We sailed into the Rio Dulce in mid July 2007 to avoid seasonal hurricanes in the Caribbean and to park the boat for awhile.  The crossing of the bar to enter the Rio Dulce river had our eyes wide shut.  At 5.0 ft. on the depth meter we are aground (based on experience that we will not bring up at this time),  check the depth meter indication as we crossed the bar to enter the river.  we just kept going with less than 6 inches of water under the keel.  That is faith in the cruising guides stating that the lowest the water over the bar ever drops to is 5.5 ft.  We do believe in cruising guides most of the time.  

Once in the river it was a nice reminder of the Rio Chagres.  The side walls of jungle topping 300 ft. was for great viewing.    As always we are impressed with how the local boaters afford these brand new outboard engines.  On up the 7 miles of river than across an 11 mile lake called El Golfete and then into the area where all the marinas and small village of Fronteras is located. And we still have not arrived at the main lake called Lago Izabal which is 30 miles long and 10 miles across.  We pulled into a truck driving red neck marina called La Joya del Rio (Hole in the River).  The nice thing about the marina is it is very low cost.   We traded some stuff from Moonlight for the first months slip fee and free electricity.  The remainder of the slip fee is still in the negotiating stage.   

Once the boat was secure in the marina, it was time to travel to the cities of Guatemala and Antigua.  So off to Guatemala we traveled in a very nice bus costing $6 per person.  After three days we traveled to Antigua and were not disappointed.  Antigua, Guatemala, in Central America, is a fascinating mix of ancient cultures, indigenous color, colonial history and impressive volcanoes.  The Spanish spoken here is very pure and has fewer adopted English words and slang. Antigua is a small, cobble stoned Spanish colonial city, once the capital of New Spain. Impressive ruins of churches, palaces and other buildings make it the only city of its kind in Latin America. In 1965 it was named a "Monument of the Americas". Situated at 5,000 feet and ringed by three volcanoes, it has a perfect climate, never overly warm or unusually cold.  This 17th century city is an enchanting city of about 48,000 residents and 50,000 tourists.  The city can be toured on foot or by horse carriage which we enjoyed one day.  Our other purpose was to explore the Spanish language schools there.  Since there are 43 different schools available we toured the three top recommended schools.  The PLFM language school where only Spanish is spoken from day one is the one that we would attend if we desire to learn more Spanish.  These pictures of Antigua display only a small portion of the beauty and charm of this ancient city. 

 Walking the ruins of one of the convents.Love the volcanoes. School children on their way for morning prayer.....the US schools could learn something from here!!