Tag Archives: ruins

Flores and Tikal – Mayan Might!

Flores is a beautiful little town on an island in Lake Peten Itza. It’s a nice area to go kayaking/canoeing, but the main draws are the nearby attractions – especially Tikal.

1500 years ago, Tikal was the key Mayan city in the region and fielded many temples, palaces, fortifications, and trade routes. The site covers an area of 60 square kilometers. It’s worth taking a full day to explore the area and the many out-of-the-way temples. Bring plenty of water though, as it can get very hot and humid!

You can easily do a day trip to Tikal from Flores via a shuttle. It takes a little over an hour to reach the ruins from town. Another great and less known day trip is to the Biotopo Cerro Cahui, a national reserve¬†teaming with wildlife and has very well maintained trails. Get here by taking a public bus (more like a van) from the main town market in Flores/Santa Elena to El Remate. From El Remate it’s a 15 minute walk to the park entrance along the lakeshore road.

The loop trail in Cahui takes around 3 hours, and you’re likely to see all kinds of wildlife. I saw 3 monkeys, hummingbirds, giant butterflies with what looked like an owl eye on its wing, and a funny rodent critter that was leaping from tree to tree. At the park entrance a ranger will give you a map and can answer any questions that you may have. They don’t speak much English though, so some Spanish knowledge will be useful.

My journeys in Guatemala continue onto Lanquin, and little town with beautiful parks, hikes, and caves!

Cheers, Shawn

Tulum – City of Dawn

I think Tulum would have been the best Mayan city to live in. The location is stunning with picture-perfect beaches, warm weather, and an abundance of rich lands and fresh water from nearby cenotes (see my last post for more info about cenotes).

There are several temples with beautiful engravings, and a central palace where the key Mayan official would reside. Quite a cushy posting! The area surrounding the ruins are also gorgeous – the tropical jungle and some of the best beaches on the planet! If you visit Tulum, you can walk to the public beach in about 10 minutes. I headed out there to swim and work on my tan!

I had a nice lazy day, and went for a walk back to town. After visiting with some Aussie friends at the hostel, I thought I’d work on the blog! Hope you enjoy!

Cheers, Shawn