Must see attractions in Caribbean Coast

  • Sights in Lívingston

    Playa Blanca

    The best beach in the area is Playa Blanca, around 12km from Lívingston, a strip of white sand with chaise longues and umbrellas, restrooms and coconut-palm jungle behind. This is privately owned and you need a boat to get there – ask Captain Daniel at Manatee Tours.

  • Sights in Lívingston

    Rasta Mesa

    This is a friendly, informal, enthusiastic cultural center where you can drop in for classes in Garifuna cooking (Q125 per person, fish stew Q150), drumming (Q125 per person) and dancing (Q125), or even get a massage (from Q250). It also offers volunteering opportunities.

  • Sights in Lívingston

    Los Siete Altares

    About 5km (1½ hour walk) northwest of Lívingston along the shore of Bahía de Amatique is Los Siete Altares, a series of freshwater falls and pools. It's a pleasant goal for a beach walk and is a good place for a picnic and swim. Food here costs Q70 to Q80, drinks Q10 to Q20. Follow the shore northward to the river mouth and walk along the beach until it meets the path into the woods (about 30 minutes). Follow this path all the way to the falls. Boat trips go to Los Siete Altares, but if you're a walker it's better to go by foot to experience the natural beauty and the Garifuna people along the way. About halfway along, just past the rope bridge, is Hotel Salvador Gaviota, serving decent food and ice-cold beers and soft drinks. You can stay out here, too.

  • Sights in Lago de Izabal

    El Boquerón

    This beautiful, lushly vegetated canyon abutting the tiny Maya settlement of the same name is about 6km east of El Estor. Pay your Q10 entry fee, and for around Q20 per person, villagers will paddle you 15 minutes up the Río Sauce through the canyon, drop you at a small beach – where you can swim and, if you like, scramble up the rocks – and wait or return for you at an agreed time. Río Dulce–bound buses from El Estor will drop you at El Boquerón (Q10, 15 minutes), as will El Estor–bound buses from Río Dulce.

  • Sights in Lago de Izabal

    El Castillo de San Felipe

    The fortress and castle of San Felipe de Lara, El Castillo de San Felipe, about 3km west of Río Dulce town, was built in 1652 to keep pirates from looting the villages and commercial caravans of Izabal. Though the fortress somewhat deterred the buccaneers, a pirate force captured and burned it in 1686. By the end of the next century, pirates had disappeared from the Caribbean, and the fort's sturdy walls served as a prison. Eventually, the fortress was abandoned and became a ruin – the present fort was reconstructed in 1956. Today the castle is protected as a park and is one of the Lago de Izabal's principal tourist attractions. In addition to the fort itself, there are grassy grounds, barbecue and picnic areas, and the opportunity to swim in the lake. The place rocks during the Feria de San Felipe (April 30 to May 4).