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Guatemala, Day 1 Santa Elena-Tikal-Santa Elena

September 28, 2014


The next day, I took a ride up to Tikal, a historic site with lots of ancient Mayan ruins, rain forrest and lots of hiking trails.

 Tikal covers a huge area...good walking shoes are essential 

Tikal covers a huge area...good walking shoes are essential 

 Yep...they have them here, too...

Yep...they have them here, too...

The 65 km ride took me 1 hour through a very scenic landscape with lots of trees and lush greenery. I immediately noticed, what I had missed in Belize, that the people here were friendly, smiled and waved at me. The roads are in great shape for the most part, an ocassional pothole, but it's ok. They have speed bumps here as well, not as many as in Mexico, and they call them, Tumulos, here.

 Elephant beetle

Elephant beetle

Park fees for Tikal are:

- 150 GTQ/local 25 GTQ

- Map 25 GTQ (you can get that for free in Isla de Flores)

- Guide for hire 150 GTQ

 Cool looking tree

Cool looking tree

 ...another cool looking tree

...another cool looking tree

 Mas ruinas

Mas ruinas

 Tranquilo

Tranquilo

The tour guide is optional, and I heard it's worth it. But I decided to walk around on my own for 3 hours without a guide and saw plenty of ruins. It was very calming and relaxing, partially, because there were only a few visitors in the park. Saw a couple of monkeys jumping from tree to tree, and I swear, I saw a Jaguar. While I was walking up to one of the ruins, I heard a noise a short distance away. As I was walking closer to investigate, I noticed a large black cat-like something running away into the brush. I know, it was larger than a monkey, and there were no bears. So, I figured, it had to be something of a "cat" like creature.

Of, course,on my way back to Santa Elena, I got in to a short, but strong down pour. By the time, I arrived back, I was ready for a nice cozy dinner at a lakeside restaurant on Isla de Flores...