Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rio Dulce

The Rio Dulce in Eastern Guatemala is a beautiful sparkling river that winds its way up to the Caribbean coast. After getting eaten alive by hundreds of insects in the steamy swamps near Rio Dulce town, we took a boat trip up river to Livingston, the only Caribbean community in Guatemala.

Unfortunately we were pretty disappointed with Livingston; it had a really seedy atmosphere and we were so uninspired that we didn't even take one photo! However, the journey was lovely, especially one spot where, all year round, hundreds of water lilies flower in front of thatched huts. The local children were splashing around in the river and waving; it seemed pretty close to paradise... if it wasn't for the twice daily tourist boats zooming past!

Because of its strategic location near the Caribbean, the Rio Dulce was once a major thoroughfare for pirates so this fort was built to defend the area from plundering.

The real highlight in the area for me was a day trip to Finca El Paraiso where there is a hot waterfall! Water as hot as a REALLY hot shower cascades over smooth green rocks, where it mixes with the cool stream below. We had the place pretty much to ourselves for a few hours (I don't know why; it really should be on every traveler's must-see list!) and lounging in the delicious water was total bliss. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can just about make me out in the pool beneath the falls.

Rachel x

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