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Santo Tomas Guatemala


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hi.

We were in Santo Tomas in January this year.

The port is an industrial port, there's nothing there except a big shed where they set up a market with touristy stuff.

You can't really walk to anywhere from the port.

Are there any excursions being offered by your ship that you're interested in?

We went on a trip by bus to a place called Rio Dulce, there was a 15th century fortress there, on the lake, and a river. We went on a river boat for a trip to look at the wildlife on the lake and then stopped at a local hotel for a snack. Not much to see but it was interesting if you've never been to a place like Guatemala before, which I hadn't.

If you're into the Mayan culture the ship will probably organise some tours that you will love.

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Cathi .... Sorry, we can't be of much help because we've always docked in Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala.

 

HOWEVER ....

 

Cruise Critic does have a Guatemala Forum with info on Santo Tomas which you might find interesting.

 

This should take you directly there unless I mess it up. :rolleyes:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=460

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  • 1 month later...

We love Guatemala and have been several times and always book with Gus. His company is "Go with Gus" and he picks you up at the ship dock in his boat and spends the entire day taking you to parts of Guatemala you would never see on other tours. You visit a school (you can take some supplies for the kids if you want), an area that I think is called "Lake of the Lillies"-simply beautiful. These people use boats to get aound not cars so it's not unsual to see them transporting livestock in canoes. There is a general store with lovely boat carvings as well as a lady making homemade tortillas over an open flame (delicious)!. You will visit a restaurant for a traditional lunch and visit the town with beautiful woven tapestries. This has been among our top 3 excursions!! I think Gus visits his son in the US part of the year so I don't know if his tour is available year-round. We have always been in November. What ever you do, be sure to be on deck at sailaway as the locals (dancers & cabbies) give a wonderful send-off not to be forgotten. These are beautiful and friendly people who are proud of their country and really appreciate the tourists. Enjoy!!

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Thanks everyone - We were in Guatemala in Feb and did a land tour. So we have been to Tikal - can't believe what they want for a day tour to Tikal!!!! We also had lunch on the Rio Dulce on our way to Tikal.

 

Sheephugs - thanks for the suggestion for a private guide. I'll see if he has a web page.

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We love Guatemala and have been several times and always book with Gus. His company is "Go with Gus" and he picks you up at the ship dock in his boat and spends the entire day taking you to parts of Guatemala you would never see on other tours. You visit a school (you can take some supplies for the kids if you want), an area that I think is called "Lake of the Lillies"-simply beautiful. These people use boats to get aound not cars so it's not unsual to see them transporting livestock in canoes. There is a general store with lovely boat carvings as well as a lady making homemade tortillas over an open flame (delicious)!. You will visit a restaurant for a traditional lunch and visit the town with beautiful woven tapestries. This has been among our top 3 excursions!! I think Gus visits his son in the US part of the year so I don't know if his tour is available year-round. We have always been in November. What ever you do, be sure to be on deck at sailaway as the locals (dancers & cabbies) give a wonderful send-off not to be forgotten. These are beautiful and friendly people who are proud of their country and really appreciate the tourists. Enjoy!!

 

sheephugs - do you know of anyway to get a hold of Gus. I found his web page but everything I send by email kicks back as no longer in service. Is he still there???????

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Were booked on March 24, 2013 (Ryndam) and going to the Tikal Mayan Site on the Ships excursion. Is anyone else doing this or has done it? I found out Tikal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and on the Smithsonian list of places to see before you die. I am so excited. I'm not worrying about the cost, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.

http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/content/lifelist/

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list

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  • 1 month later...

I went to Tikal through the ship's excursion in December. (MS Riviera) My husband was hesitant to spend so much money, but even he said it was worth every penny.

 

The bus picked us up at the pier and took us to the military airport where two really small charter planes were waiting. If you need, go to the restroom in the administration building of the airport. Let the guide know and bring your own paper. The busride was about 45 minutes due to heavy traffic. The plane ride was about 30 minutes. The airport in Flores is modern and clean. We were greeted with fruit punch and a picknick box by our guide and taken to a small modern bus.

 

The ride into the mountains was about 35 minutes. Normally, the bus parks behind the front gate where the little stores and the museum are. It is then a 2 mile hike to the ruins, rough trail. Wear good walking shoes. In our case, the guide asked for permission to take the bus into the site, what incredible luck! We had three passengers who would never have managed the 2 mile treck.

 

Our bus dropped us at the high pyramid on whose backside a wooden staircase leads up to the top. Wonderful views from up there. The bus then took us to the Plaza surrounded by temples. Normally you would hike on the trail that the bus took, it was just narrow enough to fit.

