Livingston is either your first or last destination in Guatemala. Clear immigration, and start soaking up the local Garifuna culture. Find out all the basics inside!

How to Get To and From Livingston

Livingston, Guatemala is only accessible by boat. The most frequent internal boat departure runs to Rio Dulce Town, from where you can catch onward buses to Flores, Guatemala City, or Coban via El Rancho. The cost is Q125 (Q200 round trip), and includes a 90 minute tour of five attractions on the water. Visit our posts Rio Dulce Boat Tour to Livingston & Rio Dulce Town: An Unpleasant Base for more information.

Rio Dulce Town Boat Tours

The boat tour to Rio Dulce Town cost more than the boat/bus combo, but is a unique trip.

A cheaper but less scenic option is to catch a boat to Puerto Barrios (Q35, 30 minutes) that connects well with Guatemala City, or transfer along the way to the destinations listed above.

Rio Dulce Town Boat Tours to Livingston

Boats travel from Livingston to Puerto Barrios 5 times a day.

International boat departures from Livingston to Punta Gorda, Belize depart at 7 am Tuesday and Friday and cost Q200 (1 hour). Exotic Travel arranges boat/shuttle packages to Honduras starting at Q350.

Livingston Dock

The international dock is east of the pier for Rio Dulce boat tours.

Guatemala Immigration in Livingston

For direct transfers to/from Belize or Honduras, visit the Immigration Office on Calle Principal (6 am -6 pm). For early departures, stamp out the day before. You can change money at Banrural nearby, or withdraw money from the ATM.

Livingston Immigration Office

Don’t forget to stamp in or out. Hours are 6 am to 6 pm.

Things to Do in Livingston

There isn’t a lot to do in Livingston, which is why we recommend either not visiting or using it for transportation only. The main attractions are beaches, but they leave a lot to be desired. The ones near town butt up against the jungle, or are unsafe to swim due to contaminated water.

Livingston Beach

All the nice beaches are well outside of town proper.

You will quickly get the lay of the land in Livingston. The majority of your time will be spent waiting for transportation, wandering the streets, and people watching subsequently. From hustlers near the docks, to women washing clothes at the communal station, to kids playing their version of double-dutch, the town is alive with activity.

Wandering Streets of Livingston

Who knows what YOU will discover wandering the streets.

What makes this region of Guatemala unique is the Garifuna culture. Former African slaves have settled along the Caribbean Coast from Belize to Nicaragua. The two most identifiable qualities are Garifuna Drumming and their rich tasting food.

Livingston Garifuna Culture

Eat, drink, and dance like a local as you feel the rhythm of Garifuna culture.

What to Eat in Livingston

Food is a bit overpriced, but that is understandable since everything needs to be shipped in. Many eateries are located along Calle Principal. The local dish to try is Tapado, which consists of a collection of seafood, coconut milk, and plantains. The food here has more flavor than the rest of Guatemala, so give it a try if you have the time and aren’t on a strict budget.

Livingston Restaurants on Calle Principal

Most of your restaurants are on Calle Principal, but there are a few budget comedors off the main road.

For the rest of us, there is always street food.

Livingston Street Food

Street food is your cheapest option to eat during the 2.5 hour break for the return boat to Rio Dulce Town.

Where to Stay in Livingston

We were expecting a small backwater town when we first arrived. To our surprise, the hotels were better value than Rio Dulce Town. We found two cheap places on the road heading left after passing the park from the dock. One even had a pool!

Livingston Waterfront Hotels

Some of the cheapest hotels in are also waterfront properties.

***The Final Word – We don’t recommend visiting unless you are traveling to or from Belize.***

What made you consider visiting Livingston, Guatemala?

5 Shovels

Super easy DIY travel around city centres

Visited in July 2016