Best time to visit Guatemala

Boat Trip around Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston in Guatemala 2024-2025

Lake Izabal provides a gateway to Rio Dulce which will carry your lazy boat to an isolated peninsula town populated by African refugees

Best time: November–April

Boat Trip around Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston
Boat Trip around Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston
Boat Trip around Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston
Boat Trip around Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston

Hidden among Guatemala's jungles, Lake Izabal is not as popular as the beautiful ethereal Lake Atitlan—as there are no tourist agencies offering activity-packed excursions and it is not as easily accessible likewise. Its isolation and desolation contribute to the natural beauty of the site that may actually appear even more appealing for true explorers. Moreover, one can swim in this lake, unlike Atitlan. Traveling from the lake onwards along the snaking Rio Dulce, you can discover another little known interesting place called Livingston. It is a small town located on an isolated penin​sula, populated by African refugees and distinguished by an abundance of delicious seafood. The best time to discover hidden Guatemala is the dry season between November and April.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston in Guatemala?

Between November and April, which is the dry season, is the ideal time to visit Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston in Guatemala. This period has comfortable temperatures and little rainfall, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming in the lake, hiking in the jungle, and enjoying the seafood cuisine in Livingston. It is a perfect time for exploring the area in detail and having a good time. Show more

Where is Livingston located and what is its special feature?

Located on an isolated peninsula at the mouth of the Rio Dulce, Livingston is a unique town in Guatemala. Its main feature is its large population of Garífuna people, who have preserved much of their African heritage. Due to being surrounded on three sides by water, this town is only accessible by boat. Tourists find the lively events, including Garífuna drumming and dancing, and the delicious seafood cuisine the highlights of their trip to Livingston. Show more

Which activities can be done while visiting Lake Izabal and Rio Dulce?

There are several exciting activities that visitors can engage in while visiting Lake Izabal and Rio Dulce in Guatemala. One can go swimming, fishing, kayaking, or enjoy a slow boat ride to appreciate the location's tranquillity. Jungle hikes are also popular and provide ample opportunity to observe wildlife. The area is renowned for Maya ruins which one can explore, and various water activities, including snorkelling and scuba diving, can also be experienced, or alternatively one can choose to relax in nearby hot springs. Show more

Where can I find the best seafood in Livingston?

Livingston is home to an abundant seafood market and various restaurants and shacks which populate the riverfront and seashore. While not luxurious in appearance, these venues offer a rich variety of food, including grilled shrimp, fish fillet, fish soup, and fresh ceviche. Popular among visitors, Old Kitchen has a reputation for serving delicious local food, and exciting flavours, and is often frequented by tourists who leave satisfied and happy. Show more

What makes Lake Izabal different from Lake Atitlan?

In Guatemala, Lake Izabal and Lake Atitlan differ in appearance, accessibility, and the tourist facilities offered. Unlike Lake Atitlan, Lake Izabal is still secluded without many infrastructures, which helps preserve the area's natural beauty. With a larger area, an array of Maya ruins nearby, mandatory stop at the snaking Rio Dulce, and the option of swimming in the lake, Lake Izabal offers visitors an exceptional experience and a chance to learn about the country's heritage. Show more

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