Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Río Dulce Guatemala

Before I begin my write on Río Dulce(Fresh Water), Guatemala, I have to tell you that I just received my new camera.  Of course, I am writing this particular post in October as we prepare for the month of November(which is now:).  I like to keep a buffer of at least one month so that I can sit and think about my writing and make sure it's the best quality before publishing.  Well while all of that is going on, I'm traveling all over the place doing photo shoots. There's so much to see in this world.....and now I have a new camera which allows me even tighter control of the functions.  This will enable me to take truly professional shots that are of the highest quality and style. However, today, we are going to go back to a time when my camera wasn't so good.  It's the basic camera most people have on their cell phones. Let's begin our journey....
Getting here was a bit tricky and there were times when I questioned whether it was a safe bus route as the driver had pulled over to the side of the road twice to pick some "things" up!!!  Of course, I was looking around as were all the locals on the bus because we all knew that is exactly how people get robbed!  Thankfully nothing like that happened and we arrived on a dusty road by the Río Dulce.  To be honest, the little town of Río Dulce is nasty and not much to look at.  There were kids running all around us and it was kind of annoying to be overwhelmed by these little demons.  Watch your stuff.  One kid will distract you while another grabs your wallet.  However, we headed for the docks and made our way on the boat to a private area across the river at a placed called Hacienda Tijax.  It was a little piece of heaven on Earth.  This place was secluded from the public on piers over the water.  There were all kinds of critters in the water, air, and forest.
But the whole purpose of going to Río Dulce is for the ride on the long and bendy river.  Here you'll see all kinds of birds, fish, manatees, and the Caribbean town of the Garifuna known as Livingston. This a great opportunity to learn about another culture isolated from the rest of the country.  They have a long and interesting history that is drastically different from the Mayan populations of Guatemala.
This is quite the beautiful local as our patio doors opened up to water that had caiman swimming in it.  We also got to experience some really nice monsoon storms here that made everything a bit more interesting.  A wind storm blew these doors open one crazy evening and we almost lost our backpacks to the water.  Scary.
The cabanas are built on these docks which makes for a really fun and unique experience.  However, the bathrooms are also located in cabanas on adjourning docks.  I recommend bringing a flashlight so that you don't fall into the waters.  While walking to the bathroom at night, flash your lights into the waters and see if anything is staring back at you.  It's cool:)
A mosquito net is provided as there are bugs inside these cabanas.  Not a lot of them...but there are some.  During a rain event, we heard screaming in the cabin over. Apparently, some New Yorkers discovered a tarantula by the door.
My little sister did a lot of posing on this trip, but she makes a better model than I do:)
There are hikes around the grounds.  We did one with a guide and had a nice tour.  Here we were able to see the town from on top of a hill.  It was also on this hike that we got to see how rubber was collected from trees.
A bridge crosses through a canopy of trees.  Best time to go is early morning or at twilight for potential monkey sightings.  And of course if you love birds.......:)
We took this amazing boat tour and saw so many beautiful things.  There were many homes on little islands in the river that were very isolated from the mainland....and other people.  In fact, the town of Río Dulce is actually more of a hub for the river people living here.   The actually town of this fresh water river is spread out along its shores.
There are birds everywhere so bring your camera on this several hour boat ride!!
Also bring a poncho as it can get rainy in this area.
There were parts that made us feel like we were in Jurassic Park.  There weren't any homes....just a thick expanse of rain forest!  The river got choppy in some parts and grew quite wide in some areas.  I made sure we knew where our life jackets were....just in case:)
After a couple hours, we arrived in the tiny isolated town of Livingston for lunch.  It rained off and on, but I was able to see the Caribbean coast.  It reminded me a bit of the Bocas Del Toro region in Panama.

Here a kitty sits on her throne looking over the gardens of Livingston.
If you get a chance, take about 3 days and spend them in this region.  Tijax is a really nice place to stay.  However, if you just want to relax, they have a pool in the rain forest for you to use.  It's a great place to escape for a few days.  I could easily see myself doing a bit of reading and relaxing here again:)  More tomorrow....


  1. Le Guatemala, rien que le nom de ce pays me fait rêver. J'imagine que pour toi, c'est maintenant une réalité. Merci de nous faire partager cet étonnant voyage.


  2. Love the travel series, looking forward to the next installment!

  3. "...flash your lights into the waters and see if anything is staring back at you..." I would definitively do that...


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