Rio Dulce, the town, lies unsurprisingly on the Rio Dulce. Sweet River. The town used to be called Fronteras in the days before the bridge across the river was built. Then, the only way to continue your journey would be to take a boat across. Now, it’s easier to go by road. As a consequence travel by boat is less common. Unless of course you want to visit Livingston.

Livingston is a small town on the Caribbean coast at the mouth of the Rio Dulce. It is only accessible by boat and so it’s narrow streets are unclogged by vehicles.

The town feels more like those on a Caribbean island than part of Guatemala. Plenty of colour and palm trees. But like so many others, it has seen better days. The main street is modern enough, with lots of cafes and restaurants. But go a little beyond, and there lies a slowly crumbling facade.

We took a pleasant stroll along the narrow beach along the coast. There is a pathway, made by the many feet that have passed over the years. Where there is a narrow inlet to be crossed, there are the remains of a concrete bridge, now collapsed. Still passable though and so nothing has replaced it…

Livingston’s population is primarily Garifuna, who are the descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people.

The boat ride to Livingston takes a couple of hours in the morning, when it makes a few detours to tourist sites along the way. There is no way to avoid this though, even if you have done this journey before. But where the river narrows after the Golfete, and passes through a steep-sided gorge, the scenery is beautiful.

Photos of the Rio Dulce and Livingston on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala…