Visiting Guatemala: Rio Dulce & Yaxha [Part Seven]

After a peaceful night in our riverside cabin, we took a boat ride on the Rio Dulce all the way to the Atlantic coast to the town of Livingston. We weren’t in country during the rainy season, so for almost the entire trip we had beautiful, sunny weather, but Rio Dulce is in the rainforest, so of course we got a bit wet.

In fact, we were supposed to disembark the boat at Livingston for some exploration, but the weather had become quite treacherous and we were forced to turn back. Once we retreated further inland, the sky again cleared and we made a delightful pit stop at a waterside bar and cafe for a biological break and quick morning beer.

There was also a hot spring conveniently located at the dock and if we’d had more time, it would have been a very relaxing place to soak. Dad couldn’t resist taking off his socks and sneakers to dip his feet.

The boat ride was about three hours roundtrip and we saw a lot of native flora and fauna, like mangroves and birds aplenty.

After the boat ride, we got back on the bus to head to our next hotel several hours away. Upon arrival, our Gate 1 tour guide Tony helped Dad arrange for a private taxi to take the two of us to the nearby Yaxha ruins to watch the sunset from the top of a temple.

I was concerned we might not make it in time as it was already getting late in the afternoon and the taxi ride was supposed to take about an hour. Once we arrived at the parking lot, we had a brisk 15-minute walk to the viewing area and as soon as we got to the top, I felt a little bit guilty the rest of the group wasn’t going to experience it.

There were a handful of other tourists sharing the view with us but everyone observed an atmosphere of quiet and respectful wonder. There was an incredible feeling of peace and tranquility disturbed only by the rustling of nearby treetops, which were alive with movement and noise from the local Howler monkeys. There were trees as far as the eye could see, broken only by the snaking river.

We all sat silently until dusk had completely fallen and then walked back to our taxi in the dark for the ride back to our hotel.


Compulsive snacker. Bleeding heart. Unhealthy obsession with Tom Hanks and cats. Florida State and Syracuse University alum.

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