September 27, 2009

Caves exploration and Canopy in Peten

I took the opportunity of the independence celebration in September to go to Petén on an organized tour with Descubre Guatemala. Our first stop was Finca Ixobel and the caves Naj Tunich south of Poptun. Finca Ixobel is an ecological friendly hotel and camping surrounded by Mayan mountains, pine forest and jungle. The 162 hectare finca was bought in 1971 by an American couple. They started only with a small camping and now are offering tree houses, private rooms in bungalows and a large camping site. After pitching our tents, we went to visit the caves of Naj Tunich. At thirty kilometers east of Poptun, the caves are unique for its Mayan murals showing religious ceremonies, ball games and erotic scenes (not found anywhere else in the Mayan world). The name means “Paintings in a humid area”. The real caves were closed because of vandalism but we saw the copy of the paintings in a nearby cave. We spent the afternoon cooling off and swimming in the lake at the finca while enjoying the nature.

After a night listening to the bird singings, we went to visit the caves Ixobel at 45 minute walk from the finca through the green mountains. The formations of stalactites and stalagmites are impressives. After lunch, we left Poptun to go to Parque Ixpanpajul, a natural reserve at 10 kilometers south of Flores. It’s a beautiful place to walk, do some bird watching and experience the jungle in a way you have never experienced. We went on the Sky-way, six hanging bridges at 40 meters. You feel like a bird! The track brought us to the top of hill where there was a beautiful view on the surrounding forest and the Lake Petén Itza. We camped but a surprise was waiting for us. We had tents with mattress, real mattress! A luxury camping!

On the third day, we went to play Tarzan at the Canopy Tour in Tikal. It was the first time for me and at the beginning I was scared, but then the adrenaline hit me and I wanted more. There are twelve platforms on five kilometers across the jungle and seeing monkeys. I felt like flying like a bird going from one tree to the other one, it was so much fun. We ended up the day at the archeological site Yaxha watching the sunset from the highest pyramid, the temple 216.

To see pictures of my trip, check here

in the Caves Ixobel
With Sonia and Ana M.


on the Skyway

the girls

No I'm not scared
Ready for the Canopy!

I'm a bird!!!!

yeah we did it!
when are we going back?

sunset in Yaxha

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