Rio Dulce is the river that connects lake Izabal with the Caribbean sea. The same name is used to refer to the river-based village of Fronteras where most travellers set the camp base for the activities of the area. The village itself it is not really worth a visit and this is the reason why many tourists stay at accommodations on the other side of the lake.
After weeks of dirty hostels and cold showers, I decided to treat myself and book a nice bungalow in the middle of the jungle. It was so nice to fall asleep listening to the sound of the rain. It was not that pleasant when it started raining inside my room.
Plans around Fronteras
You do not really need to spend many days here. You can spend your first day to visit the village and the Castillo de San Felipe, a Spanish colonial fort built to defend the lake from the frequent pirates assaults. If you want to reach the castle by water with a kayak, as I did, ask first about the weather conditions of the following hours or you may find yourself rowing against wind and rain!
The second day you may wake up early, take a collectivo and visit the waterfall of Finca Paraíso and El Boquerón Canyon. Finca Paraíso is a 12 high metres hot spring waterfall that drops into a natural pool built in the middle of the jungle. Go there early in the morning to enjoy the landscape and the pool on your own.
El Boquerón is an impressive small canyon surrounded by tropical vegetation. Simply ask the collectivo’s driver to drop you there. Pay a local to paddle you through the canyon. The boat ride takes 15 minutes and ends at a small beach. Agree with the guy a time for the ride back and enjoy your time! I discover that walking a bit against the current leads to a hidden quiet place where to swim.
Don’t be afraid of going local! Local transports are way cheaper and funnier than tours. You can stop this small buses at any place on their way and ask if they can drop you at your next destination. Just make sure they understand what you say or you will end up where they thought you wanted to go!