Best of Rio Dulce

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Rio Dulce
In eastern Guatemala, you’ll find a world far removed from the lofty cloud forests and Mayan villages in other parts of the country. Amid steamy tropical lowlands, the Rio Dulce is both the name of a tranquil meandering river, and the picturesque town lying on the edge of the country’s largest lake. The surrounding region boasts astonishing biodiversity, including some 300 bird species, along with butterflies, crocodiles and even manatees. 

There are many facets to the Rio Dulce experience. You can sign up for multi-day kayaking trips, stopping along the way for explorations of river caves and refreshing soaks in hot springs, with time to unwind on the seaside at the trip's end. Excursions to the vibrant Afro-Caribbean village of Livingston offer a diverse perspective of Guatemala’s cultural melting pot, and it’s also near picturesque scenery — like the jungle-fringed waterfalls and pools of Siete Altares.
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The Río Dulce - Guatemala's Caribbean Gem
Guatemala's Caribbean Coast - 6 Days

Escape to Guatemala's Caribbean coast on this action-packed 6-day itinerary. Starting from the capital of Guatemala City, set out towards the east coast to discover a whole new side of the country's culture and scenery. Visit magical hot spring waterfalls, kayak the waterways of the Río Dulce, and experience Caribbean Garifuna culture in Livingston.

Tikal National Park
Map of Maya Journey in Guatemala: Tikal, Río Dulce, & Quirigua Ruins - 5 Days
Maya Journey in Guatemala: Tikal, Río Dulce, & Quirigua Ruins - 5 Days

Embark on a five-day, Mayan-themed expedition through Guatemala. Begin in the northern jungles where you'll spend time with monkeys and tropical birds before visiting the ruins at Tikal National Park. Then take boat tour down the Río Dulce and enjoy more birding. Cap the adventure with an exploration of the Quirigua Ruins and its famous sandstone monuments before traveling back to Guatemala City.

Discover the Maya ruins of Belize's Cahal Pech
Map of Maya History in Caribbean Guatemala & Belize - 14 Days
Maya History in Caribbean Guatemala & Belize - 14 Days

Spend 14 days exploring Maya history in Guatemala and Belize, beginning the adventure in Antigua, a former colonial capital surrounded by mighty volcanoes. Then, head to the Caribbean to learn about Afro-Guatemalan culture before visiting Tikal, an important Maya city. Move onto neighboring Belize, where you'll spend days snorkeling around the Belize Barrier Reef and enjoying the Caribbean Sea.

Sunrise over Tikal National Park
Map of Best of Guatemala - 11 Days
Best of Guatemala - 11 Days

Discover the best of Guatemala in 11 days, from climbing a volcano and visiting Mayan villages to soaking in hot springs on this active culture and nature-focused itinerary. Hike, bike, and kayak around the country as you explore the picturesque colonial city of Antigua, the serene beauty of Lake Atitlán, and the ruins of Mayan civilization at Tikal. You'll also cruise along the Río Dulce to Livingston for an afternoon along the Caribbean coast.

Lake Atitlan surrounded by 3 volcanoes
Map of Guatemala Honeymoon Adventure - 16 Days
Guatemala Honeymoon Adventure - 16 Days

Deemed one of the hidden wonders of the travel world, explore Guatemala on this 16-day adventure through cultural, culinary, and outdoor experiences with your partner. Stroll through the amazingly well-preserved colonial town of Antigua, with its charming cobblestone streets, historic ruins and churches, and bustling market. Climb the active Pacaya Volcano, enjoy lighter outdoor activities like kayaking around Lake Atitlan, and visit the famous Tikal Ruins.

The pyramids of Tikal peeking out of the rainforest
Map of Guatemala Winter Escape: Rainforests, Rivers & Ruins - 6 Days
Guatemala Winter Escape: Rainforests, Rivers & Ruins - 6 Days

With warm days and cool nights, winter is the perfect time to delve into Guatemala's natural and ancient wonders. This six-day adventure kicks off with sightseeing in Guatemala City before flying north to explore the country's most famous archaeological site—the UNESCO-listed temple complex at Tikal. After hiking ancient Maya pyramids, head south to Lago Izabal and take a ride down the jade waters of the Río Dulce.

