HideoutThe Hideout

HIDEOUTThe Hideout
The Hideoutnice places to visit and things to do
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Río Dulce & Livingston

December 18th, 2011

With a Tuk-Tuk, Josie and I went to Poptún to take a bus. As soon as we arrived in the center I was shown my departing bus and someone asked for my backpack to put it into the bus. Everything happened quick again and I quickly said good-bye to Josie, who went the other direction. I jumped on the bus and found myself two hours later and 40Q less in my pockets, in Río Dulce. This time I didn’t feel ripped off and I was the only tourist in the bus where the seats returned a smell of oil.

I chose to stay at “El Périco”, which is only reachable with one of those lanchas (boats), that depart from the bar Río Bravo. The hostel offers free shuttle service once a day. If you go more often you have to pay 25Q for a round trip, but this normally is not necessary. From the cafe Sundog, right next to the bar where the boats leave, you can let the hostel be called to pick you up. The hostel is right in the jungle with lots of mosquitoes who like to welcome you if you have no bug spray. I stayed in a dorm for 45Q, which was directly above the bar. But it was okay, since there wasn’t much going on that late. Free wifi was offered so that you won’t get bored on that lonely strip. The owner was a swiss guy and spoke German. To my surprise most of the guests also did. The owner was calm and nice, but to one of his staff you had to get used to. There was not such a big choice of food, but the sandwiches were quite delicious.

Livingston

Although the sky was gray I decided to visit Livingston. A round trip from the hostel costed 200Q, where you would have around 3h of time on your own in the city. At 9am I was picked up by a boat and we went to pick up other passengers. We also went to a gas station before we reached the main port at the north end of the bridge. There the boat got really full!

A few minutes later we had to change the boat for whatever reason and finally left … again for the gas station. But then the tour finally started. I have to say tour since the boat rides from Río Dulce to Livingston include some little sight seeing. We first went the opposite direction to have a look at the castle. Slowly we passed it so that everyone could take pictures and we finally headed towards Livingston at around 10am.

We stopped at other places too, but we weren’t so interested since it started to rain and getting cold. Eventually we arrived in Livingston and I went to the first place that offered some coffee and warmed up a bit. When the rain finally ceased I had about 2h left, before my boat would return. I walked through the center, the cemetery and ended up at the ocean finally. Several Garifuna, who spoke more Spanish than English (as they do in Belize), were to be seen and started talking to me. Often they ended up by offering ‘whatever I want’.

There was no time for visiting “Las siete altares”, which is the main attraction there and consists of seven waterfalls. The weather wasn’t that good anyway and they warned again for robberies when going there alone. The city itself wasn’t so exciting. I heard that the ‘La casa rosada’ is a good place to stay in case you end up there.

Finca de Paraiso

Another day I took a bus from Río Dulce towards El Estor and got off at Finca de Paraiso (15Q). There’s a nice waterfall where you can have a bath if you are willing to pay another 10Q for the entrance. Once inside the water you have to get prepared to be nibbled by fish. They do no harm, but it’s a funny feeling. I met some other tourists there who I talked with for a while. After some time we found out that we actually met up at the border to Guatemala the first time.

Going the other way of the bus stop brings you to the beach after 20 minutes of walking. The beach is not very exciting and the restaurant quite unfriendly or the service was quite bad. I soon hiked back to the main road where I waited for the bus back.

There’s also some canyon close by that might be worth visiting. I however had forgotten my money and just had enough change in my pocket for the bus and some food. Otherwise the day might have been more interesting.


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