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Rio Dulce - Guatemala

4.7/5 rating (7 votes)
  • Category: Destination
  • Type: City / Town
  • Region: Izabal, Guatemala
  • Location: Rio Dulce
Rio Dulce - Guatemala


Río Dulce, located in the department of Izabal is one of the most desirable cruising destinations and recreation spots in Guatemala. Rio Dulce means "sweet river" in Spanish and it is aptly named. The waters of the Rio Dulce are fresh, clean and clear.

Rio Dulce has many visitors because of its location, on the way to the northern part of the country and 25 miles from the Atlantic Coast. It connects the biggest lake in the country, LAKE IZABAL, with the Atlantic Ocean. You may travel easily from Rio Dulce to other destinations such as Tikal, Quirigua or Livingston in Guatemalala, and Copan in Honduras. You may even go by water or land to Belize. All of these famous destinations are visited by people throughout the year.

There are 2 twin towns which make up the Rio Dulce activity & business center. Fronteras & El Relleno are two “sister” towns located on opposites sides of the river, divided by a 85 foot tall, concrete & steel modern bridge. The highway to the Peten region crosses the River at this point.

Rio Dulce is a great place to spend a couple of nights, if not more, because of the tranquility & serenity it gives you. It is surrounded by incredible natural beauty, which you may go to easily from any place you stay in Rio Dulce. Rio Dulce has spectacular sight seeing, since it’s surrounded by nature. The river, the rainforest, ecology, boat travel & many other activities, await you. You may also relax and soak in the unbelievable sunsets. The banks of the Rio Dulce are lined with marinas, lodging and restaurants that offer the finest food and accommodations.

One of the most impressive locations on the river is just upriver from Livingston, EL CANYON. Here the river becomes very narrow and tall canyon walls rise on both sides of the river to a height of 300 to 400 spectacular feet above the water. The view is stunning. The canyon walls are sheer cliffs of white limestone festooned with green jungle growth clinging to the walls. Vines hang down to the water’s edge and flocks of white herons congregate in the trees. The visual effect is unforgettable.

Agent Notes

  1. Location - How to get there? The town of Rio Dulce is located in the department of Izabal in north eastern Guatemala on the road to the Atlantic Coast. It is about a 4-5 hour drive by car from Guatemala City or Antigua Guatemala. By taking the CA-9 highway you turn on CA-13 on Km 244, on from there it is about a 25 minute ride to Rio Dulce. See google location map below for directions!
  2. Know before you GO: Rio Dulce is one of the top destinations in Guatemala. It is perfect for a weekend getaway or 2-3 day trip when travelling from Central Guatemala. It is also conveniently located where you can stay for a day or two and continue your journey to other destinations, like the Peten Area (Tikal), Belize, or Honduras. The town of Rio Dulce (also known as Fronteras or El Relleno) is a commercial town with basic infrastructure and not much to see and do. Relaxing at a hotel on the River/Lake Banks surrounded by nature, participating in an array of culturally enriched side trips, and tasting unique cuisine is a magnificent experience. Climate is tropical / hot so make sure to pack comfortable beach clothing, sunscreen, and bug repellant. Rain showers are common in the afternoons so come prepared for possible down pours.

  3. Contact us: If you have any questions about this experience or require special assistance (transportation to Rio Dulce, Accommodations, Tours, or Special Events) please contact Gofolklore. We will be delighted to help!


Folklore Fact

Did you Know? Lago de Izabal in Rio Dulce, also known as the Golfo Dulce, is the largest lake in Guatemala with a surface area of 589.6 km² (145,693 acres or 227.6 sq mi) and a maximum depth is 18 meters (59 ft).


On the Map