RIO DULCE

After the Tikal/Flores chaos, we wound up heading to Rio Dulce later than expected but still arrived before sundown to another lodge that was a short boat ride away from the main town.

As soon as we stepped off the bus, a bee dive-bombed into my neck and I screamed and slapped it away. Half the town staring at me and part of the stinger burning through my skin more and more every second, Russ grabbed some tweezers, sat me on a filthy park bench, and pulled it out. My mates huddled and gave me antihistamines (I’m allergic to bees), antiseptic creams and sympathy. So far Guatemala was not going so well – especially when we realised we left an adapter bout two main USB plugs in the last hostel in Flores. “Hopefully the bad luck ends now,” I thought on the boat right over.

Lucky for me, we were given a massive room and although no AC or price bathroom, it was still fine. I still couldn’t stomach food, though I tried to have a meal in the evening, it didn’t work out so well in the end. After deciding on the next day’s activities, I headed to bed for some much needed uninterrupted sleep.

We decided to take a speedboat to El Paraiso, hot springs waterfalls that you could jump off the top of and swim around as you please. Rising early, we were at the falls by 10am via speedboat and then tractor (the least comfortable part of the journey but hilarious nonetheless!) then a short walk through the jungle and we were there! We stripped down and jumped straight in, climbing the giant tree that took you to the top of the falls, and jumping from the top. A good few hours were spent frolicking around – the pools were cold but the actually waterfall itself was boiling hot! It was like taking a natural shower with amazing water pressure – a really unique experience and exactly what we wanted to do for the day. The water was turquoise and the falls plentiful. Since we were the first to arrive, we had the falls to ourselves for at least an hour before others began to arrive. Later on we headed back, some headed out to go horseback riding with a local cowboy and others lazed by the pool (me being one of them). We spent the evening chatting and goblins one much needed wifi! 

Waking early the following day, it was time to board the boat then the bus for an 8 hour drive to our much-anticipated next location: Antigua.

Top tips

  • While staying in a cool lodge is a good option as the town is allegedly a little dodgy, check out the hostels in town. There are plenty of options, they will be a third of the price and probably offer budget trips to Livingston (Garifuna beach town an hour north), kayaking, horseback riding and other trips to El Paraiso.
  • I would also suggest taking private transport for comfort of you are heading straight to Antigua. Public buses are the big yellow school buses, they squish three to a seat or you might stand and there is no big luggage allowed. If you find a big group to go with, your costs will drop and you will be (slightly) more comfortable for 8 hours.
  • In my opinion, the waterfall tour is beyond with it but I was more interested in seeing natural wonders than going to Livingston for a short time!  Friends that went kayaking at sunrise said that was amazing too. 
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