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Guatemala – history, jungle and rivers

April 14 to 19

Around every corner is a piece of history

 

 

We’ve been told it’s dangerous and we’ve been told there are some wonderful places to visit so we spend a few days in Guatemala, beginning at Antigua.

 

 

 

 

 

The ruined Cathedral from the 1700s

 

 

This old town has wonderful buildings, little laneways and masses of rubble, where churches once stood before the devastating earthquakes of the 1700s. Rebuilt after the first when a second major quake followed a couple of decades later many of the churches were left as they fell.

Today the ‘new’ Cathedral is in front of the ruin of what must have been a beautiful building with angels carved in the stonework looking down on congregations.

 

 

 

 

 

Music in the square

Hotel Aurora

 

 

Our hotel is a piece of the town’s history, dating back to the early 1900s. Its central courtyard is a fine place to sit and read after a few hours wandering around the town.

 

 

 

 

 

Rio Dulce - the view from our room

 

 

From here we head to the edge of the Caribbean to Rio Dulce. We find a hotel right on the river. It wasn’t long ago the only way to this little marina and hotel was by boat, but, lucky for us, there is now a track through the jungle to a patch of land at the back of the inlet.

 

 

 

 

A bit of a hike - but worth it!

 

 

A 200 metre walk through the jungle on a suspended path ends at the pool. Our room was right on the water – if only we had more time to chill out here, but Tikal awaits.

 

 

 

 

We blew the budget on a lobster dinner at Rio Dulce

 

Dawn breaks over Tikal

 

 

The Mayan ruins in Tikal are in the middle of the jungle. Climbing to the top of the tallest temple we wait for the sun to rise. The mist hangs over the jungle and as dawn breaks we see other temples above the treetops.

 

 

 

 

 

Toucans in the mist at dawn

The jungle comes alive with the sounds of the birds and monkeys – this is a wonderful experience. Well worth the 3.30 am wake- up call!

Just one of the temples in Tikal

 

 

Daylight reveals temples dating back hundreds of years. What seem like hills are actually temples that haven’t been excavated – left to the jungle that has enveloped them over the centuries.

 

 

 

 

 

Spider Monkey

 

 

 

And the ruins are home to thousands of animals. We didn’t see the jaguar but we did spend time in one complex of temples were our only companion was a spider monkey.

Tikal ruins were a highlight of our time in south and central America. Now it’s time to dash through Belize to Mexico.

 

 

Beware of the jaguar

2 Responses to “Guatemala – history, jungle and rivers”

  1. Vic Hussey says:

    Hi Brian and Shirley

    I hope you are enjoying the trip still. 45 of us, (including the Commish), are about to head off on the Gibb River Road on Postie Bikes in June to get us prepared to ride East again in September.

    I hope your bike is holding up and you haven’t had many challenges!!!

    Take care and hope to catch up on your return.

    regards

    Vic Hussey
    Western Australia

  2. Lyn says:

    Dinner looks delicious and seeing Toucans is amazing any time, let alone in the wild. Fantastic!

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