 

Tikal was crowded with local visitors on Dec 15th. I took as many photos of modern day Mayas as of the ruins. Entire families from toddlers in strollers to grandpa in a wheelchair had picknicks. About 30% of the visitors were Norteamericanos and Europeans, some of them what the locals call "New Age People". We had an hour on our own on the Plaza. The two steep pyramids are off limits, but the palace and the collapsed pyramid can be climbed.

 

On the return to Flores, we were taken to a restaurant on the lake for lunch and driven around the island before our return to the airport. Security at the empty airport is tight.

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  • 2 months later...

We didn't get to Tikal, maybe next time. We went to Querqua this time.

This is out second visit to St. Thomas, Guatamala. We love the port and the people. You should do a Mayan excursion of some type, but save some time to shop. The new building which was pictured in an earlier post is full of colorful shopping and wonderful music. When the cruise ship leaves, the residents come to wave good-by. Where else do you ever see that? I should look for my photo!

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  • 11 months later...

We booked from shoretrips.com, this ended up with us going on a 'Go With Gus' tour.

 

I would highly recommend his tour. We did the 'Humanitarian tour'.

 

Listed at abut 4.5 hours, for us it actually ran for 6.5 hours which was a bonus since there isn't much else to do in port.

 

The tour gave us a chance to really experience the people, the river and the culture.

 

Best tour guides we ever had anywhere.

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  • 3 months later...

We'll be stopping in Santo Tomas also. I'm really conflicted about this port. On one hand, I love meeting locals and learning about their culture. On the other hand, Guatemala has a horrific reputation for violence. Anybody have recent information on safety in Guatemala, particularly in this region?

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We went to Guatemala in February 2014, with a Go With Gus tour which was excellent. My opinion is that at the cruise port in Guatemala the crime in that area is very low. We had no issues. Go With Gus; Gus is a resident of USA who spends part of his time in Guatemala. There were no safety concerns on this tour, he and all his staff were excellent. I would highly recommend his tour company as safe and reputable, and on of the best cruise tours (of many) that we have been on.

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We had a really great time with "Go with Gus" Livingston Humanitarian Tour ($90/person) during our recent cruise in the western carribean. Gus will meet you right at the dock and is a very friendly and welcoming guide. Livingston is the gateway to the beautiful Rio Dolce canyon and about a 45 minute boat ride along the picturesque coastline of Santo Tomas, Guatemala. The boat is a covered and open air but be aware it can be very bumpy ride! Upon arrival in Livingston you will stop for some delicious local fruits at Gus's hotel. You then depart by boat up the Rio Dolce where you will make several stops for homemade tortillas and salsa, visit with the children who live along the river and if open, stop at a local school to interact with the children. We were there during their spring break so the schools were closed. Along the river, children will greet you in their canoes where gifts of any kind are truly appreciated. After our river cruise we then went back to Gus's hotel and had lunch then toured the village of Livingston. The lunch was fish, rice and fruit - really good! The village was bustling and picturesque, but is also filled with your typical "tourist shops". It was very hot..and our little group of 8 people were not much into shopping.. so we were ready to get back on the boat for another fast, bumpy ride, but we really enjoyed the scenic views of the coastline. I would recommend this excursion.

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  • 10 months later...

We're cruising on HAL in March 2016. After much research, we are going on the Go with Gus Livingston Humanitarian tour in Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala. They have some very good reviews on Trip Advisor, and the price is $ 89 compared to an almost identical tour offered by the cruise line for $119. We want our kids to experience the culture while we are there for the day.

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I've been researching things to do while in this port. The information is very limited; Here's a good article:

 

http://westerncaribbeancruises.org/top-10-things-to-do-in-santo-tomas-de-castilla-guatemala-port/

 

This is my second time visiting Guatemala. The 1st time I booked a cruise ship excursion. It was nice but I didn't feel as if I experienced the culture.

 

Here's what else I found;

 

7 Altares

Pacaya Volcano :)

Rio Dulce Canyon

Las Ecotour - National Springs Reserve :)

 

You can find reviews on Trip advisor just search Livingston, Guatemala. I hope this helps.

Edited by tlacabe
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We're also going to be heading to this port in December, but with a three and five year old. Would any of you who have been on the tours listed above suggest that they are kid friendly? I was thinking that this would be a good port to just stay on the ship (or use the kids club while we go on an excursion). Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Echoing all the questions already asked.........

 

Thanks to those who already posted; anyone else have any comments about this port?

 

 

Scanditaly

 

There are additional comments about this port in the Guatemala section of the Port of Call Boards.

You might find that helpful

Edited by EatonDoolittle
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