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Puerto Barrios is a seaport and the capital of the department of Izabal on the Caribbean Coast of Guatemala. Its population is about 40,000 people. It is also the commercial heart of the region, because it has two ports: Puerto Barrios and Santo Tomás de Castilla. Santo Tomás is the biggest port in the country.
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About Puerto Barrios
One of the most visited places is a local river called "Las Escobas". Its in the cerro San Gil, outside the urban area of Puerto Barrios and Santo Tomás de Castilla. The river is famous for its crystalline water and is very cold. It's in the middle of the jungle, but is very easy to reach it by a road or walking. Now "Las Escobas" has been reconstructed into a beautiful hiking and swimming area. If you're an adventurer and like to hike, there is a hiking trail, of course you have to be careful with the surrounding for there might be snakes and other amphibians.
The river has several natural pools, and they look like paradise.
But check the weather report before going there. If it has been raining in recent days, the water will be dirty. It's not polluted, but it isn't nice to take a bath in.
If you don't feel like traveling for a few hours then you can just stay inside the city. There you can walk to the two parks that the city has. One is located in the old part of Puerto Barrios, its name is Tecun Uman. This park is right in front of the "Hotel del Norte." Recent construction has been made to this park, and now cars and motocycles can go to a paves terrace overlooking the ocean called "El Malecon." The other park is located on the opposite site, this park is called "Reina Barrios" There is a large outside theatre shaped like a shell, known as "La Concha Acústica".
Now if you feel like cooling off from the hot sun, there is a mall called "La Pradera" located outside Puerto Barrios going to Santo Thomas. There you can find a foodcourt with McDonalds, Pollo Campero, Domino's Pizza, Saritas (ice cream parlor), and many more different stationeries. There are clothing stores such as Gap, Adidas, and other local stores. There is also a game place near the foodcourt where you can play arcade games, air hockey, and ride a small carousel.
Puerto Barrios is a very nice place to hang around, to meet locals, enjoy the small citylife, go dancing, ...
Seafood is typical of the city. One of the best restaurants is restaurant Safari. It's located in the neighborhood "El Rastro". Safari is a nice, warm, cozy restaurant that is right beside the beach. There you can order traditional plates like tapado, camarones a la plancha, ceviche and many others. Another typical Garifuna-plate is rice'n beans, which has rice, beans, coconut cream and meat.
Other restaurants are "El Castillo", "Fogón Porteño", "Pepin Burger","Restaurante y Cafeterìa MAXIM" and "Doña María" and some others that have special things like churrascos or tortillas de harina.
If you like Cuban food, you can go to "La Habana Vieja". This restaurant is located on 8th avenue between 7th and 6th streets. You can eat the best pieces of meat in there.
If you want to try a typical of the entire country; you can go to "Pollo Campero" (Country Chicken) It's located in 8th street and 7th avenue, next to the Central Market. This is an international chain of restaurants like Kentucky Fried Chicken, but has the special Guatemalan flavour.
If what you are looking for is for 1st class cuisine, go to the Mar Brissa hotel or to Amatique Bay hotel. The finest restaurants in town. Both of them are a little far away form downtown, but is very easy to get to them.
For sure you should try the fresh fruits that are sold in the local market. Papaya, mango, melon, pineapple and many others like you've never eaten before. You should also taste the 'licuados', juices and milkshakes that refreshes very well in the tropical heat.
Another location you may want to visit is Amatique Bay, the only downside is that, people are required membership to get it.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Puerto Barrios on Wikivoyage.