Into Guatemala and Tikal
Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
120Trip End Dec 13, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Flores is a small island on a beautiful lake although it is linked to the mainland by a road/causeway. We found a lovely place to stay called Casa de Lancandon which was 80q (about ten dollars) and we had a large balcony with great views of the lake
On Saturday we walked across the causeway to the town of Santa Elena and from the market we caught a collectivo to the little village of El Remate (15q / 35mins). Posada Eden lived up to it´s name as it had lovely little bungalows with views of the lake for 60q a night (7 1/2 dollars). After a tasty lunch there of fish, rice and salad we walked through the village and round the lake to the Parque Ecological. We spent an enjoyable hour walking through the jungle where we saw numerous lizards & birds, leaf cutter ants (with leaves) and a giant spider hiding down a handy spider-sized hole! We were also mainly successful in fending off the hungry mosquito´s which followed us everywhere.. The village here is very small and there isn´t much light pollution so you get wonderful views of the stars
On Sunday we were awoken early but the family at our posada so we could catch the 5.30am bus to Tikal, which is a site of Mayan ruins. By mistake we were woken up an hour early (getting used to this now) but once we were up it didn´t seem to matter and we drank coffee whilst waiting for the minibus. We got to Tikal (50q entry) just as it opened at 6am and spent about 6hrs wandering around the various temples & pyramids. Temple´s I and II face each other across the main plaza and are very impressive. They are huge Mayan structures, built by the ancient Mayan Kings and very well preserved. You can only climb one of these which means you get good photo´s of the one opposite with no people on it! All the temples and complexes are surrounded by jungle and it is a truly amazing place to visit. Howler monkeys (they still sound like monsters!) can be heard all around and we were lucky enough to see a group of about 15 of them swinging their way above us through the jungle canopy. There are also lots of black toucans with colorful beaks flying across the clearings with green and red parrots too. Another of the temples (temple IV) could be climbed by a huge number of wooden steps at it´s side & due to its elevated position you can look out right across the top of the jungle and see the tops of the larger temples as well. We really enjoyed looking around Tikal there is nowhere like it! Back at the entrance near the road we looked for some of the Peten Crocodiles in the lake but couldn´t see any - but we did see lots of ´Jesus Christ´lizards which ran right across the top of the lake (helped by the water lily´s) !!