The Lake Izabal ( Lago de Izabal Spanish, formerly Golfo Dulce ) is the largest lake in Guatemala. The 48 km long and at its widest point, up to 20 km wide lake lies near the Caribbean Sea, with which it is connected by the Río Dulce, the mouth of which is situated on the south side of Livingston.
The fish-rich Lake Izabal has an area of 589.6 km ² and is up to 18 m deep. Important tributary is in the west of Río Polo Chic. The lake is connected to the open sea has always had a special significance for the maritime transportation and for trade. The Spanish colonizers often had to put against raids of British pirates to defend and built for this reason, in a narrow part of the lake on the northeastern end of the Castillo San Felipe de Lara. The lake and its surroundings today have tourist importance. There are several nature reserves. At the northwestern end of the lake is the town of El Estor, of which there is the only road link to Alta Verapaz in Zentralguatemala. A regular boat traffic there is only El Relleno to Livingston, but not over the lake itself, the compounds of Livingston about El Relleno and Castillo San Felipe El Estor be carried out by a few private boat owners.
The lake is conditionally affected by the wind direction, on its eastern side greatly from water hyacinth. It is home to a large number of manatees, which - like the bull sharks - change over the Río Dulce from the Caribbean Sea into the lake.
The lake around 1840
On the shore