Mayan villages & sweet rivers
Located on the eastern coast of Guatemala and considered one of the country’s most important cargo destinations, Santo Tomas de Castilla dates back to the 19th century when it was settled by Belgian pioneers. It’s only since 2004 that cruise ships have started including Santo Tomas De Castilla as a port of call, so while the town itself may not have an abundance of attractions, there are still plenty of things to do.
See the Mayan ruins at Quirigua (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Lake Izabel, and the nearby towns of Livingston and Puerto Barrios. Take a river cruise down the Rio Dulce (Sweet River), head to the Omagua Banana Plantation for a firsthand look at how Chiquita bananas are chosen, or take part in a special Cruise Global, Connect LocalSM shore excursion and visit the Ak’Tenamit Indigenous Community, a Maya village on the River Tatin.
These ancient Mayan ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and just a quick trip away from Santo Tomas De Castilla. Step back in time and explore this ancient site spanning 1.2 square miles. The monuments at Quiriguá include unusually large stone carvings made from single blocks of red sandstone.
The largest lake in Guatemala, Lake Izabal is a teeming with wildlife and natural beauty. Some species that call the lake and surrounding area home include manatee, jaguar, spider monkey, and howler monkey. The lake is also an extremely popular spot for birdwatching.
Take a leisurely cruise up the peaceful Río Dulce for a chance to get closer to the stunning jungle scenery. Keep your eyes peeled for fresh water dolphins, manatees, toucans, and several other species of tropical birds that call the river banks home.
Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala At a glance