Blogs from Petén Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


On Tuesday 5 we left Guatemala City and headed for the island of Flores several hundred miles north east. We had booked a first class coach for 10am, first class here consists of padded leather seats which can recline, a toilet which was pretty grim and air conditioning that wasn't very strong but at least it was pretty comfortable. The journey to Flores should have taken 9 hours according to our ticket (arrival should have been at 7pm) but unfortunately it took a lot longer than this - 3 hours longer to be exact. There were a number of reason for the delay - the coach stopped at regular intervals at the side of the road for no apparent reason, the coach stopped off for petrol only to stop just 10 minutes later at another petrol ... read more

First stop Guatamala- Flores- to see the unbelievable Tikal ruins. The journey there was all the way from Caye Caulker via public transport, it was fairly straight forward as I have done a lot of travelling on the "chicken buses" ie puboic buses of Belize, but coming in to a Spanishe speaking country was a bit of a culture shock, as well as actually walking across the border! Flores is almost an island in the middle of a lake in northern Guatemala. It is pretty, with cobbeled little streets and a European type feel as oppose to any other town in Belize. It is attached via a causeway to the main. Town of Santa Elena, which is the opposite to Flores and s busy and contains no tourists. I arrived there and met a lot of ... read more
Central Plaza
Me and the ruins
Flores from the viewpoint

GUATEMALA, here we come! 01/01/15 GELUKKIG NIEUWJAAR IEDEREEN! Goeiemorgen, 7u30 open ritsen die tent. Het blijft een zalig zicht, wat een playa! Toch een uur of drie geslapen in die veel te kleine tent. Wat mij betreft een gedroomde oudejaarsnacht! Geen dure party van 60 -100 dolar op het strand maar een simpele maaltijd en gewoon de hele nacht jammen/zingen rond een vuurtje op het strand. Ergens een man of twintig. Brazilianen, Argentijnen, Mexicanen, Fransen, nen simpele Belg, een Amerikaan die "miljaardedju " ferm zot kon spelen. Het leukste was de verschillende muzikale invloeden. Is er hier eigenlijk iemand die geen gitaar speelt of zingt? " Buzze" maken, een laatste zwemke in de prachtige Caribische zee en op weg naar Chetumal ( grens Belize). Mijn poging tot liften op 1 januari mag ik wel vergeten, volgens ... read more
Het busje

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

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!!!

Tot: 0.469s; Tpl: 0.008s; cc: 14; qc: 89; dbt: 0.3843s; 1; m:jupiter w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 1.7mb