When we booked the shuttle to Rio Dulce we were told it was a direct transfer which would take six hours. We already knew this was impossible as it took us four hours just to get to San Pedro from Antigua and we had to travel back the same direction and we’ve learned to double any estimated transport times in Guatemala.
Unsurprisingly, it took a fair while longer. We arrived back in Antigua for a ‘quick pit stop’, feeling slightly green faced and ropy after hours and hours hurtling through the winding mountain streets. The ‘quick pit stop’, however, actually meant we were being chucked out for the night before a 4am bus to Guatemala City. Many, many hours later we transferred onto a bus to Rio Dulce and finally arrived just 30 hours after we left for our six hour ‘direct’ trip.
Having been down on the cooler Pacific coast, we were completely unprepared for the stifling heat of Rio Dulce, but definitely grateful to be back to the warmth! Rio Dulce itself was pretty, but mainly just a stopover for the boat journey to Livingston. It’s also, strangely, very expensive here – possible because of all the yachts stopping over on the way to/from the Carribbean? A meal which costs just 25 quetzales (£2) in San Pedro is at least 65 here (£5.50).
After a short respite from travelling, we boarded the boat for the trip to Livingston. A gorgeous journey, featuring mangroves, a flower field growing out of the water and a stop at some hot springs along the way.
After a few hours, we pulled over to an incredible looking guesthouse right on the lakeside with a private dock and started getting very excited to arrive at our hostel – only to be dropped off in a seaside junkyard. No joke.
We thought the driver was making fun of us so we chuckled a bit and just sat in the boat until he started getting angry and shooed us off.
Despite the stench and the mountains of rubble, we managed to pick our way through and eventually emerged on to a normal looking road and found our way to the Lazy Gecko.
I think we’re more than ready for some rum punch after our day long trip to get here.