Blogs from Río Dulce, Caribbean Coast, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


We left Lanquin and headed for Rio Dulce, I think it was the worst road we have travelled on all year. We travelled for six hours in total, and more than five hours on an unsealed, bumpy road, but at least we didn't have any roadblocks. Our driver called ahead to hold the local boat heading to Livingston, the boat was due to leave at two, we arrived about quarter past two but didn't finally leave until just before three. We were staying at the Round House on the river about an hour from Rio Dulce and twenty minutes from Livingston. Each night they have a family style dinner, on our first night we were unable to sit around the table as there was an invasion of army ants. We watched all the bugs and insects ... read more
The jetty at The Roundhouse
Near Rio Dulce (town)
Views along the banks of the Rio Dulce

Our Arrival Our boat from Livingston arrived at 11am. From the dock walk up the path under the bridge to reach the main road of the town. Where We Stayed Hospedaje Marilu - Q100 for a double room with private bathroom. Located just off the main road at the start of the bridge on the right hand side as you are facing the bridge. Wasn't a pretty room, the toilet had no seat and had to be flushed with a bucket and the fan wasn't very good. We stayed there as all the waterside hotels were really expensive. Where We Ate Along the side of the main road there are plenty of places/stalls to eat. We had some nice tacos. There is a supermarket on the right of the main street as you are walking away ... read more

I woke up early; but amazingly fell back asleep until almost 7 - which for me is no feat short of a miracle:-) Quick shower - I was packing up when I heard a rather shocking loud yelp from the bathroom and was torn between worrying and giggling! Turns out the hot water disappears very quickly (read: off instantly) and Larry got a very, very cold blast of water. Oops. So he warned me and I got in, rinsed myself down, turned the water off, soaped up, turned water back on, rinse, repeat! Kind of quirkiy doing it that way, but wasn’t the first, and won’t be my last for dealing with emotional showers. Ice cold blasts, even in the jungle are never fun! After breakfast we started our boat ride along the Rio Dulce in ... read more
Egret - but I could be making that up!
In motion, not bad for an iphone!
Castillo de San Felipe de Lara

When we left Guatemala in November 2010 I did not know if we would ever return, but I knew that I had left a piece of my heart there. No country has affected me in quite the same way as Guatemala. In 2011 as we cruised the east coast of the U.S. Jimmy and I had to make a decision about what to do or where to go next. I previously thought I wanted to settle in Florida for awhile and take a break from cruising, but I knew that was not what Jimmy wanted. The more I thought about it I finally came to the conclusion that I could continue cruising awhile longer if I could just go back to Guatemala. So here we were in late May 2012 back in the Rio Dulce (Sweet ... read more
Sumpango Kite Festival
Guatemalan cemetery
Sumpango Kite Festival - 2012

We are just back from a four day road trip to the Eastern part of Guatemala and then on North to the great ruins at Tikal, deep in the jungle of the Peten. There is a map of it as Photo 1. Almost all the way to Rio Dulce, the road runs along the edge of the great Motagua fault, with the Rio Motagua running along in the trough. This fault is rich in minerals, and somewhere along it is where the ancient Maya mined their jade. It comes in sizes from pebbles to boulders, but the boulders are hard to recognize because they are covered by a limestone crust. To find it, you just bang on them until you find one where the crust breaks off to reveal a beautiful green-veined rock so dense and ... read more
2.Stele 3 in its hut
3.Face on Stele 3
4. At the edge Quirigua

Sara here, Mark has gotten pretty busy and I've stepped in to guest blog for him. It has been a long week and half since we've posted anything and, as Mark has earned the "featured blog of the week" I thought we should get on that train. Last we left off, we were leaving Lago Atitlan, headed for Quetzaltenango - shortened to Xela (pronounced Shela). We arrived in Xela and found Case Argentina, a pretty large hostel that also shares space with the Quetzaltrekkers. The Quetzaltrekkers are a fully volunteer group, who lead treks and give their profits to a program for street kids in Guatemala. They were running a full moon hike up Santa Maria, the nearby volcano, and, as I was feeling sick, Mark signed up to do the trek alone. As the day ... read more
Climbing Volcano Santa Maria
Fuentes Georginas, view from trail up
But who took the picture?!

So.... we left Antigua. Next planned stop was Flores or Tikal - undecided. Our options were bus to Guat city and fly which we determined was too expensive or take an overnight bus (dom dom dom). Depsite our last experience not being too bad we looked for an alternative and found a small place where we could stop over for the night and spread the bus trip across two days. So we booked our bus ticket with a local travel agent. When we were handed the ticket which only took us to Guat city. I questioned where the additional ticket was that would take us to Rio Dulce to which we were advised the first bus driver would issue a new ticket - the first bus driver was good for it however his definition of covering ... read more

On November 28, we started our trek to Rio Dulce. First, we hoofed our back-packs from the hotel for a few blocks until we found a taxi. This may seem like a causal task and something simple. However, as we would walk down the street, waiting for a tuk-tuk to come along, we would see one ride by us on the next road over. After the first 3 tuk-tuks passed us on the road up the hill, we decided to climb up to that road to be sure and catch the next one that came by. No sooner had we trudged up the hill with our packs and started down the new road, we looked down the hill at the road we just left and it would seem that the tuk-tuks decided to take the low ... read more
Bed.  Yikes!
Tijax Marina

So I thought I better get the rest of this trip written up before I go on the next... Flores is a tiny but very pretty little island which provides a good base for visiting Tikal. I stayed in a quiet hostel right by the water which was really lovely and chillaxed after the hell of Belize! There are loads of gorgeous restaurants on the water and it's a really chilled out place, not much in the way of partying but that was fine as it's an EARLY start to do the Tikal trip. Off I went on the bus at stupid o'clock in the morning only to arrive and it start raining. And it did not stop. The whole day. Hah. It sort of added to the mystical atmosphere of the place though as all ... read more

After being piled into Rapiditos (mini buses), literally feeling like sardines in a tin, we arrived at Hotel Backpackers which is the accomadation given to the volunteers of Casa Guatemala. We filled out a few forms, tasted our first Guatemalan beer, Gallo and got shown our dorm before we enjoyed a nice meal looking over the waters edge at Hotel Backpackers. We were located right on the water, under the longest bridge in Central America, unfortuantley due to the amount of rain having a swim in the water wasnt advised! Early nights were in store for us all week as we had to get up, have breakfast and be ready to leave by boat for the orphanage at 730am. Our week at the orphanage wasnt quite what we expected but very rewarding all the same. When ... read more
Rio Dulce
The surrounding view from the top!
Lunch time with the children!

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