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


Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal November 23rd 2014

We left the Roundhouse and headed to Flores. As there were a number of people heading to Rio Dulce the hostel organised to take everyone on their boat. Unfortunately they left without us. When I heard the boat leave I ran downstairs and asked the volunteers if they just left without us, they looked at me a bit stunned and then tried to call them. Luckily they remembered us and turned around and came back and got us. The ride to Rio Dulce was much nicer than the public boat, as it was really calm and the boat sat higher in the water. From Rio Dulce we took a public bus to Flores, unfortunately when we got on it was full so we had to stand. After nearly two hours someone got off and I got ... read more
Views from the top of Temple IV
Jungle path around Tikal
Flores Sunset

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

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

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

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

After spending three and a half weeks in western Guatemala, I finally decided to head east and quickly make my way to Tikal, through Belize, and into Mexico. From Xela, I took a 4 PM four hour Linea Dorada bus to Guatemala City. I had heard that I would be in the new, modern bus station on Guatemala City, but I ended up in a small, hot, and definitely seedy transfer station in the middle of the city. I didn't risk going outside, so I was sadly happy to get the last shrimp-flavored Ramen noodle bowl in the station. I couldn't figure out much of a difference between first class and grand class, aside from the latter being a double-decker bus, having blankets, and costing 40 Quetzales more. The woman at the desk said that the ... read more
Star Wars Shot

*This will likely be my last blog entry. I am writing this entry from the US, which means I came back safe and sound on Friday (except for a bout of food poisoning). I was constantly on the move in the last days of my trip and had little Internet access, hence the delay. This will be a longer entry, but scroll down and to the next page for plenty of photos.* Sometimes it pays to be a gringo in Latin America. Chicken buses are never comfortable. You are usually crammed three to a seat, with people standing and spilling out into the aisles. Being of much bigger size than the average Guatemalan, I usually manage to get away with just two to a seat. Nevertheless, it's still an ordeal. I was on the bus from ... read more

It is no secret that we love ancient civilisations. If you follow our blog you already know that we would trade any modern city break for a historical site visit. Visiting Central America was no different. If you ask us today what was the most memorable Mayan site we would say Tikal with no hesitation. Why? Well, it is a combination of things but I would say for the discovery part mostly. You truly do feel like an explorer when you enter the vast jungle of the Guatemalan rainforest in Tikal. You immediately think what it must have been like when this site was discovered? Would we want to be the explorers’ shoes? Hell yeah!!! Let’s start from the beginning though. It was really hard for us to leave Antigua. We rarely stayed in one place ... read more
Sun setting in El Remate
getting lost

Wow where to begin? We spent a couple of days chilling and wandering the cobbled streets of Antigua. We had an absolutely hilarious last night... We went back to Rainbow Rooms for what we thought was going to be a reggae night... It was pretty dead to begin with, just us, a rude American group and two extremely eccentric Guatemalan men. We got into a conversation with them, in a mixture of English and Spanish (mostly the latter) discussing everything from race, homosexuality and the positives of being a monk in India for three year. Our hilarious conversation ended up with us all in tears - literally - from laughing and an invitation the next day to their butterfly reserve in the mountains, which we politely declined due to the slight 50 year age difference. Alice ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal February 26th 2013

On Thursday Feb 25, Paulino picked us up in the little town of Flores, a small town that is the capital of the State of Peten in Guatemala. It is an island in Lake Peten Itzá, the last holdout of the Maya against the Spanish conquista, remaining an independent native city until 1697. (The first to fall was Q'umarkaj, 174 years earlier. The Peten was just too remote and hot to bother with, apparently.) There is little to show for it today; just a small city park with a few steles, which we did not bother to visit. It is a pretty little town; see Photo 1. Tikal, according my own theory of Maya history, is the great Mother City of the whole civilization. Professional historians are not quite ready to say this, but on the ... read more
2.Road into Tikal
3.Top of temple 1
4.Side of temple 1

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