Driving Rt 7 East to Rio Dulce from Biotopo del Quetzal
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2012 7:01 AM Last Post By: figlet
Oct 21, 2012 9:35 AM
Driving Rt 7 East to Rio Dulce from Biotopo del QuetzalJust when I thought I had it figured out....... I took your advice and revised my itinerary but iI dont think this is working either. I planned to arrive GC and drive to hotel near Biotopo del Quetzal. Spend a day exploring the area and then head to Rio Dulce by route 7 East. I planned to split up the drive by staying in El Estor for the night. I estimated the drive to El Estor to be about 3 hours. Is this correct? I will have a 4x4 vehicle but it seems like this road may not be very scenic. Any thoughts? I arrived at this plan because I wanted to get from GC to Rio Dulces and have a scenic stop over in between. Any help will be appreciated.
Oct 21, 2012 10:49 AM
1You're about right.
You leave the Biotopo and go north toward Coban and drive for maybe 15 kilometers. Right before getting to the town of Tactic you turn right at a Texaco gas station. This is the route along the Polochic River and will take you to El Estor. The route is scenic and the dirt road bumpy. Your time estimate is about right also. You´ll go through a large, squalid town, La Tinta. The next town is Telemán. In Telemán there is another Texaco gas station inside of which is a makeshift museum of sorts which has a series of photos showing the old railroad the Germans built during the 1890s when they began to develop the coffee industry. The only way into the Verapaz region was by steamboat up the Polochic River to the town of Panzos and then by train.
Oct 21, 2012 11:06 AM
Oct 21, 2012 4:24 PM
3Having stayed at the Ranchito at the Biotopo AND in El Estor this year, my take on the hotels might interest you.
In El Estor, I stayed at the El Tino, a pretty blue two story building on the lake. The room had a/c (needed in El Estor in my opinion despite the lakeside location) and the price was right. Clean and comfortable. The lady who runs the place could not have been nicer.
The Ranchito at the Quetzal Biotopo was very simple. The family running the place are wonderful and welcoming. Up here it can get cold at night. When I was there, eating at the Ranchito was the only place within walking distance that was open. Prices are reasonable .I took the bus to a nice restaurant just to have a change. I got up at dawn with the other Ranchito guests but no Quetzales appeared. Still, it was a fun stopover.
Oct 21, 2012 5:51 PM
4Thank for the info. Did you have a reservation in El Estor? I can't get any responses from any of the hotels by email. We plan to travel there in February.
Oct 22, 2012 4:44 AM
5I don't think you will need a reservation unless some event is going on. I just walked in. El Estor doesn't see alot of visitors and has a number of hotels so you should have no problem.
Oct 22, 2012 5:26 AM
Oct 22, 2012 6:23 AM
7The place I stayed was lakeside within walking distance to the center of town. I don't think it had much of a sign out front. There are other places but they are also low keyed. Don't expect a Las Vegas style neon strip in El Estor. You might have to stop and ask someone. It is a friendly town and if you mention a hotel name, people will point it out to you.
I took the van from Rio Dulce to El Estor. They tried to charge me a "gringo" fare. When I got out , I could see the lake about a block away. I saw one hotel but not the one I wanted. I asked the couple of guys hanging out lakeside. My hotel was a few blocks down a muddy street. The places I ate in had no printed menu, but it worked out OK. El Estor is a sleepy place so don't expect much. It can be boring or just what the doctor ordered.
I wouldn't worry about finding a room there. I might have been the only guest at the place I stayed in, plenty of rooms. Plus you will have a car and can just go elsewhere. Arrive in the daylight...not because it is dangerous (no one bothered me in El Estor when I went out at night) but to make it easy to find your way around. Since the hotels don't seem to do a knock up business, the offices might close early thinking no one else is coming.
Oct 22, 2012 7:01 AM
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