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Izabal

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Izabal

Izabal is one of the 22 departments that make up the nation of Guatemala.

Izabal is bordered to the north by Belize, to the north east by the Gulf of Honduras, and to the east by Honduras, and by the Guatemalan departments of Petén to the north west, Alta Verapaz to the west, and Zacapa to the south.

The department of Izabal surrounds Lago Izabal (or Lago de Izabal), Guatemala's largest lake (about 48 km long and 24 km wide, with an area of about 590 km²). The Spanish Colonial era Fort of San Felipe, now a Guatemalan national monument, overlooks the point where the lake flows into the Río Dulce.

The small town of Izabal is on the south shore of the lake; before the construction of the ports of Livingston and Puerto Barrios in the 19th century this was Guatemala's main Caribbean Sea port and was the original seat of Izabal department; nowadays, however, Izabal town is a remote village that gets little traffic.

From the area around Lake Izabal, the Department of Izabal stretches along the Río Dulce to the coast of the Caribbean Sea.

The department of Izabal includes the ports of Puerto Barrios (the departmental seat) and Livingston. Izabal also includes the Pre-Columbian Maya ruins of Quirigua.

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The Río Dulce at Izabal (early 20th-century postcard)

Municipalities

  1. El Estor
  2. Livingston
  3. Los Amates
  4. Morales
  5. Puerto Barrios

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