Rio Dulce Town is a city in eastern Guatemala, located in the northeastern area of Izabel. With its charming scenery and capability for sailing smoothly through the Caribbean, Rio Dulce is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination near Belize. Take an idyllic boat ride from Livingston to reach this beautiful Guatemala town. With a beautiful river, wilderness everywhere, a canyon of towering cliffs, Guatemalan jungle, wild birds, narrow waterways and more – you will find that the town has everything you need for an adventurous vacation. Check out this guide on what to do and see while vacationing in Rio Dulce.
Things to do and see in Rio Dulce
Tourist Attractions: Start your exploration with Castillo de San Felipe de Lara fort. This Spanish colonial fort at the entrance to Lake Izabal in eastern Guatemala has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. The fort was built to protect the port of San Antonio de las Bodegas from frequent pirate attacks. The three-storey Castillo de San Felipe de Lara fort features a semicircular bastion with two converging outer walls, protected by a moat with drawbridge. Lake Izabal, also known as the Golfo Dulce, is the largest lake in Guatemala, which drains into the Gulf of Honduras of the Caribbean Sea. This lake is a popular place for wildlife watching and you can expect to see Manatee, Jaguar, Spider Monkey, and Howler Monkey. If you are really a bird lover, it is suggested that you take a spectacular trip through the Río Dulce gorge where the birdlife is exceptional with white herons, sea eagles and squawking parakeets among the stunning tropical scenery. Kayak the canyon of the Rio Dulce and the biotopo del manati. If you have an interest in ancient archeology, then walk the grounds of the Mayan ruins of Quirigua. Explore Livingston – Guatemala’s only Garifuna village. Lívingston offers a unique fusion of Guatemalan and Caribbean culture. Here you can enjoy the languid rhythm of life, Garífuna punta rock, reggae music, and Carib food. Tortugal is a peaceful place located in Rio Dulce, right in between Castillo San Felipe and the Bridge. Some 25km from Río Dulce, there is a hot spring waterfall in the land owned by the Finca el Paraíso. It is Guatemala’s most remarkable natural phenomena. The hot spring water cascades into pools which is cooled by a separate chilly flow of fresh river water, thus creating a spa-like environment for you to soak away in the afternoon.
Adventurous Activities: Take your kayak and make your way through the lush jungle with soaring canyons of Lake Izabel. On the way to the lake, you will have the opportunity to see Spanish forts and giant marinas, old houses, and new mansions. The blend of old and new in this beautiful setting provides a unique charm. On the western side of Izabel Lake is the small town of El Estor, where you can discover the biodiverse wetlands of the Reserva Bocas del Polochic. Take a boat tour of Rio Dulce National Park and Guatemala’s rainforest and explore the jungle flora and fauna in the Mayan heritage. Playa Blanca is one of the nicest beaches in Guatemala and is a fantastic spot to swim or relax. Playa Blanca is a privately owned beach and you need a boat to get there. Seven Altars are seven gorgeous waterfalls close to Livingston, Guatemala. Hike from Livingston along the beach on a well-marked path. Check out the bird island of Cayo Quemado and stop at the hot waterfalls of Agua Caliente. Also do visit near Playa Sand Bay for sunbathing and swimming. Day sailing in sheltered waters of Rio Dulce is perfect for beginners. Experienced sailors can enjoy the reef navigation and river passage to Amatique Bay. If you love adventurous hiking and exploring, take the main highway to reach Río Hondo junction in the Motagua valley. Horseback riding can also be enjoyed near Fronteras and at Denny's Beach, located on the south shore of Lake Izabal. Canoeing and windsurfing are other favorite activities among visitors.
Diving, Snorkeling and Fishing: Sail approximately 1 hour in your own private boat charter from Livingston to the white sand beaches of the Belizean cities such as Placencia, Punta Gorda, Mokey River Town or Seine Bight. At these Belizean dive sites, you will find never ending coral varieties, fish life, and underwater landscapes. Expect to see nassau grouper, gray angelfish, queen angelfish, lobster, stone crab, eels, sea fans, gorgonians, loggerhead turtle, while reef shark and nurse Shark are occasional visitors. Staghorn, elkhorn, and lettuce coral are abundant in these dive sites. You can extend your trip to cover other Belizean snorkel and dive sites such as Ambergris Caye, Silk Caye National Park, Lagoon Caye and Fisherman's Caye and more. Fishing is a continual activity on the Rio Dulce town. You can expect to catch Robalo (snook) and Mojarra (a freshwater perch). There are also river bass, catfish and other fish species.
Dining and Shopping: From Guatemala style egg casserole, Belgian waffles, homemade bread, Asian specials and Thai cuisine, Rio Dulce town has it all! Some of the popular restaurants include Restaurante Ranchon Mary, Restaurante Delicias del Rio, Bruno's, Sun Dog Cafe, Hacienda Tijax Hotel y Marina, Casa Nostra, El Malecon, Bug Mama, Restaurante Margoth, Restaurante Río Bravo, Hotel Kangaroo, Banana Palms Hotel, Resort & Marina, and Linda Vista Hotel & Restaurante among others. In Livingston, there are many shops and you can buy lots of things. In Rio Dulce and Puerto Barrios, there is the supermarket Despensa Familiar. Other small stores in Rio Dulce include Comercial W & L, Agromar, Tienda Road, Pintorsa, The Baby World, Zapateria eltigre, and Tienda La Surtidora just to name a few. Discover new restaurants, curio shops, or an intriguing museum during your stay at one of the hotels in Rio Dulce.
Day Trips: Chocón Machacas Protected Biotope is a nature reserve that is connected to Lago de Izabal. You can take your private charter to Biotope for exploring its diverse flora and fauna. Belize cayes and atolls are well within your reach for a relaxing trip from Rio Dulce. If you are seeking an adventurous getaway, there is so much to do in Placencia and Punta Gorda. Here you can enjoy dive sites, beaches, outdoor adventures and so much more. Don't forget to take your private yacht charter to the Belize Atolls for an amazing experience.
Rio Dulce town is a great place in the Guatemala region to indulge in interesting activities, explore rainforests, discover hot water springs, shop for amazing souvenirs, and enjoy an adventurous vacation. If you are in Belize, plan to visit this magnificent destination on board your own private yacht charter. Contact Belize Yacht Charters to book your luxury yacht in Rio Dulce and get ready for an amazing experience! Check out our luxury yacht collection here, and find out which luxury yacht is best for chartering. Contact one of our charter experts at 702-401-4284 to plan your charter itinerary today!