A most enjoyable stay comes to an end – El Estor, Guatemala

El Estor Map

El Estor, Guatemala Central America

For a look at a larger map of the area, click here.

A post of a map to begin this blog, because if you pass by Juan Ramon and Violeta’s Hotel Calle Real in El Estor, you are making a mistake. A most enjoyable stay was had by this writer, and it will go down as one of  THE best places I have visited.

Juan Ramon and Violeta enjoying a laugh

For the last night of my stay, Jaun, Violeta and I sat outside the restaurant, saying good evening to the people walking by, while in the background, music by Alabama, The Supremes, and Ike and Tina Turner ( “Rollin’ Down The River”) played over my computer into their big speakers.

In Guatemala, having coffee in the fresh evening air, small talk about life in general, and good music from the 60’s and 70’s playing in the background – does it get any better?

I would find it hard to figure out how!

Hotel Calle Real courtyard

Speaking limited Spanish, Juan and Violeta speaking limited English , we talked about prices of homes around El Estor ($10,000 to $15,000 for a 2 bedroom, living room, kitchen and bath), violence in the bigger cities, music that we liked, and that we had become quick friends.

A tranquil place that Juan and Violeta have retired to.

Juan had worked for Texaco, building their gas stations in Guatemala, while living in Guatemala City. After 25 years, it was time for them to move back to where they grew up – El Estor, on the shores of Lake Isabal.

They built the Hotel Calle Real, the restaurant, and are living out their lives in this beautiful, little town.

See the profile of the face on the cliff?

From the hotel, I visited a canyon that runs into the Sierra Madres that surround El Estor to the north. A pretty little boat ride of about 15 minutes up the canyon offers a great view of high, jungle covered cliffs, and a rambling stream.

Further east, towards Rio Dulce a heated stream comes out of the mountain side, and rolls down rocks to a cool stream One can make out the head of a serpent one view from the top of a cliff, and the profile of a monkey’s head looking at a different angle.

Big monkey!

Draws a very good tourist crowd from Rio Dulce. There were about 12 people diving into the cool, refreshing waters of the stream.

The water is said to have great benefits for the skin and your health. This author bypassed a swim, not really feeling a need to get wet in the jungle!

Further downstream, the local Mayans bathed and washed clothes. The stream does run into Lake Isabal, and it is another aspect of the local situation that puts the ecosystem at risk .

From here, the Mayans walk into town with tortillas to sell, along with any other vegetables or items that they have made or grown that can fetch some money.

Like most towns in Guatemala, El Estor does not have any factories or production businesses to support the towns people.

High mountains to the north, Lake Isabal to the south, and a paved road that ends just outside the city limits, El Estor is the last main town until you get to Coban.

It will be better for me and my car, to retrace my route back to Rio Dulce, cross the river, and head west on the other side of the lake on Hwy. 9.

A little extra travel time, but the diversion to El Estor was worth every minute of having to retrace my route. Truly an enjoyable experience.

Cheers for now!

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About John Wilson

Traveler, writer and photographer. No home now, just traveling the world in search of the lost chord.
This entry was posted in A most enjoyable stay comes to an end, Guatemala - the country, the people, the sites and pictures and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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