When it comes to write about Rio Dulce and Guatemala I really don’t know where to start and how to summarize all our time spent there. Since arriving from Guanaja island we lived there whole 10 MONTHS! Longest time we’ve spent in a same place living on boat since we started our adventure on 2014. For us, nomads, believe, that’s A LONG TIME!
But here need to highlight, that it was a very special time spend there during which we made amazing friends, got to know amazing country and enjoyed their amazing people and local life. And after all it doesn’t surprise us anymore why Rio Dulce is called cruisers paradise and the best HURRICANE HOLE in whole Caribbean Sea.
Despite really hot and very humid climate, mosquitos, crazy noise from the tracks crossing the river by bridge near Fronteras town and lots of water during rainy months, this is a place where one can live on his boat for a long time.
Because of that in the area you can meet many cruisers (it is true that most of them are retired couples) who comes here every year for hurricane months or even lives in Rio for few years.
In our cases we did not plan to stay so long, but because of Covid our time in Guatemala got much longer.
And for making the story a bit shorter and more structured I will divide it to -life in the river of Rio Dulce and discovering Guatemala inland.
HOW IS THE LIFE ON THE RIVER OF RIO DULCE
After the long and hot quarantine weeks in Nana Juana marina finally we were ‘free’ and started exploring surroundings. In the first two months as the COVID restrictions followed being quite strict, we stayed by boat at the marina. The prices of keeping your boat in the marinas in Guatemala are low comparing to others in Caribbeans, so it was not so painful to our pocket.
Nana Juana marina & resort is really AMAZING place – it’s enough to see what a beautiful and big swimming pool it has to like this place immediately. Being able to swim every day in a big pool was the best salvation from the crazy heat of Rio Dulce during the summer month. At the same time it became a place where we got to know most of the cruisers and spend hours talking around. Jura loved it as well and because during those months he was the only boat baby around ( apart from his little friend Theo, son of our friends Ezequiel and Xenia) everybody got to know him very well and became his aunts and uncles.
In a short time, we made so many friends and turned the place our home again.
ARRIVING TO RIO DULCE, GUATEMALA
After spending more than three months in Guanaja it was time to leave. Our next destination was Guatemala, Rio Dulce. Why Guatemala?
First of all - because we wanted to visit central America mainland. Second, the Hurricane season had already started and although the last Hurricane Mitch hit Guanaja 22 years ago, the island was on Hurricane belt and we did not want to risk. And Third, it is very economic place, what for us was as important as the other reasons above.
Guatemala has a very well protected river Rio Dulce ( translated from spanish language , means- SWEET RIVER) , great Hurricane hole for spending tropical storms season when the nature can become very violent. We heard a lot about this place and were looking forward to see it ourselves and meet more cruisers from all over the world, who arrive there to spend hurricane months.
In the ¨normal¨ times we would have left Guanaja, visited Roatan and Utila and then sailed to Rio. But the sea borders of Guatemala were still closed. As well as Roatan and Utila. Probably more than a half of Caribbean Sea countries were closed at that time. But we WERE LUCKY again.
Guatemala made an exception and with special conditions allowed sailing boats to enter Rio Dulce for being safe in hurricane season.
Which were the requirements?
All boats had to send their boat/crew details and approximate date of arrival and wait for permission. After arrival to Guatemala everyone had to make 14 days of quarantine onboard in INGUAT approved marinas. Anchoring was prohibited and after the quarantine it was mandatory keep staying in marinas.
In the situation the world was living we were happy with that and so on 18 of June left Guanaja towards Livingston, the entrance of river Rio Dulce
It was important to plan the date very well in advance due to arrive to the entrance of river during the spring hide tide.
Rio Dulce is a deep river, but at the entrance there is a very shallow sand bank. Nautical charts show on high tide just 6 feet of depth. Our draft is 1.80m, which is little bit less them the limit
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way. Our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.