Flores, Peten, Guatemala

This little island just off the shore of the "Laguna de Peten" is the perfect starting point to visit all the beauties this region has to offer, and the "Frida" hostel is hands down the place to stay. Most of the Lonely Planet travelers head to an hostel called "Los Amigos" just because they don't have their own brain and like to be robbed, but they have no idea there's a little corner of paradise just next to it where you can enjoy a cozy enviroment placed on a sweet little square and ran by a lovely owner.

Flores is really something apart from the surroundings, and here you can feel safe and confortable compared to Santa Helena, the messy and crowded town lying next to it. To get here you have to cross a bridge and once on the island you'll be surrounded by colored houses and a peacefull atmosphere.

Another good option for your stay in this area is "El Remate", still on the shore of the huge laguna but completly different for infrastructures and atmosphere. This little town is the perfect hide away for real nature lovers and hippies, and as all the places not on the main path, much cheaper then anywhere else. I stayed at a backpacker called "Filin" and included you'll get a really competent guide (Filin as a matter of fact) that if you're willing will take you for a reasonable price to do some amazing treks among the Maya ruins.
And here we come to the main attractions of Peten! The ruins.

The two most popular ones are Tikal (in this case El Remate will be much more on the way) and El Mirador (Flores will be on the way this time). The first one is a perfectly manteined huge archeological park where you could spend days if you're really into archeology but will take you a whole day to visit in any case. You can read as much as you want about Tikal on the many internet sites, so I won't be bothering you, but trust me if you don't visit it you will never ever have an idea of how beautiful, massive and intriguing is the mayan culture. I would suggest to go there with a book rather then hiring a guide, just because I heard guides telling turists things that were not true at all...but that's up to you.

Another thing is "El Mirador". This immense, mystic place is not for everyone, but just because to reach and visit it you only have two options: a 5 days trek in the middle of the jungle or the helicopter. Ofcourse I'm not rich enough to rent a flying object, so you can immagine how I got there.

To do this trekk you start from a little town/comunity called "Carmelita", where a group of experienced persons will take care of you, your food and beverages (taken by a bunch of mules) and will guide you throgh the jungle, take you to the camp sites where you will spend the nights (and will eat fresh cooked meals) and will show you the main attractions.

What makes this place so special is the fact that you won't be visiting a conventional archeological site, but you will be right in the middle of a work in progress and everything you'll see is being discovered during those months. It's gonna be just like in an "Indiana Jones" movie and all this will take place in the silence of the jungle. Even if the walk to get there is not uphill you'd better be trained and wear good shoes because in total you will be walking for 125 kms and if you're not lucky as I was your feet will be sinking in the mud (and if the mud is dried the floor will be super unconfortable).
But check out the pics and you'll understand what I'm talking about!


1 commenti:

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