GPS Coordinates: 13°55’39.86″N 90°48’28.99″W
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General Travel Information
Casa Vieja Lodge is located on Guatemala’s Pacific coast, approximately 60 miles (2 hour drive) from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, and approximately one mile (5 minute drive) from Marina Pez Vela, Puerto San Jose, Guatemala.
* Travel visas and immunizations are NOT REQUIRED for US travelers. Please review your country entry requirements prior to travel.
All travelers must have a valid passport to enter Guatemala. Passports must be in good condition and have no folds or tears. For international travel the TSA recommends arriving to the airport 2 hours prior to departure. In flight, you will fill-out a Guatemalan Tourist Card and Customs Declaration. When filling out these forms, indicate that you will be staying at Casa Vieja Lodge in Puerto San Jose, Escuintla.
Upon arrival, proceed to immigration. You will present the officer with your passport and completed Guatemalan Immigration/Custom Form. Your passport will be stamped and returned to you and the officer will keep a copy of the Immigration/Custom Form. You will then collect any checked baggage and walk to customs. Present the officer with your Immigration/Custom Form and place your luggage on the conveyor belt. After clearing customs, walk outside the terminal to the waiting area, to the left, where you will be met by Michael or Walter, our drivers, who will be holding a Casa Vieja Lodge sign.
The approximately 1.5- 2hr drive from the airport to Casa Vieja Lodge will pass volcanoes, coffee and sugar plantations. Our 15-passenger Mercedes Sprinter van will have water, soft drinks, and beer available. Any other special requests may be accommodated just ask your USA booking agent.
On the morning of your last day at Casa Vieja Lodge, or the evening before if you require an early departure, please find time to go to the office and settle your final bill with the Lodge. Room tax, bar charges, and gift shop (La Tiendita) charges will be paid for at this time.
Lodge staff will determine your departure time the day prior to your departure and will notify you in a letter, slipped underneath the door to your room. Your departure time will leave you plenty of time to get to the airport and check-in for your flight.
Visit the Lodge Gift Shop (La Tiendita) before you leave and pick up a memento from your incredible trip to Casa Vieja Lodge Guatemala. You can also visit the duty free shop at the airport-we recommend the Ron Zacapa store for excellent local rum or delicious Guatemalan coffee beans. In anticipation of your trip, Shop Online at shop.casaviejalodge.com and get your gear in advance at the same prices you would in Guatemala!
After Airline check-in you will need to fill out an immigration form, (one is provided for you in-room at the Lodge) or you can pick one up at the ticket counter. Present your passport and the immigration form to the agent. Have a safe flight!
The current exchange rate (12/14/21) is $1USD to Q7.63 (Guatemalan Quetzales). Tips at the Lodge are payable in USD and most people in Guatemala are happy to accept USD. However, we recommend you convert a small amount of money for those instances that require Quetzales. PLEASE BRING new, clean USD bills, free of tears and marks as many businesses and banks will not accept bills with any visible defacement.
Weather at Casa Vieja:
The Pacific coast of Guatemala is definitely a tropical climate. As you are living on the coast of Central America, you can anticipate a high level of humidity. Daytime highs can be in the nineties, with overnight lows near seventy.
Casa Vieja Lodge
USA: (305) 854-4665
GUA: (502) 7881-1705
If unable, call: Kirsten Thomas in the US (305) 951-0178
US Office: (800) 882-4665
(*When dialing from Guatemala, first dial (001) then the number listed)
American Airlines – USA (800) 433-7300 – GUA (502) 2337-1177
Avianca Airlines – USA (800) 284-2622 – GUA (502) 2470-8222
Delta Airlines – USA (800) 455-2720 – GUA (502) 7863-0700
Spirit Airlines – USA (800) 772-7117 – GUA (502) 2367-1153
United Airlines – USA (800) 241-6522 – GUA (502) 2336-9900
Michael Fajardo: (502) 3025-4880
Assistant Lodge Manager Cell
Benjamin Morataya: (502) 4064-1414
USA Agent Cell
Kirsten Thomas: (305) 951-0178
Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Guatemala City, Guatemala
US Embassy-Guatemala Website
American Services Unit
(M-Th after 3:30pm, Fri after 11:30am) (502) 2331-2354
General Lodge Information
Each room has a private bathroom, air conditioning, luxury bed linens, bath amenities, hair dryer, a large hanging closet and a safe that can accommodate a wallet, phone, a small laptop computer and other valuables. Voltage in the rooms is the same as the US so outlet adapters are not needed. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the lodge.
