Rio Dulce, Livingston and Lake Izabal

The department of Izabal is located in the north east of Guatemala. It borders in the north with Peten, in the east with Belize and in the south with Honduras. It is one of the areas in Guatemala with the most stunning natural beauty. It is a very green area, the grounds a fertile mainly used for the cultivation of bananas one of Guatemala’s main export products.

The biggest lake in Guatemala, lake Izabal, is also located in this department. The word Izabal is likely to have come from the basque word Zabal, meaning wide, referecing the bay of Amatique, part of the Rio Dulce.

Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce is the river that flows from Lake Izabal to the Atlantic ocean. Rio Dulce is also the name of the area at the beginning of the river, close to the Lake Izabal.

A famous attraction near Rio Dulce is a colonial fort build by the Spanish in 1644 called El Castillo de San Felipe. The Spanish build this fort to defend them against pirates coming up the Rio Dulce.

Lake Izabal is the biggest lake in Guatemala. It is not very touristy, and because of the temperature a great lake to do water sports like water skiing.

The Rio Dulce area in general has beautiful nature and is great for bird watching.


Livingston can only be reached by boat either from Rio Dulce or Puerto Barrios. We can highly recommend taking a boat from Rio Dulce to Livingston because it will take you through a beautiful canyon with limestone cliffs rising up from both sides. Livingston is the only place in Guatemala to experience the garifuna culture. There are hotels and is close to a beautiful white sand beach called Playa Blanca and Los Siete Altares. Siete Altares are a range of waterfalls and fresh water pools where you can swim or picnic. We can arrange tours to Livingston, Playa blanca and siete altares.


Tour Rio Dulce and Livingston

4 day tour. Visit Quirigua, Livingston, El Castillo and boat trip.