Rio Dulce is one of the few places I have hesitated about going to. Would it be worth it? I had heard mixed things, but in the end I decided to go, seeing as I was in the neighbourhood, well relatively.
My guidebook described the town itself as a squalid settlement! Quite harsh I thought, despite having a questionable selections of shops and restaurants it wasn’t all that bad.
It’s main attraction however is the river and the town serves as a starting point to explore it.
The river area is highly rated and often features in the “Must See'” lists of Guatemala. It winds its way over almost 30km to the town Livingston through mangroves and gorges with a stop for a scalding hot springs. The main activities to enjoy are birdwatching, kayaking, fishing and just chilling out. There are a number of nice hotels/eco retreats along the river too for those that don’t want to stay in either the towns of Rio Dulce or Livingston. Depending on how much time you would like to spend in the area, that would be my preference as the towns themselves offered little, at least to me.
Some shots of local fishing activity on the river and the jet skis have also arrived!
The highlight for me was the time in the gorge, after so many months hiking through gorges in the dry in Australia, it was great to be finally in one with water. Also in Livingston we did a short hike through the jungle to a waterfall and stopped on Playa Blanca, for some sun time.
But other than that I was a little disappointed with the whole thing which is a new feeling for me on this trip. The place is undoubtably beautiful but not spectacular. Perhaps I just need a break from beautiful places.
So was it worth the trip? Well yes, after all it’s always better to make up your own mind if only to know you would never do it again.