24. – 28. July 2019
Having arrived in Guatemala, I decided to spend my first night there in the very small, laid-back town of El Remate. I highly recommend Hotel Mon Ami directly at Lake Peten Itza: small jungle-like huts and a very neat, spacious dorm beneath the roof. There, I enjoyed sunset and sunrise at the lake before taking the shuttle bus to Tikal.
The ancient Ruins of Tikal were the capital of the Mayan empire. They are huge and some of them are accessible, that means you can climb them and overlook the whole jungle surrounding these buildings. Pretty impressive! And since it was raining cats and dogs when I was there, I had the whole area almost for myself and could hear birds chirping as well as howler monkeys making noises. A very special experience!
After my visit to the ruins, I went to the island of Flores where I stayed in Hotel Aurora which has a very nice terrace overlooking the lake. There is not much to do other than strolling through the colorful streets and taking a boat to San Miguel in order to go up to the lookout or enjoy the beach (a pretty ugly one though after having been to the Caribbean).
From Flores I took a shuttle bus to Lanquin where I was picked up by a four-wheeler in order to get me to a place to stay near Semuc Champey. This one was called Pachamaya Eco Lodge and I can definitely recommend it – location at the river, many hammocks, a good restaurant/bar etc. and all this for an extremely affordable price. In the early morning, I walked over to Semuc Champey, a protected area consisting of a 300 m limestone bridge, under which passes the Cahabón River. Atop this bridge is a series of turquoise pools. You can see it quite good from the lookout on top of a hill. Afterwards, swimming in the natural pools is obligatory. Oh, and in the afternoon, I went tubing on the river in front of my lodge before leaving for the South of Guatemala early the next morning.