Cruise ships dock in Santo Tomás de Castilla, just across the bay from Puerto Barrios , where those wishing to go ashore will find some of the country’s best bird-watching, lush tropical rainforests, and refreshing jungle rivers.
In August 2006, Carnival Cruise Lines announced the construction of a $40 million cruise ship terminal, though the project appears to have fallen by the wayside. In any case, Santo Tomás continues to receive cruise ships in ever-increasing numbers and local tourism authorities in nearby Lívingston  and Río Dulce  are improving the quality of their services to cater to these new arrivals. It seems the once-sleepy Guatemalan Caribbean Coast may soon be abuzz with travelers.
The history of Santo Tomás de Castilla actually dates to 1604, when it was founded as the coast’s original colonial port. It was abandoned within a few years but later became the site of an ill-fated Belgian colony in 1843 after Guatemala’s independence from Spain.
A paved road from Puerto Barrios leads to the main shipping center. From there, a dirt road continues along the coast to some of the area’s natural attractions.