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Siete Altares Waterfall Guetemala?


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Hello - we will be in Santo Tomas on March 28 (Norwegian Sun).


I was wondering if anyone has visited these waterfalls. I've seen some pictures and they look beautiful!


Did you go alone or on a tour? If you did go on a tour did you book it ahead of time or once at the port & with who?


I was also wondering if anyone did the Las Escobas Waterfalls Explorer through the ship & was it any good?


I'm just full of questions (lol)! It's our first cruise and I want to be able to make the most out. I appreciate any input.



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Sheraz, We are cruising with you. There is a Roll Call going for 3/25/06 on the Sun if you want to join. Roll Call > Sun > Who's Going 3/25/06.


We are thinking about doing this too. We don't plan to book this tour through the ship because I've read that there are guides offering this trip inside the main building at the at the port. They take you by boat, small groups and you have about 2 hour at the falls. I think I read it takes about 30 min. by boat. If you search back to the first group that went there on the Sun 1/28/06 they left some good feedback (look in their old roll call for some reviews). That was the first time that port was visited by NCL. If you can't find the info here on CC let me know I have it printed out in my file and could probably dig it out.

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Here are some previous posts, hope it helps:


We just got back from WCarib on the Sun, apparently one of the first cruise ships to visit San Tomas in Guatemala. The ship's info consisted of one line about it being a rural area, but they of course offered the tours. We prefer to skip ship's tours and venture out on our own.

At the terminal you'll walk through a large indoor market area, with all kinds of native crafts, the usual t-shirts, jewelry, etc. There is a real air of desperation with the vendors -- they drop the price by 50% immediately, even before you decide if you like an item. I defy you to get out of there without buying SOMETHING once these folks look you in the eye! (Also you can get beer for $1/bottle while you shop from the woman in back of the chairs/tables set up for the musical entertainment in the middle of the room.)

Going out the door of that building, you'll see the gate where you can exit the port. We met a couple who were returning and asked them what they saw. They said there is nothing out there, just some houses. No town? No... [turns out they were wrong...see below] ok, so we checked out the men selling the taxi tours. There were lots of taxis and vans lined up, as in any port. For $15/person for four people, we could get a ride to the waterfalls ($5 entry) and see the area. (Cheaper with more people.) Within a couple minutes we were joined by two Canadian ladies and embarked with our driver Jose. He spoke a bit of English and was very friendly. The ride to the falls took about 20 minutes on a bumpy gravel road. One of our companions took a zillion pictures out the window, as we passed the local scenes. I think it was her first time in Central America and she was fascinated by the trees, flowers, houses, children, animals, yards, you name it. At the waterfalls, which is in a protected, national reserve, an English speaking woman introduced us to our guide, Luis, an adorable 12 year old. The woman explained that the children do this as part of their education. He spoke only Spanish so I asked her to tell him to limit his vocabulary with us to the simplest terms! aqua, bonita, eg. were about all we understood. He pointed out the names of some plants and trees along the way. The walk through the rainforest was gorgeous and not too strenuous...there were wooden bridges and well groomed stairs, and the walk was 20-30 minutes. Just to be in what we assume is primary growth rainforest was very special. At the end there was a small pool [you could swim there if you wanted] and waterfalls. Don't expect Niagara Falls! but it was a lovely scene and cool. Our taxi driver came with us and said he could sit there all day. There were three or four armed guards at this point (rather incongruous at the peaceful scene!) and we were told it was because of orchid poachers.

After we were back in the car, we four gringos were trying to remember the Spanish word for town. Someone finally remembered barrio and the cab driver thought we wanted to go to the next town, Puerto Barrio. He was in no hurry to get back, so we took him up on his offer and rode about 15 minutes to the next town, a busy port town. Again, very colorful and very native--other than the Coca Cola and Pepsi signs, everything was Spanish. It was nice that there were no McD, KFC, etc, which are too typical in such places!



February 5th, 2006, 04:37 PM


back from 1/28 sun

Hi everyone

Here's what we did in Santo Tomas, Guatemala. A small group of us got a water taxi right at the dock $25.000 pp and went 1 1/4 hours up the coast to see the Siete Altares water falls ($1.50 to get in) The waterfalls and jungle was nice, very few bugs. We went swimming in the creek and jumped off the rocks. that was fun. We met a couple of police on the way down the trail and were told the goverment was doing this to make the tourist feel safer. We stopped at a restaurant the guide knew on the way back. I didn't care for that. If we had stopped in Livingston on the way back that would have been better. It was a good day overall as we got to see and do something different. I did talk to some who went to Amatique Bay and did not enjoy it but I will let them tell you about that. The Guatemalan people are very nice and you should try to do something away from the port as it is more of an industrial area. I was told this was only their second cruise ship to dock and when we left port they lined up all the buses and cars and beeped their horns for 15 to 20 minutes as a send off. that was special.

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Hi, we'll also be on our first cruise in April (HAL Veendam), stopping in Santo Tomas. No doubt finding the same info you did, I also became interested in Siete Altares. I read in a guidebook, however, that the falls may not be be as impressive in the dry season (i.e., now).


If you go, please report back with details so I can take into account your experience when we make our decision in port.




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The falls are beautiful but, only when it rains at least for two days before you arrive; also, Rio Dulce Canyon is nature at its best for nature lovers and bird watchers. The canyon is still pristine, and the fishermen doing their daily work is worth the visit. Just ask if it has rained recently to your tour guide when you come.:)

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