Friday, June 06, 2014

The Castillo De San Felipe De Lara, Guatemala

On the Rio Dulce looking at the entrance to Lago Izabel and the Fort
At the entrance to Lago (Lake) Izabel, on the western shore of the Rio Dulce, is an old Spanish fort, Castilla San Felipe. In the early 1500's Spain and Guatemala began trading. Warehouses were built along the shores of Lago Izabel to store the treasures.  The fort was created to protect the warehouses and ships, that were harbored there, from the English Pirates.  A heavy chain was strung across the river to deter the pirates from entering Lago Izabel.  The fort fell under attack many times, once even captured by the pirates. Each time the fort was rebuilt.  It served as a defense base until piracy subsided, eventually becoming a prison used during the colonial period. 
View from the Rio Dulce
View from Lago Izabel

View from the park that is adjacent to the fort.

Panoramic view from atop the fort.

Maybe the dining hall?

The Kitchen

The Courtyard

These doors where very old, but seem to be well built and solid.

One of many stairs.

Another stairwell and no rails!  I would hate to be running down these.

One of the canons, looking out at the Rio Dulce.

Some of the stairwells went into dark tunnels, we used the flash on our camera to see.

Some old wheels, a door and an anchor.
Mike and I are still having a great time exploring the river.  I know I have said it before but it is absolutely beautiful here and the people are exceptionally nice.  
Kayaks at Tortugal
They have kayaks that we have been using to explore the river. Someone told us about this great restaurant up the river close to the fort that was located up another little river inlet so we took the kayak to find it.  It was called Hotel Kangaroo and had really great food. The had vegetarian choices which has always been rare for me to find. Here in Guatemala it seems there are all kinds of options.  

We have heard that there is a great beach in Lago Izabel Denny's Beach, and some hot waterfalls at Finca El Paraiso we are looking forward to exploring those.

Cheers for now...Kim and Mike

Ka'imi docked at El Tortugal, Guatemala


  1. And haven't you been exploring ! Great fort pictures haven't been inside and was curious about it.
    Glad your enjoying the river!

  2. It is really cool inside, they have a couple of tunnels that are unlit! We had to use the camera flash to see. :)

  3. will have to check out when we come back !! will return the flashlight ! :)

  4. You guys will love it! When are you heading back this way?



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