Hands down and without equivocation, Guatemala is the gem of Central America, offering more to the traveler than any of its half dozen neighbors, even if the equatorial heat had melted them into a tropical glob.
World class sites stretch from the most fabulous Mayan ruin at Tikal in the north to the Rio Dulce and Lago Izabal in the south, sandwiching polychromatic markets and variously active volcanoes from Antigua to Lago Atitlan. Read more...
Shadows flicker on the cave walls as I squeeze into narrow crevices, skirt past 100,000-year-old stalactites, wade through waist-high algid water and slide down abrupt rock faces. What kind of courage must have it taken for the Mayans to enter such a forbidding place?
“Don’t step there,” our guide Emilio barks out from in front as he points over to pottery left here by the Mayans centuries ago. The trail is littered with ceramic pots of all sizes, their bottoms broken in order to release the spirits. Camera flashes abound. Read more....
If you think Playa de Carmen is played out and Belize has bottomed, head a little further south to Guatemala. You can find more thrills and chills to check up on. Hedonist and history buff will both find plenty to please. It is a fact that there are more Mayan people living in Guatemala than anywhere else. From beach resorts to Caribbean villages to jungle treks the Izabal area has a lot of options.
One of the most unusual aspects of my visit to the area was the encounter with wildlife. At times that meant facing down a lifelong phobia of snakes. Read more...
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