Blogs from Tikal, Petén Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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I got a bit ahead of myself in the last blog. We actually spent some time in Tikal after crossing the border into Guatemala and back into Belize. Commence Tikal… We (Cheryl, Chuck, and I - Leila) arrived to Tikal Wednesday, January 10, 2018 in the afternoon. It was nice to return and to drive the countryside of Guatemala once again. Guatemala is a very beautiful country with endless hills, valleys, greenery, fincas, lots of livestock, and farms. It had it’s own feeling, as have really all of the places we’ve visited. I am always reminded it is best to take the back roads and take your time getting to know the place, the people, the history and culture, and also the sites, the sounds, and smells. Introduce yourself, make new acquaintances, act with respect, courtesy, ... read more
Hotel Tikal Inn
Our Cabana
Tikal, Guatemala


The day started again with the typical Flores breakfast. Pancakes with maple syrup, fruit juice and bottomless coffee, by the waterfront. This time we visited a different restaurant, called Casa Amelia. I spent breakfast reading about the history of Guatemala, learning that they only recently returned to democracy in 1996, and have had difficulty enforcing rule of law and managing crime rates since. After breakfast we had a few hours before the bus left for Tikal, so we bought snacks, water and sandwiches for the trip, bus tickets for the next day’s travel and packed for the day trip. Just after midday a very friendly minibus driver, or chauffeur as he referred to himself in Spanish called Manuel picked us up from our hostel. It was a bit of an empty mini bus with just us ... read more
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Tikal is the home of a Mayan civilisation. It was once a city with temples, pyramids, streets and houses built by the ancient Mayans (you may remember their calendar from popular apocalyptic films such as 2012 and Apocalypto). I was picked up from my hostel at 4:30am and we got to the park at 6. There were 2 tour guides, one doing a Spanish tour and one doing an English. The English tour group had so many people in it, over 25, whereas the the Spanish language tour only had 6 people so we (Me and Laurenz) opted for that one instead. Guatemalans speak slowly and clearly and this is one of the Spanish speaking countries I understand the most out of all! The Mexicans decided they didn't want a tour and explored by  themselves. I ... read more
Temple I
Temple II
View of Temples III, II and I from the top of Temple IV


So I hadn’t heard until today that Star Wars has a connection to the Maya city of Tikal in Guatemala. But once I got to the top of the largest temple here, it was totally obvious. The tour guide today was named Manuel, and he sounded just like Ricardo Montalban. He didn’t look like Ricardo Montalban – a bit short, but with gray hair that was a little shaggy. He did make the tour entertaining and very informative, so when we parted ways back at my hotel, I gave him 50 Quetzaltes as a tip. This was the first tour on this trip where I got what I was expecting, as far as group and transportation. It wasn’t a large group, only 5 tourists and 2 tour guides. Three of us did the tour in English, ... read more
The first Maya pyramid I climbed at Tikal
Yeah that's cute
First sighting of a Maya temple at Tikal

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal November 18th 2016

Our day trip to Tikal started at 3am. This is not a time I am entirely familiar with, and I'm much more likely to be just falling asleep at this hour rather than getting up to pile in to a mini bus for an hour and a halfs drive. We had chosen to do Tikal at Sunrise, partly as we have heard it gets horribly hot in the day, and partly because it sounded like it could be a wonderful experience. I was hoping it would be worth the lack of sleep! Once we got to Tikal around 4:30 we piled out of the bus and followed after our tour guide through the jungle in the pitch black. Luckily some people in our group had brought torches, as I hadn't thought to, not realising we would ... read more
A very colourful turkey strutting around Tikal
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HE SAID... We were making our way northeast from Santa Elena to Tikal today, and we had an early start. We took a couple of sunrise photos over the lake surrounding Flores (Lago de Peten Itza) before leaving Hotel Maya Internacional at 6am. We stopped to pick up our pre-ordered breakfast bags at a small roadside shop (El Arbol) on the way to Tikal National Park. The bags included sandwiches (egg and bacon; ham and cheese), ramon seed biscuits, fresh juice and green oranges. The food was fantastic, especially the homemade bread and biscuits. We arrived at the Tikal National Park entrance at 7am and met Juan, our guide for the tour of the Maya ruins. We made our way to the visitor centre and started walking into overgrown jungle in the searing heat – it ... read more
pyramid
tarantula
chaac the rain god


R: After a short water taxi ride we arrived in Belize city. Belize City has a terrible reputation so we headed through it as soon as possible. The area near the water dock was ok, but the bus station area was pretty run down, lots of people passed out on the streets etc. We took a bus heading for the Guatamalan border which was an old US school bus, as all the buses are here. As it wound its was through 80 miles of countryside, we enjoyed watching people get on and off (except when it flooded with kids from a nearby Christian academy) and the world going by. Rural Belize is quite different to the Cayes, but overall, pretty clean if you compare it with equivalent countries in Asia. It's very green, and very rural, ... read more
Over the canopy - Tikal
Guatamalan Village
El Castillo - Xunantunich


Ruins, ruins and yet more ruins If you don't like to look at pictures of ruins, then feel free to leave this particular blog entry and look at some other. There are a few pictures without ruins in them, two or three out of twenty, lurking around in this entry too but they are preciously few. If you decide to tap out now already I would like to point out that we have published well over a hundred other entries where most of them have no or very few pictures of ruins. Don't hesitate to look at one of them. You might enjoy them. Since you are obviously still reading I suppose you like photos of ruins. Or, to paraphrase the character Tom in Four Weddings and a Funeral, "at least the look of them don't ... read more
Temple I
One of the many temples at Tikal
View over Tikal


Wonderful famous UNESCO Heritage that rules the law of the Mayan World: Tikal National Parks! There are a lot of Ruins that I went to around Belize, Guatemala and Yucatan Mexico that is still remembered! Plus I have pictures to show you the ruins that are around Guatemala which all makes you want to live through history. I'm a Guatemala and Mexico guy always regardless by the way. So I will probably write more travel blogs about Guatemala and Mexico for all my life! Enjoy! ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal September 23rd 2015

Crossing the border into Guatemala was as uneventful as can be, although getting off a bus in the middle of nowhere to catch a different one in "ten minutes" to take us on the final leg to Tikal was slightly unnerving. On catching the next bus, our language limitations became apparent - emergency crash course in Spanish ASAP necessary, and we ran out of local currency when trying to enter Tikal Park.... Luckily lots of people appear to make this mistake, as there was a money changer opposite the entrance (exchange rate surprisingly good considering!) and our driver had just about enough patience to wait until we had got our tickets!! Arriving at Jaguar Inn about 3pm, the park was all very quiet - a bonus to travelling during the low season - and they let ... read more




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