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Bocas Del Polochic - Other Activity El Estor - Guatemala

If you really want to get away from it all, get back to nature and see a unique part of Guatemala, El Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bocas del Polochic (RVSBP) nature reserve is a beautiful choice. The 207.6 kilometers² (20,760 hectares) refuge is home to more than 250 species of bird, 39 species of mammals, 138 species of reptiles and 53 different types of fish. It is also home to just over a million inhabitants, mostly settled around the river basins and engaged in agriculture and commerce. About 5000 indigenous Q’echi’ also live here in eight communities, benefiting from their fertile surroundings for farming, fishing and firewood. The park is administered by the Defensores de la Naturaleza, an independent group sanctioned by the government, who collaborate with the communities to find sustainable and alternative ways to live and work in the reserve, at the same time as protecting the rich environment.

To this end, the area is being developed as an ecotourism center. It is a fantastic place for bird-watching or a spot of boating – try a trip in a traditional ‘cayucos’. In Selempim the Defensores have a base where researchers and tourist can stay and there is the Hostal y Restaurante Chapín Abajo, run by the community of the same name. Alternatively, the Defensores can organise home-stays deep in the reserve and will put you in touch with local Q’echi’ who work as tour guides and craftsmen.

It is not an easy place to access. The public lanchas ($10, one hour) make infrequent journeys on odd days and the private hire boats are expensive (up to $150 return). Call in the office of the Defensores de la Naturaleza who will know the current boat schedule and can help arrange accommodation and transport (5a Avenida and 2a Calle, El Estor, URL: www.defensores.org.gt ). If you don’t have days to spare hire a local boatmen in El Estor to give you a guided day-tour to the edges of the reserve, usually around $80 for two people.

Location:
El Estor, Guatemala

Other Activity Types:
Wildlife refuge, National park (flora)

Relative price: Mid-Range

Travel Skills: intermediate/somewhat difficult.

Currencies accepted
Guatemalan quetzal










By Joanne Sykes

Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Jo is currently working as a freelance travel writer in Latin America. With degrees in...

20 Jul 2010




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