Finca Paraíso in Rio Dulce, Izabal
published jan 4th, 2015
Finca Paraiso is a private property near Rio Dulce that’s well known as a local daytime hangout. The property boasts plenty of shaded and cool riverside areas, a few natural hot springs with water reaching about 40 ºC (100 ºF), and a sunny beach for those days that are cool enough to sunbathe.
The waterfall cascades down several sides of the rock, into the water below.
Total roundtrip cost per person to Finca Paraiso from Rio Dulce is Q40. Transportation in total takes about one hour each way. The park generally closes at 5:00 pm.
There’s a small restaurant near the entrance to the park that serves three meals daily. Vendors often work in and around the area selling coconuts, fruits, candies and more. The park can be uncomfortably busy during the winter holidays (late December through the first week of January) as well as near Semana Santa (the week preceding Easter Sunday).
How to get to Finca Paraiso from Rio Dulce
This trip starts from downtown Rio Dulce, and begins much the same as the trip to Castillo San Felipe. Microbuses heading to both locations leave from the first major intersection in downtown Rio Dulce, shown on the map below.
The area in which to catch a microbus is at the first major intersection in downtown Rio Dulce.
1. Walk into Rio Dulce along the main highway until you come to the first major intersection with a road leading off to the left. It’s marked by a big, overhead street sign.
The road off to the left of this roadsign is where you'll catch the bus.
2. Board a microbus heading to Finca Paraiso. Buses will be parked along both sides of the roadway leading off to the left. Generally speaking, buses on the far side of the road are going to Finca Paraiso. It’s always best to double-check your destination with the driver or driver’s helper (ayudante).
3. Get out at the Finca Paraiso stop. The ride is about forty-five minutes depending on traffic, and costs Q15 one way. The ayudante should announce the stop, but here’s some details just in case: You’ll pass a few highway signs for El Estor along the way. The last one you pass for El Estor will read 19 km. After that, you’ll enter Aldea Agua Calientes. The stop for Finca Paraiso is just after the bridge in Aldea Agua Calientes.
This is where you'll get off of the bus. Walk inside (to the right of the building) to the hot springs and river. Cross the road behind you to head to the beach.
4. The road to the sunny riverside beach is on the far side of the highway. The road to the shaded river and hot springs is on the side you’re let down on. Entrance fee is Q10. If you’re headed to the sunny beach the walk is about twenty minutes. There are a few roads on the other side of the highway but all of them lead to the beach — just stay on the most obvious path. The walk to the shaded riverside area (on the side of the highway you're let down at) is about ten minutes along the only available road. If you follow the path all the way to the end, you’ll see a twenty-five foot or so waterfall with plenty of lounging area around its base.
The entrance to the shaded river and hot springs. Entrance fee is Q10.
In the shaded river area, the hot springs are located at the top of the waterfall. The waterfall itself and its source water range from about 35 ºC to 40 ºC (95 ºF to 104 ºF). The river below is cool in comparison.
The path to the shaded river can be very slippery. Be careful!
The park closes around 5:00 pm. Buses returning to Rio Dulce can be caught on the opposite side of the road where you were let down, beneath the cement shaded area.
There are plenty of shaded areas along the river leading to the waterfall.
Enjoy! The Finca Paraiso property is really large — there’s plenty to explore off the beaten path and lots of areas to camp out and have some privacy with your group.