Casa Vieja Lodge is a plastic-free campus. We eliminated all single-use plastic bottles both at the lodge, and aboard our 9-boat fleet. All anglers will receive a YETI 18oz Rambler Bottle upon arrival at Casa Vieja Lodge, your lifeline to water consumption. Two Elkay Water Fountain and Bottle Filling Stations are installed at the lodge, where you can refill your YETI Ramblers during your stay. This water goes through a 4-stage filtration system, including a UV purification process and the solution to pure, clean drinking water at Casa Vieja Lodge.
An additional Kick Plastic Yeti 36oz Rambler is available in all rooms for brushing your teeth as water directly from the tap should not be consumed.
Breakfast is served in the Café Pez Vela A/C dining room and dinner is served outside al fresco in the rancho. We have seating for 50 people, a fully stocked bar as well as flat screen TVs with Dish Network and a pool table.
Tips are payable in USD. Recommended amounts are:
- Boat Captain & Crew: $300 per boat, per day (aboard the 35’ Contenders its $200 per boat, per day)
- Lodge staff: $30 per guest, per day
- Drivers: $10 per person, per transfer (to/from Guatemala City only, not for daily marina transfer)
We provide daily light laundry service, simply leave the items you wish to have washed in the laundry bag, fill out the form, and our Lodge staff will wash and return them to your room. No dry-cleaning service is available.
Guatemalan room tax (USD $28 per room, per night) MUST BE PAID IN GUATEMALA upon check-out. Room tax is payable with cash or credit card.
Casa Vieja accepts all major credit cards for room tax, bar bills and any items purchased from the gift shop. Please note that a 5% transaction fee will apply to all credit card charges.
What to Bring
It is a relaxed, casual atmosphere at Casa Vieja Lodge so shorts, t-shirts, and resort wear are acceptable. You should come prepared with sun protection while out on the water. Lightweight long sleeve shirts, pants, hat/visor, and polarized sunglasses are highly recommended, our crew wears Costa del Mar Sunglasses. We also suggest deck shoes while on board. If you happen to forget an item no need to worry as our La Tiendita (Gift Shop) is fully stocked with anything you may need while out on the water. If your trip includes travel to Guatemala City, Antigua or elsewhere, a light jacket and long pants are recommended as these cities are higher in elevation and have cooler temperatures.
There are insects in Guatemala. Please bring all bug repellent in LIQUID FORM – NO AEROSOLS are allowed on airplanes. The lodge will also have some for use.
Sunscreen (SPF 30 and SPF 45) is provided on each boat, but please feel free to bring your own should you prefer.
We expect that you will have an incredible overall fishing experience at Casa Vieja Lodge! Our yearly-fleet average is 12-15 sailfish RAISES, per boat, per day. But remember-an average is just that-some days you may raise more and some days, unfortunately, you may raise less.
After morning coffee and breakfast at the Lodge, the van will depart at 6:45am to the marina, and the Crew will welcome you aboard, with a 7am departure. The run out to the fish can be as close as 10 miles or as far as 50 miles, with the average falling somewhere in the middle. When you are not fighting monsters you can enjoy the soda, water, and beer provided on board, daily. Any special requests such as liquor, additional beer, snacks, or dietary restrictions can be arranged with notice to our manager the night before.
On board our mates will prepare a hot-lunch and if you catch a morning yellowfin or dorado you can have that prepared fresh out of the water! (If you are fishing on one of our Contenders, it will be a cold lunch prepared by our Lodge Chef, but your morning catch of yellowfin sashimi is still an option!) You will fish all day and the run back will have you to the marina for a 5:00 pm arrival. Then it’s back to the Lodge to enjoy the pool and a refreshment of your choice! To break it down:
- 5:45-6:00 am – Morning coffee service in your room (You’ll be woken up by staff)
- 6:00-6:45 am – Breakfast is served in Café Pez Vela Restaurant
- 6:45 am – Vans depart for the Marina
- 7:00 am – 5:00 pm – Fishing Hours
- 5:05 pm – Enjoy a well-deserved cocktail as you arrive back at Casa Vieja Lodge
- 7:00 pm – A fabulous four-course dinner served in the Rancho
Our entire fleet is outfitted with all the tackle, rods and reels you need to catch the big one. All boats are well equipped with fly, conventional or spinning tackle, you simply choose. The leader is built to IGFA standards (#20 Mason hard nylon tippet). If you prefer a lighter class tippet, feel free to bring it with you and our mates will tie it for you. Some choose to bring their own equipment. If this is you, we recommend the following equipment set-up:
- 14-18 wt rod and a reel capable of holding 300 yards of #20 Dacron, Micron or Braid backing (minimum)
- A billfish taper or 550-650 gram medium sink shooting head with soft popper heads.
- Any color fly works BUT hot pink shows up best in still photos and on video.
If you are bringing reels in your carry-on bag remove all the line, as past clients have been stripped at the airport of all their fishing line! If you are bringing fishing line please place in your checked luggage to avoid any trouble with TSA.
We fish tight off the boat, usually 10-15 feet, so long casts are not required. When the fish is raised and is tracking the bait, we wait until it is close to the boat, then we pull the teasers, you cast behind and to the side of the fish, it lights up, bites and the fight is on! (A diagram of our spread pattern and fly presentation follows below)
While the fishing is certainly the focus at Casa Vieja, the lodge also specializes in coordinating some wonderful non-angling side trips. These excursions are perfect add-ons to a sail fishing holiday, and a rare opportunity to experience some of the incredible culture and history of Guatemala. If you’d like to add any of these excursions on to your stay, please let us know in advance and we can coordinate it with the lodge.
Antigua (1-day tour)
Upon arrival in Antigua, you will be taken to the Indian village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, surrounded by an impressive volcanic landscape and famous for its textiles and handcrafts. Afterwards you will continue on to visit the Cultural Centre “La Azotea”, where you will enjoy a guided visit to an organic coffee plantation and also the Traditional Maya Museum “K’ojom”. After tasting the best cup of Antigua coffee, you will visit the Historic Center of Antigua. You will begin in the Main Plaza and visit the city’s many monuments.
Pacaya Volcano Hiking Tour (1-day tour)
Located only 52Km from Guatemala City, the Pacaya Volcano is an impressive active volcano, Strombolian type. You start climbing from the San Vicente de Pacaya village, and can be ascended in approximately 2 hours. This Unique experience should not be missed!
Helicopter Sight-Seeing Tour of the Volcanoes (1-day tour):
Few countries in the world have as many volcanoes as Guatemala does. Their volcanic mountain range runs from west to east parallel to the Pacific Coast. From the 37 Volcanoes that forms the mountain range, 3 are of them are active. Admire the impressive views from the air and take the most breathtaking and unique pictures of Guatemala City, Antigua, volcanoes like the Pacaya, Acatenango, Fuego or Agua, lake Amatitlan and the Pacific Coast.
Tikal (1-day tour):
Early morning transfer from Guatemala City to the airport to board your flight to Flores, Peten. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Tikal National Park. Declared “Cultural Heritage of Humankind” by UNESCO. This majestic Mayan city is considered the largest and most monumental of all of the sites discovered in the Mayan World. Enjoy guided walking to the most important plazas, complexes and temples, enjoying as well the tropical forest, nesting place and hundreds of exotic birds and habitats of a wide variety of wildlife. After lunch, visit the museums. On your way out of the park if you choose, you may take a canopy tour where you will glide through the trees with the moneys before transferring back to the airport for you flight to Guatemala City.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the typical length of stay?
Although a typical package consists of three days of fishing and four nights lodging, you may take as many days as you would like.
What is the skill level expected on the trip?
From beginners to experts, we have fished them all. Our captains are happy to adapt to your style or we can show you how we do it. There is no better place in the world to learn or improve your skills as an angler.
What are the qualifications of the staff?
Most of our staff has been with us for many years and has been trained to American hotel standards.
What is the experience of the company?
Casa Vieja staff has been hosting anglers from around the world since 1995. The owners are lifetime anglers with a background in the restaurant and hotel industry.
Exchange rates and procedures?
US Dollars is widely accepted at most places including Casa Vieja. Quetsallies are the currency of Guatemala, Check for the current exchange rate.
Is this a child friendly resort and what age is acceptable?
Children are always welcome.
Travel options? Transfers?
Guests are transported in our own vans driven by our trained chauffeurs. Helicopter transfers can be arranged on request.
Is the water safe?
While we have a filtration system throughout the Lodge, and provide YETI water bottles.
Passport & Visa?
Passports are required and passport info will be needed before your arrival to Guatemala.
The Lodge staff speaks English and the boat captains are American.