Blogs from Petén Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


Our Arrival The bus from Rio Dulce dropped us off in Santa Elena which is the town on the other side of the bridge from Flores island. The bus station was too far down to walk to Flores with our backpacks and the bus was met by taxi drivers. The first driver quoted us Q20 each which we rejected and walked outside the terminal. There a driver offered Q15 for the two of us which we agreed to. Where We Stayed Hotel Aurora - on Calle Union. Q125 for a double room with bathroom and TV. The place had internet, a roof top terrace, laundry sink and clothes lines and a small kitchen but no fridge. Rooms upstairs with views of the lake were more expensive. You could buy water refils however it was empty more ... read more

Ostatnie dwa dni to przejazd i pobyt w północnej Gwatemali (Peten). Z Semuc Champey wyjeżdżam o siódmej rano. I znowu decyduję się na przejazd autobusem turystycznym, który to przejazd powinien zająć jakieś 10 godzin. Przejazd chicken busami (możliwy) zająłby na pewno 2-3 godziny dłużej. Poranny wyjazd uświadamia wszystkim jak pięknym miejscem są okolice Semuc Champey. Niewielkie górki wyłaniające się z porannej mgły robąa wrażenie. Pierwsza godzina jazdy to droga z Semuc do Lanquin i pokonujemy ja na pace pick-upa. Przed Lanquin okazuje się, że są jakieś roboty drogowe i musimy trochę przejść z plecakami pieszo. W Lanquin zmieniamy pick-upa na busa turystycznego. Jest też chwila czasu, żeby w jakimś lokalnym comedorze zjeść śniadanie. Dalsze kilkadziesiąt kilometrów drogi to także droga szutrowa i mocno wyboista, co daje się we znak... read more
Flores rozczarowuje
Makieta ruin Tikal
Ceiba - swiete drzewo Majow

We are now in Guatemala, where we have been for almost a week. We’re staying in a shack overlooking a huge lake in the town of El Remate. It’s quite basic, Wifi is limited to non-existent, in fact we had no power at all on our first day, but the truth is it’s actually quite nice to get back to basics. Yesterday we visited the ruins of Tikal. According to the Guatemalans Tikal was first inhabited by the Mayans in 900 BC. I’m pretty sure it was inhabited long before this but I don’t want to argue, some of these people carry guns. Between me and you though, and I could be wrong (though I rarely am about these things) I’m pretty sure Tikal was once a rebel base used during the intergalactic war with the ... read more
Templo IV from the rainforest
Naughty Coati´s
Templo V

I leapt back with leg muscles all aquiver whilst a less than manly sound escaped from my rapidly constricting throat. In the black of night, this shape was darker than shadow. An enormous, bulbous body skittered past my right foot and by all ten of my toes. I had come within a centimetre of stepping on the biggest tarantula my eyes had ever seen. Such are the perils of leaving your tent to relieve yourself during the dead of night in the wilds of Guatemala. We were in the uninhabited far north of the country, with Mexico a handful of kilometres away. We had trekked to the largest of all the ancient Mayan cities, known today as El Mirador, where the tallest pyramid they ever constructed still stands. From atop these structures, the flat surrounds seem ... read more
Wild Turkeys in Guatemala are actually pretty damn cool!
My muddy leg at the end of Day 1. The following four days were the same.
Fresh jaguar print!

Last Tuesday, the 26th, a buddy of ours, old neighbor Dan, asked if we'd like to go to Belize for the weekend to renew our visas. Since our visa renewal date was coming up soon anyways we said "OF COURSE!" -- but he wasn't 100% sure of his plans so we agreed to chat at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning to decide if we really were going. By 9:05 Wednesday morning, we were emailing work and TRAMA and telling them we'd be out of touch for a week. A few hours later we were on our way to Belize with a very basic plan for the week: Bus to Guatemala City to catch a bus to Flores to go to Tikal and explore Mayan Ruins, then meet up with a friend of Dan's to spend the weekend ... read more
Seriously huge
Leaf Ant
Spider Monkey area


Guatemala was my first chance to pause after a couple of months of consistent travel up from Panama (oh the woes of the modern traveller!). I headed straight for its second city, Xela, partly because it was the gateway to a two day climb of Central America's highest peak and partly because the language schools were so incredibly cheap. I enrolled with Utatlan, where USD 155 got me 20 hours of private tuition, 7 days living with a family less than 10 minutes walk from the school, and 3 meals a day with the family! It was incredible value, given that by the time I'm next in London I'm sure a round of 4 pints will probably cost about the same!! For the real penny pinchers, I saw the same package offered with some of the ... read more
Early stage of the sunrise on the walk to the Tajumulco summit
View from the roof of Central America
Lago Atitlan - just before the clouds rolled in!!!

Hi all, just recovering from the overnight bus from Flores to Antigua. Great way to travel, no wasting a day but hard on the body. But I can rest up later, on to my day at Tikal. I travelled on a chicken bus from Rio Dulce to Flores hoping to catch the last public bus to Tikal. But since it's low season, there are no afternoon buses to Tikal, boo, I wanted to stay at the park. Thank heavens I didn't pre-pay for a reservation, whew... So I have no other choice but to stay in Flores, get up at 4am for the 4:30 bus if I want to be at the park at 6am. Those are the times, dawn and dusk, when the wildlife are most active. So me and 10 other bleary-eyed people are ... read more
This isn't even the tallest one
Gran Plaza Temple 1
My guide, Oliver

Hi all. Have made it up to Guatemala and it's still hot! It's not so much the heat as the humidity, you almost have to remind yourself to breath sometimes. I know, boo hoo, it's hot, but when it's running down your neck and other parts of the body, that kind of kills the fun for me. But enough of that. I'm currently in a place called Rio Dulce, literal Spanish translation is sweet river and it's pretty quiet and laid back here. Rio Dulce is on the lake Lago de Izabal at the base of what I'm told is the longest bridge in Cental America. Here in Rio Dulce, I'm staying in a little cabin on the lake at a marina and I've got to say, there are some expensive boats here! Apparently this is ... read more
Rio Dulce
Boats need gas too...
Lush jungle all around

So after a mini bus back to Guatemala city, dropped in the eveing at a strange bus stop we boarded a coach to Flores. The bus wasnt as nice as the Mexico buses but it was ok. The bus left at 10pm and arrived in Flores at 6am. The journey was pretty uneventfull, except for a check stop at 4am to confiscate any fruit on board the bus? Very strangem as we didnt cross any borders. We arrived in Flores tired and were met by are taxi to take us to the small jungle town of El Remate. We had booked into a jungle lodge called Posada del Cerro. The place was pretty cool. A jungle hut with 3 walls the back was open to the jungle with a balcony on it. Fun by day but ... read more

It was our final day in Guatemala and on the way to the Belize boarder we stopped off at Tikal to see some more Mayan ruins. I think at this point everyone had seen enough of the Mayan ruins because, as amazing as they looked, they all look pretty much the same and we had already visited Chichen Itza and Palenque in Mexico. I would say the best thing about these ruins at Tikal is that the temples rise above the rainforest canopy and give a spectacular view. However the highlight for me was probably seeing a monkey spider in the wild, but unfortunately I was unable to get a photo. I did however get to take a photo of a bird called a crested guan (I believe) and our tour guide told me that they ... read more
Chillin in Tikal

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