Guatemala - Wow, is this how the maya lived?

As the capital Guatemala City isnt really a great place to be, it was luckily only the entry point from where I continued to neighbour country El Salvador and then back to Guatemala. From there then visiting the "hippi" lake Atitlan and then to Flores up in the north, with its famous maya pyramids in "Tical".

18.3.2016 - From Mexico to Guatemala
Flights within the area Mexico and central america are very limited or very expensive. But as Im not having unlimited time, I had to fly from Cancun to Guatemala and explore from there. Arrived yesterday in Guatemala City. Today I was walking around in Guatemala City down the streets and then up the streets. Tomorrow I will continue to El Salvador and come back to Guatemala a few days after.

Guatemala City from above, view from hotel room.

Took a long stroll along the main road. Have been told a few times by total strangers, that I should avoid walking into the side streets.

This is the Torre del Reformador. From very far away, it looks like a small Eiffel Tower :)

Monument at Plaza Espana. There was probably no better place to find for a monument, than a high traffic roundabout.

Monument at Plaza Espana.

Highly armed security in front of a bank. 

No, these two are not the ones from the bank, but they suddendly came running along :)

I like the helmets of the Guatemala traffic police.

Right after walking into a sidestreet, streets started to look dodgy.

Two armed women police officers.

Many huge Guatemalan flags hanging around.

Some student protest was going on today.

Students blocking streets to protest.

National Palace of Culture Palacio. Was busy today due to the protest.

Masked protestants throwing firecracker.

23.3.2016 - From El Salvador to Antigua
Came from El Salvador back to Guatemala City and directly then to Antigua. Was a long but pleasant bus ride, except the included delay due to a total bus break down along the way.

From El Salvador back to Guatemala and then to Antigua.

Most of Antigua is plastered with these cobblestones. It makes it a bit difficult to walk long distances within the city, but it looks great.

Volcano de Agua in the background.

Volcanoes "Volcan de Agua" and "Acatenango". The Acatenango on the right is even smoking these days.

Walking along the streets of Antigua is real pleasure.

Every streets looks different and all the builings are old but unique and photogenic.

As it was easter these days, they are having huge celebrations. Theyre carrying a coffin through whole Antigua for several days, from morning until evening.

Accompanied by hundreds of studends. Every stundent has to help carrying coffin once in life.

Also they cover the streets in such art made of flowers.

This is the famous church in Antigua. Iglesia de Merced.

As it was easter weekend there were a bit too many people walking in these streets. Accompanied with the heat it was a bit of a hassle.

Arco de Santa Catalina

The easy point to orientate in Antigua was this parc central. This was also the area where all the tourists were lying around and sweating :)

This figure stands in the chocolate shop. Guatemala is one of the biggest producers of cacao. 

25.3.2016 - Lake Atitlan
From Antigua to Lake Atitlan it was a bumpy ride, especially as I catched some ugly flu or maybe even the Zika virus. Had headache as never before and therefore i couldnt really enjoy the ride or the days at Lake Atitlan. On the other side it was a good place to recover from the thing I had.

The village is called Panajachel. The main spot to get towards the lake Atitlan and therefore its a busy area with lots of tourists too.

When there are so many souvenirs, its easy to say that tourists are not far away. And thats how it is here.

As it is easter these days, locals are plastering all the streets with sand or flower art.

Lake Atitlan.

It seems they prefer american tourists above others :-/

27.3.2016 - Flores (Tikal ruinas mayas)
From Antigua to Flores in the north of Guatemala it is a very long bus ride through the night. Thats why I prefered to fly. I wanted to go to Flores because its a nice small island in a lake, connected with one bridge to the mainland. And Flores was the closest town for getting to Tikal, the super famous Maya ruins.

After Guatemala the trip continues to Belize for diving on liveaboard.
Diving in Belize - Diving the famous Blue Hole

Belize above water - Searching for Whale Sharks in Placencia
Visiting Belmopan, searching for Whale Sharks, Hopping to Caye Caulker

A pleasant flight from Guatemala City to Flores, with great view onto a smoking volcano.

Flores, a small island city on a lake, with one street for access.
Street towards Flores.

Sometimes water is getting higher than anticipated.

Visiting the Tikal Ruins
The ruins of Tikal are simply said next to Flores and these ruins are probably the most impressive and on the same level (or in my opinion even better) as Chichen Itza in Mexico. I really enjoyed this visit and watch on those huge ruins which are in a great condition and where its even possible to climb on the top of them. The only obstacle was the brutal heat, but with a hat and some water it was no problem:)
Entrance Gate with Guatemala flag imprint.

The area with all the ruins is enormous and it took me hours to cope the most important parts. Also it is not too easy to navigate and had to be carefull not getting lost in the bushes, as there are not so many sings around where to walk.
Walking past monuments and stuff, after an hour suddendly a platform elevates in front of me and up there is this main area. 

This was the mayas city center of Tikal.

Two huge ruins, on each side one and facing each other. It was not allowed to climb up the stairs, but there were built some tourist-stairs to get up :)

Left sided ruin.

Right sided ruin.

Its not allowed to climb on this. But if it was allowed, I would say in two months the ruin is broken.

When it was busy with maya people around the ruins, the ruins were always colorized in something red.

Entrance on the top. Too bad it was closed. Would have been a good spot to hide from the heat.

This whole are was allowed to walk through. Much better than chichen itza in Mexico. Here its like a playground :)

The distances between ruins are far, especially in this heat. And also it was not easy not getting lost in the forrest, cause there are not many signs around. Thats the way they can make money with tour guides :)

I dont know what it is, but Im sure the mayas had very important reasons to create such imprints.

No comments