Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano
Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

22 May 2012

Rio Dulce


Receiving a clearly Australian “Hello, mate” in the middle of Guatemala is rather strange, but that’s exactly what we got a few minutes after getting off the bus in Rio Dulce. Rio Dulce boasts the longest bridge in Central America, connecting Guatemala City and the western highlands with the Northern “El Peten” and the route to Belize. Buses cross the bridge, but everything is done by boat up and down the river.
A view of Hotel Kangaroo (from our kayak)
The U.S. Coast Guard deems Rio Dulce the safest place in the Caribbean during hurricane season, attracting many “yachties” into the safe waters for weeks, months, and even years. Gary, the Australian owner of Hotel Kangaroo, came 6 years ago, and never left. He spent two years building the hotel, which is no small feat considering the entire place is on stilts over the river. When he bought it, there was no electricity and no plumbing. The only way to come and go is by a 10-minute boat ride from Rio Dulce. Once you’re there, you sit on the dock, jump in the river, and read a good book. He’s got a few kayaks you can borrow, which we used to visit an old castle on the river. 
Castillo San Felipe
We also spent a few hours visiting “Finca Paraiso” where a hot waterfall falls 25 or 30 feet into a cool river, the only of its kind in the world. When I heard about it, I thought the water would be warm, but upon touching the waterfall, it was scalding hot. A local guide walked us upstream where the water was even hotter and showed us where to get clay to put all over our body. 

Can you spot David? hint: he's flying

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