Guatemala and the Rio Dulce
Belize is bordered to the west and south by the mountainous, fascinating country of Guatemala. This trip will bring you across the Bay of Honduras, up the Rio Dulce, and on to Lago de Izabal. This is a multi-day journey and most of the voyage will take place on a canopied private skiff. Travel with your partner or a small party of up to eight guests. This is a truly memorable way to explore a beautiful part of the country with a private guide.
Day 1: Leave Cotton Tree in the early morning and head down the Moho River, enjoying the monkeys, turtles, and bird life along the way. Stop at customs in Punta Gorda to check out of Belize, and then head south across the Bay of Honduras towards the hills of Guatemala in the distance. Your first stop will be the Garifuna town of Livingston, where you will check into customs and have lunch.
From there begin the journey up the Rio Dulce (Sweet River) Canyon National Park. You will see flocks of cormorants, white herons nesting along the canyon walls, and other bird life. Fisherman who live along the river be casting their nets for the day's catch from dugout canoes. Another ten miles upriver into the El Golfette Wildlife Sanctuary start looking for manatees. Pull over to the side of the river to bath in natural hot springs and explore a limestone cave.
Your day's journey ends as the river narrows and meets the Lago de Izabal. Your accommodation,Tortugal, is a stunning marina, hotel, and restaurant with rustic thatch bungalows and an international clientele. Dine that night at their open air restaurant overlooking the river.
Day 2: Boat over to Fronteras and witness the bustling morning market while you enjoy your breakfast. Continue your journey over to the Lago de Izabal to view the 400-year-old Fort Castillo San Felipe.The fort was built to protect the first Spanish city in Guatemala from invasion by the English. Boat across the lake, taking in the sites of inactive volcanoes, until you reach El Paradiso hot water fall (accessed by a tractor ride and short hike).
In the afternoon you will turn around and head back down river to Livingston. Check into your hotel there, and perhaps go out to hear some drumming and Garifuna music.
Day 3: Explore Livingston and the markets before checking out of customs in the morning. Boat along the Caribbean coast for one more stop - Seven Alters waterfall - before returning to PG and then onward to Cotton Tree, arriving just before dark.
Day 2: After visiting El Paradiso Waterfall, boat to El Estor, a small village, and explore the nearby canyon. Continue on to Denny's Beach, your accommodation for the night, where you will dine along the lakefront and stay in a private bungalow.
Day 3: Take a four hour guided horseback ride up a volcano, then make your way back down the Rio Dulce to Livingston.Check into your hotel there, and perhaps go out to hear some drumming and Garifuna music.
Day 4: Same as Day 3 on the three-day itinerary.
This excursion is US $2,800 for two people, $725 for each additional guest.8 guests maximum per trip. For the optional extension add $800 for the first two guests and $275 for each additional person. Price includes meals, lodging, entry/exit fees at customs, transportation on private skiff, boat captain, translator, and some drinks. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least one week before your stay to book this trip.