The Rios Fund, Guatemala
Directions to the Seacacar Cañón Natural Reserve via Rio Dulce
Catch a micro bus or drive from Rio Dulce to our reception and trail entrance.
Micro buses leave every 30 minutes from the intersection of the main highway through Rio Dulce and the highway to El Estor. The 25 mile drive to our reception costs about Q20 ($3) and comes complete with numerous stops and yet more people squeezed into the van. The trip will take about just under an hour, depending on stops. Your luggage will be placed in a roof rack, oftentimes without a cover, so be sure your luggage is weather proof. Ask your micro bus driver or driver's helper to let you off just after crossing over the Rio Sauce bridge. NOTE: The Rio Sauce bridge and our entrance is about a half mile past the Balneario de Boquerón.
You will see a large sign on your right - "Reserva Natural Cañón Seacacar." The reception is located approximately 400 meters from the Reception sign along the highway. Walk along the dirt road until it ends at the Reception. Office hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Entry by cayuco (Q70) is possible when the river is not high. A cayuco paddle upriver presents a stunning way to reach Seacacar's Tourism Center. If you're lucky, you will be serenaded by howler monkeys. Your cayucero or boatman will take you and your belongings upriver between towering limestone walls. There are several places where you will need to get out of the cayuco while your boatmen lines the large canoe upriver. Your cayucero (probably Manuel) will drop you off at concrete and stone steps that lead up from the river to a well constructed trail. It's a half mile walk from here to the Tourism Center (Centro Turistico). Arrangements can be made for a porter to meet you at the trailhead and carry your belongings to the Centro Turistico.
An all weather interpretive trail connects Seacacar with our reception. This 1.5 mile long trail is yet another scenic and adventurous way to arrive, but keep in mind that the trail has several steep staircases. Don't attempt this unless you have a reasonable level of fitness. There are several view platforms en route and you will enjoy some of the most spectacular jungle and canyon scenery in Central America. You may spot or hear howler monkeys or other wildlife. There are snakes, but so long as you stay to the meter wide trail, you will not have a problem. Trail entrance fees of Q50 help provide for educational opportunities and environmental protection. You can also hire porters to carry your bags. A single person's luggage (reasonable load for your porter) is Q40 / $6 US.
If you are traveling with a group, you can also arrange for four-wheel drive transport to Seacacar. Prices are Q50 per person for a group of four or more. If you have less than four in your group, one way transport from the Reception to Seacacar is Q200.
Private vehicle access is via a rough dirt road, approximately three kilometers from the turn off to our Reception. There is a large sign posted on the right side of the road. It is 4.3 kilometers to Seacacar from the paved highway. High clearance vehicles are recommended.
If you arrive later in the day, there are numerous lodging options in El Estor, including several budget hotels near the central park, plus along the lake shore. One of our favorites is the Hotel Ecológico, about 2 miles from the central park. Rooms are between $20 and $40 per night. The Hotel Yair along the lake shore is another good option, however music from nearby bars may keep you awake. Bring earplugs. Please contact us for more detailed information.
Keep in mind that the Reserva Cañón Seacacar is off the grid and has no internet or cell connection. Travelers have to walk about 15 minutes up a hill to get reception.
Contact us early so that we can make transportation plans beforehand. Some taxi drivers in El Estor will take you to Seacacar, but it will cost about Q200 and the taxi must have high clearance or it won't make it. Rainy days require a four-wheel drive.
Visitor and Volunteer Information
Is volunteering in the Seacacar Cañon Natural Reserve right for you?
While volunteering with us is not physically demanding, we do work in a remote Q'eqchi Maya village. Good health is mandatory. Volunteering is for you if you want to build new or deeper friendships, make a difference and enjoy travel a bit off the beaten path. It is not for you if you expect an upscale resort. Our lodge is located in a remote Mayan village and in a rainforest. We have limited solar power and no air conditioning. The average high temperatures most of the year are in the low to mid eighties while night lows typically drop about 10 degrees. March, April and May warm up considerably while the rainiest months are July through October or November.
Although every effort has been made to make the volunteer experience run as smoothly as possible, road conditions, weather or other circumstances beyond our control can cause hardships.
Our lodge is not luxurious, but is comfortable and immediately adjacent to a jungle environment and Q'eqchí village. While every effort has been made to make the lodge rooms as comfortable as possible, they are rustic and immediately adjacent to the natural environment. Shared bathrooms have flush toilets and we have cool water showers. There are also several new rooms with private bathrooms and hot water showers.
The access to the Seacacar Cañón Natural Reserve is a 30-minute drive on a steep and unpaved road.
Access to Medical Care:
While you will never be further than an hour’s drive from local medical clinics, Guatemala City has the nearest advanced medical care. Puerto Barrios is a two-hour drive and also has some advanced medical care. There are small airports in Rio Dulce, El Estor, Puerto Barrios and other communities with an hour or two. International airports are located at least five hours away, in Flores, Belize City and Guatemala City.
Discuss travel to Guatemala with your doctor or consult the United States Center for Disease Control prior to departure to determine which immunizations are currently being recommended. https://www.cdc.gov/
Passports are required for all travelers entering Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. All tourists exiting Guatemala are required to pay a departure tax, which is normally included in you airline ticket price.
Contact Manuel in Guatemala at 3242 1106. Information in the US is available by contacting Paul at (719) 314 9036 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org