This post is ruining the continuity of this blog. I just realized we never posted about our journey down the beautiful Rio Dulce to Livingston. So lets rewind just a bit, shall we?
To get to Livingston you must take a boat. Our route took us right on down the Rio Dulce. We simply viewed the river as a means of transportation, but we soon discovered the journey was an attraction all on its own.
The journey took about two hours in a launcha (a small boat). We first started cruising down the “Sweet River” passing the riverside dwellings of the indigeounous people.
It was odd in that there were mangroves and mountains within the same view. I don’t think I’ve ever seen mangroves in the same place as mountains before.
We made a stop at one point in the river and the boat captain took us over to the “agua caliente” (hot springs, though literally translated as “hot water”). We could smell the sulfur upon approaching. During a quick dip, you could feel areas where there was scalding hot water coming from underground vents. It was a tricky dance of sorts to find just the right spot between the cool-to-tepid river water and the extremely hot water coming from the shallow vents below.
After cruising for an hour or so, the relatively wide river began to narrow and the riverbanks seemed to be growing.
Before we knew it we were sailing down the bottom of a deep canyon. Its really difficult grasp the height by the pictures, but the tree covered cliffs of the canyon reach about 400 feet high from the river. These trees are also all enormous, which makes the size of everything all that much more deceptive. But if you look very closely in the photo below to try to spot the kayaker (towards the right of the middle), that will give you better perspective to size up what you’re looking at. This was by far the most scenic portion of the cruise. Sailing through the lush jungle canyon walls was reminiscent of the Universal Studios Jurassic Park ride, but this was the real deal. I blame our beginner photography skills for not doing it justice.
Our captain asked us for our empty water bottle and then we cruised over to a spot at the canyon wall. There was a hose which had been placed in the cliff, delivering fresh spring water directly out from side of the canyon. We filled up a few bottles. The water was cool and refreshing!
After exiting the canyon, we saw signs of the ocean. The scenery seemingly changed in an instant. As the river emptied out into the Caribbean Sea, we were greeted by seagulls and pelicans. It was time to get back on land and explore Livingston.
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