Guatemala’s eastern Caribbean coast is quite unlike anywhere else in the country. A stop in this area is a contrasting side trip when travelling between the Mayan ruins of Copan in Honduras or the Mayan stelae of Quirigua en route to the Tikal area. A boat trip along the Rio Dulce, the beautiful river running from Lake Izabel, Guatemala’s largest lake, to the Caribbean coast, offers landscapes of limestone canyons, Spanish forts, rainforest and mangrove swamps.
Livingston, a small Caribbean fishing enclave, sits on the mouth of the Rio Dulce and feels more like a tropical island than a traditional Guatemalan town. The local Garifuna people who live here (descendants of shipwrecked African slaves who mixed with the indigenous Caribs in the seventeenth century) have their own language, culture, and cuisine, all of which is preserved by the town's inaccessibility: Livingston is reached only by water or air. This seriously laid-back town, once was a booming seaport, now comprises of a narrow beach, clapboard-house-lined streets and a distinct Caribbean atmosphere.
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