We have spent the last couple of weeks at anchor in the estuary of Bahía Jaltepeque, just off from the resort hotel of Bahía del Sol. We are enjoying the slower pace that we need to maintain now, as we aim to stay north of the worst of the Central American rainy season.
We are able to anchor for free here, along with about a dozen other cruising boats. The hotel offers cruisers access to their facilities, including the pool, wireless internet, bar, restaurant and business centre, for $14/week. It's a great deal, as it includes 30% off at the bars and restaurants, as well as other discounted rates. They put on special events for the cruisers as well, and are very accommodating in the use of their space. They've even agreed to let us stretch out our sails on their patio in order for us to make some repairs.
There's not much nearby ashore other than a few small restaurants and tiendas, and other hotels. There are public busses which go into the nearby cities of Zacatecoluca and San Salvador. It's a long ride to Zacate and a longer one to San Salvador, but the $1 fare and many food and drink vendors make the ride enjoyable.
There's an active cruiser community here, and we've met a bunch of great people. Jan, a former cruiser who now owns land here and runs a English school for the locals, offers a great chicken dinner on Wednesdays when there are enough boats as a fundraiser for the school. It's a fun way to meet everyone, check out the lush landscape on Isla Cordoncillo, and eat up a storm.
We'll be staying here an undetermined of time longer, as this is inexpensive and a good staging ground for inland trips. We are planning to take a trip into Guatemala to visit the ruins at Tikal sometime in the next week or so, as well as catching up on some boat jobs and enjoying the facilities here.