Travel Experta’s Interesting Facts – Exploring The Atlantic Lowlands – Guatemala’s Caribbean


You know What makes this area so special? It’s the different water cruise adventures to be had: A beautiful boat tour along the Rio Dulce to visit the bustling town of Puerto Barrios then sail on over to the isolated, Caribbean funky town of Livingston. Where reggae beats sway through the air like you can on a hammock!

Discover more locations you can go to when you visit Guatemala.

That’s not all there is here. The lowlands town of Esquipulas, bordering Honduras, is world known for its Black Christ who lives in the Basilica de Esquipulas. If you’ve never experienced a religious pilgrimage, they are a sight. Every January 15 the famous Cristo Negro festival draws thousands of visitors and pilgrims to this holy place. And most of them come walking on their knees (yikes!). And while you’re so close to the Honduras border, hop on over to visit the Copan Mayan ruins.

Where is it:

In the Izabal Department of Guatemala.

How’s The Weather

Yearly average: 74 F (23 C) – 83 F (28 C)
Warmest Months: June – September

Places to Be

These are the most popular hot spots in this region. But for the gotta-see-it-all traveler, scroll down to the CITIES LESS TRAVELED to get the goods on this whole region.

Lago de Izabal and Rio Dulce


The largest lake of Guatemala is full of adventure. Surrounded by tropical rainforests that are inhabited by hundreds of birds, monkeys, and other animals. The lake itself is rich with sea life and is the home to the famous, but very endangered manatee. The lake empties out into Rio Dulce which flows out to the Caribbean.

Can’t Miss This

* Castillo de San Felipe
* Rio Dulce and Lago de Izabal boat tours
* Finca el Paraiso
* El Boqueron
* Denny’s Beach

Puerto Barrios


Chances are the reason you’ll be stopping over in this port city is because you’re catching a boat to somewhere. However, while you’re here enjoy the surrounding area and do some side trips.

Can’t Miss This

* Catarata de Aguas Calientes
* Ruins of Quirigua
* Punta Manabique
* Quirigua



Where Rio Dulce empties out into the ocean sits a charming, village. Livingston is completely unconnected to the rest of the country by road transport. Once you arrive here you’d never know you are still in Guatemala. The Garifuna, descendents of a shipwrecked slave ship off the island of St. VIncent, populated this isolated town, speak an interesting of mix of Caribbean, African and French and are eager to share their culture with you. They are a lively bunch and will keep you entertained with thier stories, cuisine and music.

Can’t Miss This

* Los Siete Altares (The Seven Altars Waterfalls)
* Walking tour of the town
* Playa Blanca

So much TO SEE in the Atlantic Lowlands and Coastal Region!



* Denny’s Beach
* Playa Blanca

Museums and Gardens

* Museo Multicultural de Livingston
* Basilica en Esquipulas
* El Castillo de San Felipe

Descubre los mejores destinos de cada una de las regiones de Guatemala.

Parks & Reserves

* San Gil Ecological Reserve
* The Cave of the Cow
* El Golfete and Pajaros Island
* Mine Caves
* National Park Rio Dulce
* Bocas del Polochi Refuge
* Biosphere Sierra of the Mines Reserve
* El Boqueron
* Punta de Manabique
* Cerro Miramundo
* Silvino Caves
* Biotopo Chocon Machacas


* Ipala Volcano
* Quetzaltepeque Volcano


* Los Siete Altares

Hot Springs

* Finca el Paraiso


* Quirigua

So Much TO DO in the Atlantic Lowlands and Coastal Region!


Nature Activities

* Bird and Wildlife Spying

Adventure Activities

* Boat tours
* Sailing tours
* Caving
* Canoeing
* Hiking
* Horseback Riding
* Wakeboarding

Cultural Activities

* Cristo de Esquipulas Festival (January 15)
* Garifuna National Day (November 26)

Less Traveled Cities

* Chiquimula
* Esquipulas
* El Estor

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About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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