all along the streets where the procession will pass. The Cucuruchos (men, women and children of all ages), as the penitents that carry the floats are called due to the conical hat they wear, dress in the color of their order: purple, black, white and red. The floats are really impressive made out of fine woods, with allegorical designs that change year to year, sculptures dating from colonial times made by renowned master carvers, flowers, plants, lights, etc. Floats weight up to 3.5 tons needing 80 men to carry them. Behind the float goes the band playing sad notes that help the penitents keep rhythm followed by a large crowd of people that accompany it along its route. In front of the float walk the incense burners filling the street with smoke and fragrance giving the procession a medieval touch, especially at night.

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