Kyle Jared


Kyle Jared

I'm currently exploring a lot of places that I have wanted to see for quite a while though have not seemed to have been able to find the time. While I'm planning to see all the countries and sites that I have been wanting to see, the opportunity to cross countries and see all the amazing places in between that I hadn't known about is very exciting.

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal February 24th 2012

As we continued on an outer circle around the ruins, we came across some areas called complexes which were identified with letters instead of numbers. The complexes did not features such large temples, and some none at all. The one thing that they all did feature was a set of impressive hieroglyphic rock carvings (the best of which are now in museums) which contained the text of the ancient Maya. After having visited a few of these complexes, we noticed that the clouds started lifting at which point we decided to start making our way back to Temple IV – now about 25 minutes away. As we were walking through a trail in which we didn't encounter another visitor of park, we heard a crash in the trees above us and soon realized that there were ... read more
Stone Inscriptions 2
Me on Templo IV

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal February 23rd 2012

After one more day in Lanquin at the highly suggested El Retiro Lodge, we hopped a shuttle from Lanquin to Flores – our base for our tour of Tikal. I've started to learn that posted arrival times are rarely ever met as we left at 8 am and arrived near 6 pm (the trip was supposed to last 7 hours). We got off the shuttle with a hostel called La Union in mind. As we were waiting to get our bags off the roof, the tourist agency that ran the shuttle did all they could to convince us to stay in the hotel directly across the street from their agency. Tactics included providing a tour of the hotel and room commitment-free and then waiting an extreme amount of time to untie our bags from the roof ... read more
Flores Boardwalk
Flores Sunset
View from Hotel

While the dorm settings were less than ideal, the morning's light showed that the place we were staying in wasn't awful – if I put myself in the frame of mind that I'm staying at summer camp. The following morning as we were leaving to stay at another hostel recommended to us by the Israeli's in San Pedro, we met a couple of travelers from Uruguay and a mother and daughter traveling from Europe. The daughter actually told us that this was one of the few hostels in which you could actually walk to Semuc Champey (the only reason we had for traveling through Lanquin). Semuc Champey is a set of pools consisting of turquoise water set in a valley with mountains sloping into it from either side. The water that fills the pools is actual ... read more
Walking to Semuc Champey (2)
Semuc Champey Pools (1)
Semuc Champey Pools (2)

Since it's always a guess when I'll have a good internet connection down here and whether I'll actually be able to get a blog entry up, I've maintained a journal in which I've kept track of the trip and from that I plan to continue this blog online. That being said, the first line I wrote in my journal after arriving at our hostel in Lanquin may have been a little exaggerated, but was, “I'm pretty happy right now that I'm not dead, have not been robbed, nor assaulted in the last 24 hours.” The trip was my first experience of how variable Central American travel can be, and I have no doubt that there will be more like it and worse. Leaving San Pedro, we took an 8 am shuttle to Lanquin. In reality, our ... read more
Horror Dorm

A shuttle for 75Q ($10) brought us into San Pedro. The entrance was spectacular as we turned off the Pan American Highway for about an hour of driving through giant pot holes, steep grades, and blind turns around the many switch backs on the road. To cros the mountain ridge we first ascended into a cloud such that you could only see a few feet around you. After reaching the crest of the mountain, we started downhill with nothing more than amazing views all around us and turns that made us pray that the bus had good brakes. When we arrived in the town, we were swamped by people tyring to get us to come to their hostel - all saying that they worked for the municipality. Not wanting to get scammed ... read more
Me at Lake Atitlan
Volcan San Pedro from town
At the Entrance of the Volcano

After arriving in Guatemala City (or Guate) as all the locals refer to it, I immediately cancelled my fake return ticket. For those who I haven’t told me return ticket strategy, here’s the background. Most Central American countries have very old laws stating that anybody entering the country must have proof of onward travel, though none of them have checked for this for many years. Most airlines don’t care either, but some airlines (Spirit) will not allow you on your flight without a return plane ticket on some airline. In order to get around this, I went onto the night before my flight, booked a return ticket, and cancelled it as soon as I got through Guatemalan customs. I found a coffee shop with internet in the airport while I waited for ... read more
Church at Parque Central
Antiguan Street

North America » United States » Illinois » Springfield January 17th 2012

A few friends have asked that I make sure that I keep them up to date with the trip along the way and I'm already misplacing email addresses on scraps of paper that I received before moving back to Illinois. So I figured that doing a blog would be the best way to let those people follow my trip without me having to worry about forgetting someone on a list of email addresses. By the way, this is the weather outside as I write this post... makes me look forward to starting the trip as soon as possible.... read more

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