Posts Tagged ‘Naj Tunich’

Bicycle Riding in Peten, Machaquila to Naj Tunich

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

I previously showed a gallery of the Naj Tunich cave system. Well, let me tell you the ride to the caves was nothing easy. It was one of the most demanding ones I’ve ever ridden.
The distance is not great, barely 20 miles each way. You ride through remnants of the jungles once covered this province. There is no shade 99.99% of the ride and temperatures did not go below 90f all day. The first mile or so the terrain is not so demanding, and there are a couple of small tiendas were you can stop to get some beverages. After that there is no single soul for about 10 miles until you arrive at Sabaneta, a small village where you can get some more refreshments. After this village, the real challenge begins!
Ride Elevations
Ten miles of steep uphills, riding under 90+ degrees heat with no shade and not one single time during the ride to the caves I saw a single vehicle! The last two miles are to prove ones determination!
Don’t you love cycling!?

Naj Tunich

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Naj Tunich, house of stones in a local mayan language,  is a cave system 39 kilometers from Poptùn, Petèn.
The cave contains several Mayan burial sites, some of them with elaborate stone constructions. When archaeologist arrived at the cave, all burials sites had been looted. The cave is known to have extensive mayan writing on its walls. Most of the Mayan writing on the cave was damaged beyond restoration around 9 years ago, when someone entered the cave and vandalized the glyphs and drawings with some type of black paint.

Luckily, photographs of the writing and drawings were available, and around seven years ago, a small team of artists created some replicas, now on an exhibit on a separate cave a short 10 minutes walk from Naj Tunich.