[personal profile] akarasuma
Last summer my friends and I backpacked through Belize and Guatemala, flew to Costa Rica and went on to Panama, and then back to different spots in Guatemala.  This is part one of my Central America pictures.  I'm putting all of the Guatemala pictures here, since timing doesn't really matter anyway.

Belize

We weren't there for long, and did just small village/jungle hiking stuff.  Everyone (including belizeans) told us Belize City was not only horrible, but also VERY dangerous.  



On the way to Lamanai, a Mayan site accessible by boat only.  You get to see lots of animals on the way, including birds, alligators and howler monkeys.






Not as impressive as Chichen Itza or Tikal, but pretty cool nonetheless.



There are jungle hiking/cave tubing tours on Caves Branch River... pretty cool experience!



Marañones, aka the fruit you get cashews from, at the local market.  They're tasty too!



Chile xcatic.  I'd never seen them in so many colors before!

Guatemala



We did a sunrise tour of Tikal, and it was awesome.  The one thing that would have made it better would have been it not raining on and off since 3am till noon, when it was time to go back to our hostel.  A word to the wise: never go to Central America during rainy season.  It gets really really rainy.



You see all sorts of cool wild animals, like monkeys, parrots, toucans... and tarantulas, which were the only ones I was able to get a good picture of.  I need more zoom on my camera!



My favorite Tikal picture.

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua is a lovely city, former capital of the country.  It was devastated by earthquakes centuries ago, and then abandoned.  Now it's become a major tourist spot, because of all the old buildings and amazing views around.  While it's great to walk around and sightsee, the truth is it does feel a little bit like Disneyland.






There are people (and kids, especially) selling handcrafts and ready to bargain like pros.  They're usually hiding from the police, because they're not supposed to be selling stuff on the main square.





Chichicastenango

The largest handcraft market in Central America.  A great place to buy souvenirs, if you don't mind crowds and/or being pushed at all times.  You need to be ready to haggle your head off too. 





Oh yes.  We made puns for every country we visited.  That's just what a gazillion hours in a refurbished school bus will do to your brain.

Costa Rica and Panama to follow!

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akarasuma

April 2013

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