One thing I love about traveling, is spontaneity. If you allow yourself to veer off course and explore the unknown, it is common to be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Yesterday, was another one of those incidences. We had heard about a Castillo (castle) near where we were staying, overlooking the water in Rio Dulce. We drove through some narrow streets, past curious locals, until we found a place to park the trucks.
We walked the grounds, admiring the beauty of the trees, flowers, and views of the water. Fisherman slowly trolled by with their nets loaded down.
Castillo de San Felipe is located on Lake Izabel and was built in 1644 and was still used well into the 18th century! It is a Spanish Colonial Fort with direct access to the Caribbean Sea & was used by the Spanish for several centuries, during which time it was destroyed and looted several times by pirates. was built to protect the port of San Antonio de las Bodegas on the south shore of Lake Izabal from frequent pirate attacks, mostly by English pirates. After nightfall, passage along the river into the lake was blocked by a large chain that crossed from the fort to the far bank.
The first appearance of the castle, didn’t seem overly impressive. It was a massive Stone walled complex. As we approached, though, it was surprising to see the draw bridge and mote leading into the wall.
The architecture was intriguing. I loved the arched doorways,and maze like floor plan. Each room led to another series of rooms, until we reached some stairs that led to the terrace.
From there the views were stunning, with the breeze blowing, sunshine beaming. What a place this must have been in it’s heyday (1600s).
We spent an hour or 2 exploring, glad that we ventured off our route to see what was around us.