Wed

28

Aug

2013

Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan world

From Belize City we took the bus to Flores in Guatemala.  We crossed our second border near Belmopan, the capital of Belize, and were excited if we will have to pay more than the official fee. We had read a lot of negative experience on the internet but we had no unexpected surprises at all. All went well and after another 2 hours in the bus we arrived in Flores.

Flores is a beautiful island which is surrounded by the Laguna de Peten. Our hostel 'Chaltunha' is located on a hill on the other side of the lake. From here we enjoy a wonderful view of Flores and the lake. The small wooden hut where we sleep is so comfortable that we decided to stay for six days.


Flores itself is not very big and you can explore the streets within a few hours. It is a quiet place with many colourful houses, restaurants and bars and of course . . . the tuk tuks. Many travel guides say that there is no ATM or supermarket in Flores, however there is one! So don't be irritated when everybody says something different!

Flores is the perfect location to go to the popular Mayan Ruins of Tikal. And of course, we wanted to go there as well :)
What to say . . . Tikal is amazing! The Mexican ruins were already very exciting but in Tikal you feel like travelling back into ancient times. All ruins are surrounded by tropical rainforest and you see spiders and monkeys running and jumping around. Sooo coool! The area of Tikal is so huge that it is good to have a guide. Louis was our guide and one of the most enthusiastic ­­­guides we have ever seen. Grown up in this area he knows everything and he is very proud of the Mayan history . . . you can feel it with every word he's saying. He also told us that the temples and pyramids we can see are only 20 % of the ruins that actually exist in Tikal. All the others are still covered by soil, trees and plants. That's incredible! Step by step workers are trying to clear more and more parts off. Also during our visit they were working on one of the temples and we got a rough idea of how long it must take and how much it must cost.


BoB loved to climb up the ruins, especially Temple IV, the highest one. The view from there was just incredible.
It is hard to believe that all Mayan sites that exist were left from one to the other day and even today nobody knows the reason. How mysterious!

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