Andy Graham in Rio Dulce Guatemala 2010

I left Lake Atitlan and traveled by private Taxi to Rio Dulce, or the city of Fronteras in Guatemala. This is popular Hurricane Harbor for Sailboats or Yachts.

I shared a private air-conditioned van with two other people; the cost was 175 dollars split three ways, roughly 60 dollars per person.

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Monday, June 21, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Private Taxis
Private Taxis are great travel options, it only cost me 20 dollars more than regular public transport, and we did not have to stop in Guatemala city and arrived early enough to shop around for better Hotel rooms. If a person arrives before 2:00 PM they can negotiate and easily save money on Hotel rooms.

Hotels in Rio Dulce or Fronteras
I spent the first night in Bruno’s, but consider the place lacking in many ways, no mirrors in shower, the door locks were not up to snuff, no TV and WIFI internet was expensive and complicated. At 125 Quetzals per night, and I dould not get discount even when I said I would rent for a month, I decided I neeed to search for a better value.

I found the Hotel y Restaurante Fonda Escondida that made me a great deal, 1000 Quetzals for 15 days, with Color TV, Cable, Air Conditioning and High Speed Internet in my room.

I am paying 8.33 U.S. Dollars per night, and I forgot to say, I have a great swimming pool, life is too easy.

Andy Graham in Rio Dulce Guatemala 2010


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What the heck are you going to do there for 15 days? We spent two nights in Rio and saw more than enough. My suggestion is take the water taxi down to Livingston. It has quite a bit of history, or stop along the way. Good job on the room.

And on another topic, I sent you a couple of emails regarding updating our blurb. Please advise.

Thanks and enjoy the river life.


I think that the information that you pass on is excellent and would like to continue to get your e-mails. Thanks

I believe Fronteras is the center of all Sailboat information in the Rio Dulce area. I want to buy a boat someday and will need to park it in hurricane safe harbors.

I want to learn:
1. Can they put their boats here for free?
2. Is there a problem with theft?
3. Where do all the yachtiess hang out?
4. Which area is best to park a boat?
5. How do I leave a boat and travel around the country?

Generally, the city has everything, Banks, Supermarkets, Open Markets and they speak normal Spanish, not the tribal Kachikel of Panajachel on Lake Atitlan.

But the real answer is, I am not a tourist, I live travel, and there is zero reason to hurry, I have been to Livingston 10 years ago.

Plus I can wagon wheel from here, I can go to all the locations on day trips and still spend less money because I am at the hub.

Trying to suss out the best path to Honduras from here.

Generally, they are not updating guidebooks, and the Internet pages are full of misinformation, I must be my own guide, and to do it properly, I go slow...hehehe

I am retire, more than most retired people, I am not a tourist.

As having been a guide and worked in the hospitality industry in Guatemala when it was in it's infancy in the 1980s and early 1990s, I wish to comment that the small hotel that I resided in and worked out of for some two yeas in Antigua, Guatemala was a success because simply it offered services that other small, budget hotels in Antigua did not. In 1992 we had E mail services, cheaper long distance telephone worldwide calls than other hotels or Guatel, the then phone company, yours truly, resident guide and oral interpreter, travel advices were free to all guests and I was available to assist in emergencies, like driving people to Guatmala City who had lost or stolen passports, etc. "For the Budget Traveler with Champagne Taste", seems establishments like Bruno's (Bruno's has been in the Rio Dulce for long time) get into a rut and stay that way, no innovation, no imagination. Guests will spend the night, next day at the Marina, or asking around, will get a tip on a better place to stay like the one you found, and never return, never recommending the place to other travelers on the web or on the road.
As a long term resident of Central America I am able to tell your readers that good honest innovative ex pats are needed in this region (aside from Costa Rica..overdeveloped) to set up unique lodging places for all types of traveler, backpacker, independent and adventure types, small tour groups, single, couples, triples, go out of your way to offer hospitality and service and people won't forget you. Charge fair prices and offer package deals on weekdays and off season. Most native hotel owners and tour operators refused to do this in El Salvador for years and fell way behind Guatemala and Honduras per capita in tourism revenue. By the way this is off off season in Guatemala, Belize El Salvador and Honduras, tropical storm Alex is going through today with heavy rains.

PS I always found something to "do" when I hung around any place in Latin America for more than a week, I speak pretty fluent conversational Spanish, am pretty well integrated into society and avoid "tourists" and areas and establishments where they congregate. when a foreign traveler is sincere and asks politely for advice, not interrogating me as to what "I am doing in Central America and why?" I gladly give it.
If I had been a US citizen Ex Pat (I do not use "American") in Europe for 23 years I would be considered cosmopolitan and intelligent, since I live 23 years in Central America am considerd "weird" or worse by some travellers from US, Canada, UK, etc. Har. LOL.

I myself find people and their culture/customs far more important than destinations.

Tropical Beaches, Volcano Views, charming Colonial Towns are great but cannot help you in an emergency or give you good common sense advice, as a peson can!!!!!

I was first in Central America 40 years ago, a lot of it HAS changed for the better. The drive from Antigua to Rio Dulce in 1988 was approx. 8 hours on pot holed roads, pure torment past Rio Hondo, Zacapa. Prices have not one up that much and now there is more than one land line and VHF Channel 69, everyone and their grandmother now has Wi Fi and cell phone. Brave new world!!!!!!

The private Taxi idea the river was great, always find someone to share expenses if a single or a couple, of course. Staying overnight in any Central American capital city (plus bus terminals rated most dangerous areas in all Latin America for travelers to be vis a vis pickpockets, bag snatchers and scammers) to get up at 430 am to take another bus is a supreme hassle for even the hardy.

a great site I have found on the Web for world travelers is, features native guides, drivers, tour operators, unique lodging places, some unique people in off the beaten path places in 170 countries. The "ask a question" application can be used for any listed destination and many guides are locals, part time, students who love showing visitors around, anyway they gleefully answer detail questions regarding visiting their area for free!!! Some will even meet up with you a few hours and show you around town. type in your destination and pose your questions. Friend of mine traveling got several detailed replies on Panama via Localyte.

I really like the route that you are travelling. I want to visit Guatemala as well, but don't know when I will have enough money for that trip. So I will continue reading your blog until then ) Nice job.


Do you know about the website for sailors and liveaboards?

There is a fairly large community there that may be able to answer many of your boat ownership and boat lifestyle related questions. Also, many there practice a similar lifestyle to yours, albeit with a boat. They would appreciate your knowledge there as well.

Just to thank C for his handy cruisersforum link. Cheers !!

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