San Felipe de Lara Castle

San Felipe de Lara Castle or Castillo de San Felipe de Lara is located in Rio Dulce, Department of Izabal. It is a military fort from Colonial times open to the public everyday from 8 AM to 5 PM. You can reach there by boat, by car or a 15 minute walk from Rio Dulce town. The tour around it can take about an hour, and you have to walk from the entrance of the park to the castle around 600 feet.

At the beginning of the 16th century the area around Rio Dulce was important for the commerce between Guatemala and Spain. As there were a lot of attacks from pirates in this area, a tower called Tower of Sande (Torre de Sande) was build in 1595. In 1604 the tower was rebuild and Called Torre de Bustamante. Again in 1651 by Laray Mogrovejo the castle was rebuild again. {jumi [googlead.php]}By 1669 the castle was very damaged and in 1679 it was taken by the pirates. In 1684 it was taken again by pirates, put on fire and robbed. By 1688 the castle was rebuild one more time by Military Engineer Andres Ortiz de Urbina. The last rebuild of the castle was done around year 2000 to make it possible to receive visitors, as it has been damaged by time.

The castle is located inside a park that includes a small market and a cemetery.