There are plenty of reasons, why you should travel to wonderful ancient Guatemala! Some of them are:
- fairytale landscapes like not from this world and gorgeous nature
- strong Maya culture
- tremendous ancient Maya temples in lush jungle
- delicious dishes made of tortillas, beans, plantains, vegetables, eggs and tasty corn drinks
- ancient colonial cities
- active volcanoes
- great handicrafts
- and so much more…
After you have read this articles, I´m sure you are really thinking about traveling through Guatemala
Places to visit:
- Lago Atitlan
- Western highlands (Chichicastenango, Rabinal, Salamá,..)
- Lanquin and Semuc Champey
- El Remate, Flores
- Climbing volcanoes, e.g. Volcano Pacaya or Acatenango
- Wandering trough lush jungle to a natural wonder in Semuc Champey
- Visiting Maya ruins – the most impressive one is Tikal
- Exploring the ancient (and most beautiful city in Central America) Antigua
- Enjoying the tranquility and peace in El Remate by the Lago Petén Itzá
- Get to know the vibrant Maya culture and visiting the biggest handicraft market in Chichicastenango
- Driving along deadly roads in the western highlands
- Relax and eat good food in the small colonial city Flores
After our adventures in the highlands of Guatemala, I continued solo up north of the country. My target was to reach the village El Remate within one day, which is located directly by the Lago Petén Itza.
I took from Salamá a local bus to Cobán and from there a bus to Flores. From Flores it´s not far to El Remate. Only about 45 minutes. Be careful here: sometimes they charge from tourists the double price. Be aware what the locals are paying and insist on paying the same. The total ride was about 10-12 $.
When I arrived, it was already almost dark. I was looking for a guesthouse that Thomas recommended me. The name is: Doña Tonita. Finally I found it. It was really nice here. Quiet and directly down by the lake. The price was in this time 30 Quetzales/night (about 4 $) for a bed in the dorm. But since almost nobody was here, I had the dorm for myself 😉
In the house on the right side of Doña Tonita lives a really nice family, that offers great food and that is always up for a talk. The son, he calls himself Adonis, is a very talk-active, spiritual and funny guy, and we spent some time together, talking about god and the world.
On the next day, I woke up very early and took a bus at around 5.30 am to Tikal.
Tikal is an ancient city of the Mayas in the middle of the Petén rain forest in the north of Guatemala. There are plenty of striking huge temples, some of them even ranking above the jungle trees. Tikal was one of the most important cities of the classical Maya-Period (3. to 9. century) and is one of the best researched cities of the Mayas. Though, as far not as visited and famous as the Mayan and Aztec cities in Mexico. But nevertheless, at least the same or even more impressive.
I entered the National Park, walked trough dense jungle, completely on my own, just a very dense fog and the sound of the jungle surrounded me – singing birds, howling monkeys, chirring leafhoppers. It was so misty and humid, that I could just see around 50 meters far.
I was walking for a while. And what I saw then it´s just something so amazing and gorgeous, that words alone cannot describe it! So mysterious, magic and splendiferous, like not from this world. Like not even humans could construct this.
This map could eventually help you a bit with your orientation in this huge National Park
It was just amazing wandering around and gaze at this gigantic ancient buildings. On some of them, it´s allowed to climb up.
It´s definitely not possible to discover everything in just one day, even if you walk around for 12 hours. To explore really everything, you need to return for several days.
Many of the temples are still not discovered and sleeping since many hundred years in the arms of the dense jungle. But slowly, slowly, they discover and excavate everything.
Suddenly, a strange noise caught my attention. First I thought it´s a bird or something like that. But them I saw, how a snake in the tree was slowly eating a frog. I was so fascinated by this natural spectacle, that I watched it for almost half an hour.
I was walking for hours and hours and hours, always finding new amazing temples. The heat of the midday came, and I got more and more exhausted. In the end, the Maya city exhausted me before I exhausted it!
In the afternoon, I came back to El Remate, after my exciting jungle tour. Exploring ancient and hidden Maya temples like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones makes tired and hungry
So I enjoyed my evening with a good and extensive meal, a beer and the sunset above the lake!
Thanks for reading!
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