Flores & Tikal, Guatamala 31st March to 3rd April
Water taxi from Caye Caulker to Belize city and then bus to Flores. $25 took 4 hours, which included crossing the border into Guatamala which can sometimes be tedious we were warned.
Guatamala is green and hilly with fields, cows and horses. Parts of it could fool you into thinking you were in the English countryside but then you see a palm tree and feel the heat of the sun and remember you are somewhere else entirely different.
Flores is a town in Guatemala which is on the island of the same name, connected to land by a causeway, on the other side of which lie the towns of Santa Elena and San Benito.. The lake was warm and beautiful to swim. The town is easy to walk round either at the waters edge or the cobbled street that pretends to be a main road probably only taking about 30 minutes tops. There is a very pretty twin towered Cathedral at the top of the hill, which over looks the town. The locals and tourists alike gather at the waters edge on an evening to eat, drink and listen to music. There are many restaurants and cafes mostly centred round the water. We had an absolutely divine steak at Raices restaurant, it was probably on the expensive side for Guatemala, but worth every mouthful. We also had breakfast at a place called Cool Beans cafe.
We were lucky enough to have a hotel at the waters edge and could sit and people watch. The hotel we stayed at was the La Posada de Don Jose, which was nice and comfortable with an ensuite, but no a/c so a bit hot and at night time.
Visit to Mayan Ruins of Tikal - 2nd April 2012.
Tikal is about 45 mins from Flores and many of the tour operators offer trips there all for a similar price, which includes transport to the ruins on a comfortable minibus and a guide if you want one. We paid 120Quetzal = £10. and entrance fee is 25Q. The park is open 6am to 6pm.
In the heart of the jungle, surrounded by lush vegetation, lies one of the major sites of Mayan civilization, inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. The ceremonial centre contains superb temples and palaces, and public squares accessed by means of ramps. Remains of dwellings are scattered throughout the surrounding countryside. We climbed right to the top of one of the temples. See the photo's for the views. There were Mayan people in national costume and performing ceremonial offerings near the temples. It was a very serene place. We also saw spider monkeys sleeping/swinging in the trees, codies and toucans.
Unfortunately due to communication difficulties and a mix up we ended with no guide so had to take ourselves round the site. This was fine except we missed out on the stories and the history that the guides tell you.
Next stop San Ignacio, Belize