Boat from Livingston to Punta Gorda
We will check on the faires for the launchas to Livingston from Rio Dulce, just give us a day or two. My husband will ask the launcheros tomorrow.
As for here in the Rio Dulce:
1) Tijax has a great canopy tour
2) In the town, at the only road going west (San Felipe road) you can catch a bus on the corner to Cascadas Agua Caliente (Hot waterfall) near Finca Paraiso. Take a backpack of snacks and water or sodas. The water surrounding the 40+ foot waterfall is nice and chilly, the waterfall itself is 'shower' hot. We love it there. When you come out of the waterfall walk you can wait by the roadside (across the road under a great shade tree) and wait for the next bus. Sometimes you can hitch a ride back to Rio Dulce (usually its about 5 or 10 Quetzales per person). Make sure you bring enough small change (5's and 10's in Q's) the bus is about Q 10.
3) check with Tijax about kayaks. There are a lot of creeks (ask where Monkey Bay is) and kayak up the creeks. Monkey Bay has a creek that leads to the Howler Monkeys. You have to take a kayak to get to them. It is a protected creek with submerged logs across them to keep motor boats out.
4) Mar Marine (across the river from Tijax, on VHF channel 73) has para-sailing tours.
5) You can catch a mini-van in town to take you to Quirigua (keer-ee-gwah). It is a small ruin site about an hour from the Rio Dulce with great monoliths.
6) There is a daily water taxi from Bruno's Marina to Denny's Beach in the afternoon. Denny is great and has a neat place. He has horseback-riding tours (2 and 4 hour), donut rides (super-floats dragged behind a powerful launcha), tours to other villages around the lake, and a small beach area. They have a restaurant and bar as well.
Also, try the massage there! It's about Q 40 ($5 US) per half hour and is awesome! Ask at Tijax and Bruno's Marina they know how to contact Denny.
There are a couple of charters (depending on your budget and if you want to sail) that go out to the Honduran Bay Islands. One is run by Mike and Sherry on Gigante (a catamaran at Mario's Marina). The other is on the vessel 'That'. They both stand by on VHF channel 68. I don't know their rates.
Then you have Tikal just 3 hours away by bus. There are great places to stay in Flores and Santa Elena, even hostels. Then you'd take a mini-van shuttle to the ruins of Tikal.
Other than that, grab a hammock under a couple of palm trees, and relax in the breeze with a drink. It's beautiful here.
Hope this helps, and hope to post here tomorrow with the fares for the launchas.
p.s. If you are going from Livingston to Punta Gorda, try a stop-over in Placencia, Belize. It's a lot better than Dangriga. Beaches and great food! We go there often and like it a lot. In Independence, Belize (or Mango Creek area), at the bus stop, you can take a taxi to the water taxi area, then over to Placencia. It's faster that way. Then from Placencia you can just take the bus North to Dangriga. In Placencia try a restaurant called 'Yoli's'. She is an awesome cook! Have fun!
Thank you so much for the info. I can't wait to get there. Sounds like there is plenty to do. Thank you for checking on the launcha rates down to Livingston for me.
He asked the launcheros today about the fares by water from Rio Dulce to Livingston.
From Rio Dulce to Livingston (we believe is roundtrip fare) for 2 or less people Q 750 ($100 US), and for a group of 6 or more people it's only about Q 150 ($20 US) per person.
You can ask the drivers if they have a group going that day you could join, or ask around if anyone else wants to share a ride there. People ask around and arrange to share water taxis and mini-van shuttles to share the costs all the time here.
Have a great week!
As far as Hacienda Tijax in Rio Dulce. It's in a nice setting and very relaxing over there. And like was mentioned before they do run quite a few tours as well. The only drawback is you're stuck on their little island and they want Q20 a person to shuttle you (back and forth) each time. The other thing is that if you eat dinner there the service can be pretty slow if they are booked out. So if you're going to eat there go early before everyone else.
And, I believe if you only do a one way shuttle to Livingston from Rio Dulce it is around Q100/person and the boat generally leaves once they have at least 7 or 8 people.
I checked about one of the charters to the bay islands of Honduras (Roatan, Utila). They usually take 6 people out at about $200 US per person. They have a minimum fare, and I believe it is $1000 US or about that. If you have others lined up who would like to go also, you could share the cost. The couple who run the charter catamaran are a lot of fun and great sailors.
They come back from a charter in the next couple of days, maybe tomorrow, and I will get specifics for you then. I am also inquiring with another sail-charter for you.
So lets put it out there... are there any travelers that want to join in on a boat ride from the Rio Dulce area to the Bay Islands? It is on the expensive side of my budget but it may be worth it. Anybody thinking of making this trip around the middle to end of January?
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