San Felipe de Lara Castle
One of the most visited monuments in the country, living history of times gone by.
Small fortress overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Located in the Izabal region, very close to the border with Honduras, the San Felipe de Lara Castle is a permanent reminder of the country's past. This small, military-style building dates back to the 17th century and was used as a defensive fortress, a prison (no small number of pirates of the Caribbean were imprisoned here over the years) and a busy customs post, being in a strategic position for trade between the continents. It also served to defend Spanish rule against other powers who were also interested in making a profit in the area. After various renovations which have kept the fortress in a good state of repair, it is currently one of the main tourist attractions in Guatemala, both for its historical importance and its prime location on the Caribbean Sea. Its Torre de Bustamante, a watchtower that guards impassively from on high, is its most characteristic feature.