Definitely a cute little place that served some great breakfast. Eggs, beans, and plantains — oh, and the freshly made tortillas that were amazing. Tristan enjoyed a cup of local coffee, and I had to take a picture. I mean, how cute is that mug??
A photo stop across the street where we could see the water and the mountains in the distance that looked like an alligator…
We got to linger in the area for a little bit, and I just spent time watching the people go about their daily lives and admiring the trinkets in the store. Simple, fun, and oh-so-colorful.
Once we got back in the van, it was about another 30-40 minutes to our destination. Needless to say, we all took a few naps on the bus whenever it got silent.
Our tour guide took us on different paths to really learn about the surroundings. It was really enriching to learn more about Guatemala as well as Mayan history and beliefs. He pointed out different animals to us too — of which we saw some spider monkeys, the “Jesus lizard” and some leaf-cutter ants. If you’re wondering about the Jesus lizard, he’s able to run on water which is where he gets his nickname.
As for the spider monkeys, luckily none of us got pooped on. I like how the place has a warning sign about this.
The view from the top was just endless jungle, and the tip of another site of ruins that we would eventually head towards. See it on the bottom right?
We also saw several sites similar to this one below where a circular stone was laid down on the floor and a tombstone looking stone stood behind it (you can see these on the first photo as well where I’m going to climb the ruins). Apparently the circular stone was for all sacrifices – human and non-human alike – and the “tombstone” had Mayan writing on it. Our tour guide explained what they were able to decipher with some of the characters on the stone, but a good chunk of it still remains largely unknown.
Later, we found ourselves at another site which was known as The Lost World where we had an option to climb the sites or just wander and take photos.
We made a stop to use the restroom and grab some cold drinks. There was another site that could be climbed up with wooden stairs built for easy climbing. We both opted out of this one and just sat and enjoyed some cold water and cooled off from the heat. We saw a giant orb spider which was kind of crazy; you can touch his web, and it wouldn’t stick. It reacts almost like a fishing line. No, I didn’t touch it. Our tour guide demonstrated for us though.
Eventually, we were off again, then found ourselves at the presence of spectacular ruins. Here we find The Great Plaza. We were able to climb the building on the left. The building on the right is the iconic building you see on a lot of Guatemalan postcards and souvenirs and rightfully so. It really is impressive.
Well, we got back in our (thankfully) air-conditioned van and headed back to the lodge. Before we got to the border, we made a stop for a Guatemalan lunch of stewed chicken, rice, beans, guacamole and fresh tortillas… and a stop for souvenirs.
The below tree is a cocoa plant where we get cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and, well, chocolate! I saw it at the restaurant. One of the new friends we made on the journey actually bought some of the locally made chocolate, and she let us both try a piece. It was definitely raw and not your factory-made milk chocolate. It tasted like the raw flavor of cocoa meshed with a lot of raw sugar which gave it an almost crunchy texture. It was sweet like the chocolate we have at home then had a hint of bitterness at the end like unsweetened cocoa. It was really interesting!
Thank you, Guatemala! For a short stay, you definitely were memorable with a grand destination, wonderful people and delicious food!