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Mar 12, 2010 - Pacaya Volcano Day Trip

Left in van w/ 13 others-US(NC&TX), Spain, Poland, & Germany-at 2pm...1 1/2 hour drive ea way. Climb is steep to begin, lots of kids hawking walking sticks("es necessrio") which they then collect when you come down, ha! Great business...software companies have nothing on them! Also, bags of marshmellows in case you want to scorch your front side, and of course, the same deal needs sticks for roasting the little puppies! Since you begin steep and the guide (obligatory) tells you to stay together, the horse "taxi" guys are right there like...

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Nov 11, 2008 - Rio Dulce

November 11th, 2008 I said by good-byes to Sara and Karrie who were off to Belize at 5AM and finished up packing up my bag. I wanted to try and get all the way to Livingston in a day. First I needed to get to Santa Elena. I was informed that all I needed to do was wait on the side of the road and a mini bus, shuttle would stop by. So...an unmarked van stopped, I asked if they were going to Santa Elena..they said yes..off I went. This van stopped every so often and locals hopped on and off always paying a small fee. I made it all the way to...

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Trip Journal


Leslie's Trip South

Oct 16, 2008 - Rio Dulce - where a waterfall is Paradise!

October 14-16 The city of Rio Dulce, our next quick stop, lies at the edge of the Lago de Izabal where it empties into the Rio Dulce (River). This was an easy trek of only 2 hours upriver from Livingston by water taxi - a nice change from our ever long bus rides! The surrounding area is known for it´s traffic from the 'yachties' as this is said to be the safest location on the Western Caribbean during hurricane season. Most everyone else just passes through to connect to another location. The Rio Dulce (River) is one of Eastern Guatemala´s...

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Jul 13, 2008 - Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Rio Dulce is a "developing tourist destination". Known mostly as a safe haven for yachts during hurricane season, it is slowly picking up as a hot spot for adventurous travelers. But for now, it remains a ramshackle town on a gorgous lake and river that is pretty dirty and chaotic. I did, however, take a nice boat ride on the lake and down the river to the little coastal town of Livingston. This is the jumping off point for Caribbean adventure...and where I finally said goodbye to Guatemala. Next stop...Honduras!

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Jun 29, 2008 - Tikal

I visited areas that I did not see when I was here in 2004. Its ruins are still some of the best preserved Mayan ruins, period! I only spent one morning here. As many of you know, this was the location for one season of "Survivor". The video is of a long model site which represents the entire area. There is a long drive from the main highway to the actual park entrance. There is a 25mph speed limit. An interesting thing is that they write your arrival time at the first checkpoint and check the time at the actual entrance. I was told that...

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Jun 14, 2008 - Antigua, Guatemala - Rio Dulce

Started the morning on a bus on route to Rio Dulce. On the way saw a dead man in the road surrounded by police. Chicken bus not too bad for a couple of hours. Once arriving at the pier point was a 45 minute journey across to Rio Dulce. Really beautiful spot on the lake and shared a room with Fran, the other tour leader. Nice views of the lake around about 6pm as the sun was coming down. Rooms pretty good and wooden huts. Lots of great boats as people moor their boats here to avoid hurricane season

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Jun 9, 2008 - Southern Guatamala

We were off traveling through the amazingly green hills of the lowlands. The terrain is very unique in Guatemala though, it has these ultra green flatlands with these big mounds scattered about them. Sometimes when you look at the mounds you can't help but think to yourself; " how many of these contain beautiful ancient ruins below them" and others time you think simply, "Morla... The Ancient One!" (from the Never ending story!) We had heard about a farm half way between Flores and our destination Rio Dolce called Finca Ischobal. It was a...

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Jun 7, 2008 - its freakin hot! volcan pacaya...

Hola mi familia y mis amigos! Estoy aqui finalmente y te lo quiero! Well, I finally made it to Antigua yesterday around 3 pm. I left St. Louis at 6 in the morning and I was exhausted by the time I got here. I went to the spanish school to sign some forms and then my driver took me to my host family. My house moms name is Silvia Garcia and she has a 15 year old son. The house is a little bit away from everything in town but it is very nice and I have my own room with some hot meals, so Im not complaining. Silvia is really nice and funny too....

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Apr 24, 2008 - Rio Dulce

The boat ride from Livingston to Rio Dulce was great. Basically a big open river im guessing about 200m wide at times. Great views of mountains, wildlife, some thick lush vegetation and small local towns with very basic living standards. The hostel we stayed at in Rio Dulce was amazing. In the middle of the jungle, run by a swiss guy, this place had huts situated in random places linked by wooden bridges by a small river just of the Rio Dulce. We took a canoe out to the river. It was extremely peaceful and very relaxing.

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Trip Journal


Central America 2008

Feb 24, 2008 - Tikal

So, you're wandering about Tikal, admiring the ruins, thinking it's quieter than you expected. You also notice that there seems to be a rather large number of the army wandering around the temples with guns bigger than they are. However, you tend to think it's just normal practice for the area, nothing really seems out of the ordinary. Then you get back to Flores, head out for some dinner and start chatting to a Canadian couple who nearly choke on their food when you mention you've been at Tikal that day. They then rush to tell you that a...

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Feb 15, 2008 - School's out! Or walking on the moon...

My last day of school started with another skive as we headed for a walk to the church of Santa Inez. There's a kind of travelling fiesta all through lent in Antigua that works its way around all the churches. The altars in the church of the week are decorated with fantastic 'carpets' made from coloured sawdust, and picturing the saint of the church, or the facade, or scenes from the bible. The altar is also covered in food as offerings; you can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only do you get white (yellow) corn, but black,...

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Nov 7, 2007 - Volcan Pacaya

OK well let me start by saying, you should never underestimate a volcano. I'm being very serious here. It all started when last night i had a few of the local brews. First a couple of Gallo's then a few Brahva's. Then this morning I had a rather fruitful but intense Espanol class. I was ok but not great. So after i raced around trying to book my trip to Tikal in the far north of the country (not cheap thats for sure, but the Guatemalan government knows tourists will pay alot to go see it), I waited for the bu to come collect me and 4...

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