Lake Atitlán
Map of Highlights of Guatemala: Natural Wonders & Maya Ruins - 11 Days
Highlights of Guatemala: Natural Wonders & Maya Ruins - 11 Days

The highlights of Guatemala are many, and you'll experience most of them over 11 unforgettable days with this active itinerary. Start on the cobbled streets of Antigua, where you'll visit colonial landmarks, ride bikes around the southern highlands, and hike the active Volcán Pacaya. Then you'll fly north to explore ancient Maya ruins, including the legendary Tikal, before finishing the trip with a ride down the jade waters of the Río Dulce.

Volcanoes Surrounding Lake Atitlán
Map of Nature, Culture & History in Guatemala - 14 Days
Nature, Culture & History in Guatemala - 14 Days

This 2-week Guatemalan adventure kicks off with walking tours of colonial Antigua followed by a vertical excursion up the slopes of Pacaya Volcano. After a kayak ride around Lake Atitlán, you'll head north to explore the ancient Maya ruins at Tikal, then travel down the jade waters of the Río Dulce. More culture awaits as you visit open-air markets and indigenous villages, and even take a traditional Guatemalan cooking class.

Romantic sunset over Lake Atitlán
Map of Honeymoon in Guatemala: Antigua, Atitlán, Tikal & Río Dulce - 14 Days
Honeymoon in Guatemala: Antigua, Atitlán, Tikal & Río Dulce - 14 Days

Combine romance and adventure on a 14-day Guatemalan honeymoon you'll never forget. Stroll the fairy-tale streets of colonial Antigua, climb the fiery Pacaya Volcano, embark on boat tours around magical Lake Atitlán, and visit ancient pyramid temples at Tikal. For an added spark of intimacy, travel down the jade waters of the Río Dulce and treat yourself to relaxing spa treatments and dips in natural hot springs.

Lake Atitlán surrounded by 3 volcanoes
Guatemala Honeymoon Adventure - 15 Days

The perfect blend of relaxed romance and adventure, this two-week itinerary is perfect for couples looking for daytime excursions and blissful evenings. Begin with a few days of exploration in Antigua before heading to see Guatemala's volcanoes, lakes, national parks, and ancient ruins. See why this country has been deemed one of the under-the-radar-gems of the travel world, through cultural, culinary, and outdoor experiences.

Semuc Champey
Map of Guatemalan Culture & Outdoors: Tikal, Antigua & More - 10 Days
Guatemalan Culture & Outdoors: Tikal, Antigua & More - 10 Days

On this 10-day tour, experience Guatemala's rich culture and great outdoors. It begins in the north, where you'll visit turquoise pools, explore Maya ruins at Tikal, and take a ride down the jade waters of the Rió Dulce. A trip to Lake Atitlán will introduce you to indigenous culture, and it concludes with a visit to the ancient highland market at Chichicastenango, plus some sightseeing in the colonial town of Antigua.

View of the volcano from Antigua, Guatemala
Map of Best of Guatemala & Copán - 13 Days
Best of Guatemala & Copán - 13 Days

Delve into the incredible natural beauty and diverse cultures of Guatemala and Honduras on this two-week trip. Discover Maya ruins, towering volcanoes, and vibrant cities through a well-rounded mix of outdoor adventures and cultural encounters. You'll roam around colonial Antigua, kayak on stunning Lake Atitlan, and browse the artisan markets in indigenous Maya towns.

Belize
Map of Guatemala & Belize: Ruins, Reefs & Historic Streets - 14 Days
Guatemala & Belize: Ruins, Reefs & Historic Streets - 14 Days

This unforgettable two-week itinerary is the perfect mix of active adventures and cultural excursions around Belize and Guatemala. Spend time in colonial Antigua, hike an active volcano, rub elbows with the K'iche' Maya people, and visit indigenous communities around stunning Lake Atitlán. Then go north to the ancient Maya archeological site at Tikal before heading to the Caribbean to camp on coral islands and snorkel around Belize's 180-mile (290-km) Barrier Reef.

Other popular travel destinations in Guatemala
Antigua · Lake Atitlan · Guatemala City · Tikal National Park · Flores · Acatenango Volcano