San Felipe Castle and Río Dulce

San Felipe Castle and Río Dulce

Explore both the San Felipe Castle and the Río Dulce during this tour. The castle, which is set at the mouth of the Río Dulce, dates back to the 17th century and has fantastic views of Lake Izabal.

Featured in:Archeology, Boat Tours, Guided Tours, Ruins, San Felipe's Castle
3 hrs
Available Days:
Every day
8:00 AM, 9:00 AM
Hotel Transport Included
Mobile Ticket Included
Offered in English, Spanish

This tour is a good introduction to some of Guatemala’s history and nature. You’ll visit an old stone castle and experience one of Guatemala’s most vibrant riparian ecosystems.

The San Felipe Castle is set along the northern shores of Lake Izabal. The Spanish built the castle in 1652 to defend the region from British pirates, who would sail up the Río Dulce to Lake Izabal. The castle has three stories and was initially only accessible via a drawbridge. Once the Spanish left Guatemala, San Felipe was used as a prison but was eventually abandoned; the present version was reconstructed in 1956. In 2002, the San Felipe Castle was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. While here, you’ll tour the castle’s rooms and see old canons. There are also wonderful views of Lake Izabal from here.

The Río Dulce connects Lake Izabal with the Caribbean Sea. It was one of Guatemala’s first protected areas, having been recognized for its valuable natural resources since 1955. Today, the Río Dulce National Park protects some 17,800 acres (7,200 ha) of important riparian habitat. The river stretches 18 miles (30 km) from lake to sea, passing through tropical forests, gorges and canyons along the way. During this portion of the tour you’ll explore some of the river on boat and have a chance to spot wildlife.

Attraction Visited

San Felipe's Castle

El Castillo de San Felipe de Lara is a fortress along the northern shores of Lake Izabal in Guatemala. More commonly known as “El Castillo de San Felipe,” the castle was originally built by the Spanish in 1652 to ward off pirates.

Read more:San Felipe's Castle

What to Bring

Sunscreen, hat, camera, and money for meals, personal expenses, handicrafts, and tipping the guide and/or driver.

What's included

Transportation, entry and Spanish guide at the San Felipe Castle.


Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.

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