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Guatemala – Rio Dulce and the Mayan ruins of Tikal

We were ready to leave to Rio Dulce but we had no clue this would be another adventure. When the shuttle arrived it was just a truck completely open with a long bench in the rear. Carol asked: Is this a joke? Apparently not, according to explanations it was low season and they didn’t have enough people for a minivan. It was an irresponsible decision to put tourists in a carriage with no security, but it seems that’s how things work around here. So here we go for 4 hours ride, including rain on the way, but better to see the fun side of the story to not get so stressed.

We arrived in Rio Dulce alive and took a boat to our hotel, which was right in the middle of Lake Izabal. A hotel built above a swamp with their huts scattered throughout the jungle and just to go to the toilets at night it was already a walking tour. Hammocks and sofas were scattered around the common area to ensure guests’ relaxation.

The hotel was right in front of Tatin River and throughout the day we could relax on the deck and swing to jump into the water. Of course Carol loved this and even Alexis amused himself. The water was super warm and delicious, perfect temperature!

From there we did a walk for a Mayan village nearby and a cave known as the Tiger Cave, where we could cool off in the river.

On our last day we went kayaking to Livingstone for two hours and got there almost dying of pain in the arms. But it was worth it for the beautiful path by the river, with amazing scenery. We wonder around the city and Alexis did a percussion lesson with Garifuna the people, Rasta from the region. He had fun with all different drums and then we got back to our hotel, not by kayak, this time by boat. Hehehe…

From Rio Dulce we took a public bus to Flores, which should have nearly 3 times more people than the capacity allowed. We felt like a canned product. 4 hours suffering in the heat. But once again we arrived alive.

Flores is an island in the Lake Petén Itzá that is easy to reach by the bridge. It is a small, quiet and colorful city and everybody go there to visit the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal. On the first day we swam in the lake, also with perfect temperature.

The next day we visited the ruins. We did the sunset tour with just two other people and our guide and we were impressed that there was nobody there, which made the experience even better. Pure tranquility and only the sounds of nature, as the ruins are scattered in the jungle.

We saw spider monkeys, toucans, parrots, peacocks, coatis and many other birds. To listen to the monkeys screaming like crazy was super cool.

To see the entire site is over 10 km walking, but you can get an idea by visiting the main structures, Mayan pyramids in the same style of the famous pyramids of Mexico.

We spent our last day in Guatemala resting at the hotel and getting ready for our next country, Belize.

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