Walking tour in Livingston, Izabal
published jun 15th, 2015
I took a walking tour in Livingston, Izabal with a local artisan named Peachy. It cost me Q70 ($9.30), lasted a couple of hours and followed a haphazard crisscrossing pattern that covered plenty of ground. I went alone - better prices are available for groups. (Don't feel like reading? Skip to the slideshow.)
Homes in Livingston (off the main road) are tucked between trees and lustrous green space.
Livingston is an interesting town. A large portion of its population is Garifuna, a people of African origin who arrived in the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent in the late 17th century, and were subsequently relocated to the Caribbean coast of Central America in the late 18th century. Livingston’s population was most recently recorded as somewhere around 11,000, although my guide Peachy said it’s closer to 30,000 including the outlying communities away from the town’s small, dense collection of concrete roads. You’d never guess at the population - many neighborhoods are obscured between close packed trees and shrubbery. There’s actually quite a bit of ‘green space’ once you step away from Livingston’s calle principal.
San Marcos Sanchez Diez delivered the Garifuna to the Caribbean coast of Central America
The town is only accessible by boat, although even cars and trucks can reach it via ferry. It serves as a port of entry for many travelers arriving from Belize, and as such hosts a fully authorized and equipped immigration office. (Speaking of which - need to renew your Guatemalan visa? Check out the easy way in Livingston.) Colectivo water taxis leave Livingston’s main port for Belize and Río Dulce on a regular schedule.
The walking tour through and around Livingston is pretty cool, and Peachy’s glad to adapt the walk to what you’re most interested in. I visited a few beaches, lots of neighborhoods, the church, cemetery, library and cultural center, as well as the Quehueche river. You can also kayak up the jungled Quehueche, although I didn’t include it in my trip.
Walking tour guide and handcraft artisan Peachy
To arrange a tour of your own, stop by Casa Nostra to find a guide. They’ll put you in touch with Peachy or a different guide depending on what you’re looking for.