Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

The Mayan Civilization left us a very impressive city of Tikal. Tikal is the largest excavated site in the American continent. It is Guatemala’s most famous cultural and natural preserve. Tikal possesses a certain magic… Like all puzzles without answers it fascinates everyone and we dare say… Tikal is so irresistible once you are here, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay just a little longer! This majestic archaeological gem comprises 222 square miles of jungle all around the ceremonial center. It took the University of Pennsylvania 13 years to uncover about 10 square miles of structures at Tikal. However, much of it is still left to be unearthed. So, do take some advice… Don’t try to see all of Tikal in one day, even if you are in excellent shape! Tikal remained a mystery for centuries, after being abruptly abandoned by the Maya over 1000 years ago and overgrown by a relentless jungle. Only a legend survived among the Indians of a lost city, where their ancestors had achieved a high cultural development. In 1848 the legend faded, giving way to an exciting era of discovery. It was a serendipitous discovery made by Ambrosio Tut, a gum collector or chiclero.

Livingston Guatemala Garifuna Music

We made it up to Livingston, Guatemala, the home of the Garifuna (or Black Caribs, as they are sometimes referred to) who trace their roots back to St. Vincent, an island in the eastern Caribbean. In 1635, two Spanish slave ships from Nigeria shipwrecked there. The slaves mixed with the locals indigenous Caribs and a new culture defined by both West African and Caribbean features and traditions emerged.

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

After a 7 hour bus ride we’ve found ourselves in a different world: Rio Dulce. It is still Guatemala but hardly can be compared to the highlands. Rio Dulce means “sweet river” in Spanish. The waters of the Rio Dulce are fresh, clean and clear. There is no heavy industry anywhere along the system of rivers and lakes that make up the Rio Dulce, so pollution is non-existent. We’re catching up on work in our little cabin on the river, we’ll explore in the next few days.