The Guatemala Caribbean Sea
Izabal is Guatemala’s largest lake, more than 45 kilometers long and covering about 590 square kilometers. It is manatees live in the lake and its tributaries. Most tours of Lake Izabal begin in the town of Frontera, where a bridge spans the Rìo Dulce , which drains the lake. The Castillo de San Felipe is found about a kilometer from the bridge. This small fortress was built by Spaniards in 1651-2 at the lake’s mouth, to keep out marauding pirates. Later it served as a prison and was reconstructed as a historical monument in 1956. Some of the pirates who visit the lake were Diego the Mulatto, William Jackson, William Parker and the Dutch pirate Jan Zaques, who burned and plundered the fort in 1684. Further along the lake’s north shore is the Finca el Paraiso, which offers lodging, waterfalls and caves to explore. The town of El Estor, at the western end of Lake Izabal, was once the site of a nicked mine. The Bocas de Polochic, a swampy area where the Pilochic river inters the lake, a wildlife refuge where manatees have reportedly been sighted.
The great lake of Izabal, Guatemala’s largest, covers 590 square kilometers, is bordered by orchards of mangoes, avocados, mameys and pineapples that perfume the air with exotic fragrances, Rio Dulce originates from its deep waters and lows quickly to plunge into the thick jungle. There, it winds gently through the tropical foliage to the sound of multicolored riverside inhabitants that shake the foliage. Rio Duce continues its course to from the Golfete… It passes mangrove thickets seething with life, and lows out to meet the maters of Amatique Bay, in the Caribbean Sea.
A palm-lined road leads us to Siete Altares. There, in the middle of the jungle, we can see and hear the sounds of extraordinary transparent waterfalls and swim in its wild and cool waters, beneath a curtain of white foam.
On Guatemala’s Caribbean coast, in the deportment of Izabal, visitors will see the country’s largest lake, visit a Spanish fortress built to keep pirates out of the lake and travel down a lovely river bounded by lush tropical forest to a Garifuna village. On their way to the coast, they will visit an archaeological site with the tallest steal in the Maya world. Birdwatchers will find some of Guatemala’s most exciting birding in a rainforest reserve where jaguars and puma still roam.
The Rio Dulce runs about 40 kilometers from Lake Izabal before it empties into Amatique Bay at Livingston. At its upper end, around Frontera, there are several hotels, marinas and vacation homes. Downstream, the river widens into an area known as Golfete, before flowing through a narrow, spectacular gorge and then on to the bay. The Chocon -Machacas wildlife reserve is found of the reserve, where monkeys and many tropical birds will be seen, Boat tours of the Rìo Dulce are available at Frontera and Livingston.
On the Caribbean coast it's the only decent beach on the Guatemalan side. Possible to go for one day trip from Livingston. We can also organize a camping trip.
Traveling through the Amatique Bay area is an unforgettable experience. Calm waters, peaceful atmosphere, rich diversity of fauna and flora makes of Amatique Bay a shoreline where vegetation usually melts into the water, where beaches are small and private, and the sea is a very deep blue. The landscape is marked by a wild beauty.
Some of the places you must visit are Playa Blanca, Punta de Cocoli, Punta de Palma, Punta de Manabique and El Canal Ingles (The English Channel). Beside the Amatique Bay, there are two smaller bays; Santo Thomas & La Graciosa Bay.
The flavor of the Caribbean flows through the streets of this small town, populated by the Garifuna Afro Caribbean with a mix culture, which is interesting and exotic. Long time ago Livingston was the port of departure for the fragrant coffee of Las Verapaces. Today, it is a fishing village full of wooden houses, balconies and sandy streets.
Local celebrations include Easter Week with a representation of Christ’s Passion, and the Fiestas of San Isidro Labrador and the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12th. Here ceremonies are celebrated with the notable Afro Caribbean culture.