Way Off the Beaten Path: The Fishpond of the Wife of Mr. Napo
Are you already laughing at the title? The English translation of the name of this little gem of a place is not as beautiful as the name in Spanish: Pecera La Teca de Don Napo.
Naturally, there is a story about the name. This somewhat remote property in Chalatenango is the family home of Napoleon, his beloved wife (who he affectionately called "Teca"), and their children. One member of the younger generation is a trained chef, and it was his family's idea to rekindle the spirit of the place in which families can spend time together. In the middle of the compound you can see the original adobe home and a framed photo of don Napo. Surrounding the home you will find a first class restaurant, two tilapia ponds, gardens, a resting pier on one of the ponds and a playground for children -- a peaceful retreat where guests can enjoy a little bit of nature and delicious food.
We went for lunch on a Thursday with a friend and her son. Our friend had learned about this place from some work colleagues and it was "her dream" to someday experience its beauty and food. This was a good time to go for a quiet, personal experience. The sound system and juke box are revved up for the weekend.
You will not find Pecera La Teca de Don Napo on Google maps, but a phone call to the owners will provide you with good directions. Once you exit the Longitudinal Highway outside of the City of Chalatenango, you travel some distance down a bumpy gravel road. You will eventually see a sorry little sign, and after doubting that you are actually on the right road and asking various children and old men if you are headed in the right direction, you veer to the right at the drainage ditch, cross a little concrete bridge and take the right fork in the road and there you are!
We ate fish...of course! I have to say, my fried tilapia bathed in onions was the most delicious fish I have ever eaten in El Salvador, and maybe ever. Expertly seasoned with just a bit of kick. The prices were very reasonable, and the staff was kind and friendly. I asked the owners if they have guests from other countries, and surprisingly they rattled off a long list of visits from Spain, Australia, Scandinavia and more. A large micro or coaster could not make the drive, but a decent car, SUV, pick-up or smaller micro can easily make the drive, even in the rainy season.
So, if you need a little relax time while you are hanging out in Chalate, I highly recommend Pecera La Teca de Don Napo.