Hot Waterfall in Rio Dulce, Guatemala

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Cascada el Paradiso

Rio Dulce or Sweet River is a stunning waterway that runs between the town of Rio Dulce and the coast at Livingston. It is possible to stay near the town on the river or head further downstream. I stayed at Tortugal River Lodge which had spacious stunning rooftop dorm beds overlooking the river. This hotel attracts boaties with Rio Dulce offering the only hurricane safe moorings along the coast. This is a great place to relax for a few days and offers free use of canoes to travel upstream to the colonial fort.

A 30 minute collectivo ride away is Cascada el Paradiso, a stunning hot spring waterfall that flows into a cool river. It is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon under the falls.

A room with a view: spacious four bed dorm room at Tortugal River Lodge

A room with a view: spacious four bed dorm room at Tortugal River Lodge

Not to be missed is the boat ride to Livingston which takes you two hours down stream and through an increasingly narrowing river system, until you pass through a sheer rock wall canyon, before reaching Livingston. Along the way there is lovely bird life. You can do a day trip from your Rio Dulce accommodation, stay in Livingston or on the river close to Livingston. Livingston is a not-so-pretty fishing village but a good stopover on your way to Belize or Utila.

Transport: There are no direct shuttles from Antigua. Shuttles will drop you at the bus station in Guatemala City for Litegua Bus Lines which run ever two hours to Rio Dulce. 150Q from Antigua. 80Q from Guatemala City.

To Utila: Honduran, Omar offers direct luxury shuttle connections between Puerto Barrier and La Ceiba in Honduras to connect in time for the ferry to Utila. You can book through your hostel or you may receive a discount by booking directly with Omar. 400Q. Hostel@tornabe.com

Tortugal River Lodge

Tortugal River Lodge

Accommodation: Tortugal River Lodge and Hostel Kangaroo are five minute boat rides from Rio Dulce. Both are on the river and offer lovely roof top dorms. Call when you arrive for the free transfer. 100/60Q respectively. Roundhouse is a one hour water-taxi down river from Rio Dulce and about 20 minutes from Livingston (100Q for the boat). 50Q for dorms.

Annoyances: A bridge has recently opened over the Rio Dulce and has a huge amount of truck traffic. During the night you can hear the trucks in the distance at Tortugal River Lodge and Hostel Kangaroo.

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