Local adventures begin by stepping outside your door at Tortugal. Make time to explore the local sights while you stay with us.
Castillo San Felipe
Borrow one of our free kayaks and paddle down the shoreline to the beautiful Castillo de San Filipe, a Spanish fort from the early 1600s. It’s a forty minute walk, twenty minues by kayak, or five minutes by lancha from Tortugal. Take a lunch and enjoy the wonderful view of the river.
Swim in the River
Enjoy the Rio Dulce at its finest right in front of Tortugal. You can swim to a floating platform to catch some sun. The water is clean. The river is quiet up here. It’s beautiful.
Fun At Tijax
A very fun place to spend the day. There’s a swinging bridge, a spring fed swimming hole, a canopy, and a nature tour. Be sure to climb the tower. Tijax has great food and it is close: Find it in the corner of the Fronteras Bay across from Rio Bravo Pizza. 10 minutes by lancha.
Walk to Fronteras
Through the hush of the neighboring hardwood plantation you can walk to the neighboring town of Fronteras. Living in the mangle are Rio Dulce’s most popular eating fish, the mojarra. Snapping, painted and mock turtles, and bats abound, (try to find a bat sleeping on the side of a mangle tree) You may spot an iguana or an otter. Tortugal is on the migration trail for parrots and other interesting species of birds. You will hear them, especially as they wake up and get going early in the morning.
The covered bridge leads through a rough parking lot to a trail (take it to the left going out and to the right coming back). This gravel road ends at a green gate fronting on the paved highway which leads to the right, to Fronteras, to the left, to San Felipe. It’s a pleasant half mile, 20 minute walk to Fronteras, or 5 minutes by lancha.
An interesting village on the coast which has no roads leading to it. Beach. Shopping. Garifuna culture. Get there by following the gorgeous Rio Ducle Canyon downriver. Take a Collectivo or private lancha. Collectivo leaves at 9:30 am, purchase tickets at front desk. It’s a wonderful, all day long trip.
Check out the La Buga restaurant – which is manned by young graduates from Ak Tenamit. It’s created as a cooperative for the K’echi (Mayan) elders with the organizational help of an American, Steven Dudenhofer.
Ak Tenamit is worth a visit in itself. The school at Ak Tenamit blends traditional culture and wisdom of the Maya with an agriculturally based educational system from Colombia. Ak Tenamit is located in the Rio Dulce canyon, about a mile upstream as you enter it from the Golfete. There are two campuses: the most frequently visited is the boy’s campus located at the headwaters of the River Tatin.
Visit The Orphanage Casa Guatemala
About 150 children live and are educated here. This project raises food and supplies local restaurants and boats in the various marinas. You can purchase Casa Guatemala produced chickens, eggs, cheeses, and pork products when the CG lancha visits your marina or you can visit the Fronteras store, called “Granja de los Ninos” (the farm of the children). The children of Casa Guatemala are schooled in English and other subjects, learn to work, and to provide for themselves. It’s about a 20 minute lancha ride from Tortugal.
Go Caving at Finca Paraiso
A unique experience for the true adventurer! Required: a waterproof headlamp and a strong swimming skills. This area consists of three caves: The Waterfall Cave, The Shaman’s Cave, The Cave of the Canyon. This trip is permitted with a Finca Paraiso guide only.
Hot Waterfalls at Finca Paraiso
Take a swimsuit and Q15 entry fee to enter this magic place. Finca Paraiso is a private ranch which has its own school and church. A well marked trail overlooks the fast-flowing river. Down the trail to the rocks, scramble over to the shallows where you will discover small heat vents (near the cliffs to the right). Swim strongly to the hot waterfall (the one closest). The current can be strong depending on rainfall. If the water is not too high you will find a rock under the waterfall to steady yourself and enjoy a hot massage. If the river is low enough, you can duck behind the hot waterfall and steam yourself.
An afternoon soaking under these hot waterfalls is one of the best things you can do for yourself. An all day event, although the waterfalls are only about 45 minutes by bus, 2 hours by lancha.