Posts Tagged ‘Petén’

Traveling on a Dime: Petén

Monday, August 11th, 2014



Traveling on a Dime: Petén
Petén is Guatemala’s Northern-most province and it is full of wonders left behind by our Mayan ancestors, and rich with Nature’s splendor.

Island of Flores, Lake Petén Itza

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Valuable archeological find at a small island on Lake Petén Itza.
I know it is not what you would spect. But I’ll be provindin you with a quick review of another of my trips to this beautiful island, the last bastion of the Itza people.


Flores Peten

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

I’m spending the night at this beautiful hotel, Posada Don Jose, in the City Island of Flores.
So peaceful and beautiful here, you would wish you didn’t have to leave.
I heard about a restaurant that serves exotic meats -Tepesquintle among others- l will try to find it and I will have a verdict for
you all tomorrow.


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!?

Highway Food

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Here is a sample of what you can get on the roads to Petén. By chance we stopped at this restaurant on the side of the road; we were so impressed by the breakfast, we had to come back to try more of their food offerings.


And for dinner: Pinchos mixtos, camaron, res and cerdo.


These at Villa Habibi, no more than four kilometers from downtown Poptùn, Petèn, on your right.
Oh, the cheff happenes to be from the state where I lived for 17 years; Massachusetts… what are the odds!?


Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

I know, the images are not of the best quality -I’m saving images from my old camera- but I wanted to show you some of the food available in Petén, one of my favorite destinations here in Guatemala. That’s a churrasco, Peten style and the other photo: something unique to Petén, please forgive me; I’ve forgotten the name of the fish, but it is a unique fish to Lake Peten Itza and the Island of Flores is the best place to get it prepared perfectly. Bon Appétit.
Peten Meal
Peten Meal


Monday, September 16th, 2013

I was just able to rescue my waterproof camera’s photos and these are worth sharing. This is so far my favorite snorkeling trip here in Guatemala. I spent a few days in El Remate, a small town en route to Tikal National Park. This town is lovely, there are some good restaurants in the area, souvenir shops, and my favorite: the town is on the shores of Lago Peten Itza. The Water is clear blue, in fact; the water is so clean, so pure, you might crave drinking it. I grabbed my snorkeling gear and went for a dive. I was trying to find Mayan Artifacts on the bottom and indeed I did! I found couple of pieces of ceramics. There are some interesting rock formation there too, I’ll go back to them soon. While I was snorkeling, a group of local children arrived at the pier and starting jumping off. Chances favor the prepared mind! I had not planned for this, I point my camera at the right moment when a child dove in front of me and I captured the moment perfectly.
While snorkeling, these schools of tiny and curious fish would follow me every where. Lucky them I was not craving sushi.

Of Cattle and Discrimination

Monday, September 9th, 2013

This is a horrible discrimination story I heard while driving with a friend through Izabal, heading to Peten.
We were on Puente Rio Dulce and we saw this cattle transport and we started talking about the cattle business there in Peten. My friend tells me a story of a friend of his who invested in cattle in Peten. He raised the cattle and when it was ready, he hired a transport to take them cattle to the slaughterhouse, where they pay cash for the heads of cattle. He went to the first slaughterhouse and sold almost half of the load. He goes to a second slaughterhouse and sells a few more, goes to a third slaughterhouse and sells the remaining cattle: Except for one!
No body wanted to buy that last one because it was ugly. He went to another slaughterhouse, he lower the price but no one would buy that last head of cattle because it was ugly!
He tried and tried for the rest of the day without success. He had to sell it because he had no place to take the cattle back to and he did not live in Peten permanently.
He failed on finding a buyer, goes to a hardware store and buys a machete and butchers the zebu himself. Starts a fire on the side of the road and has a huge barbecue for everyone around.
Cattle Transport Izabal

Peten, Jungle Trekking

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Getting ready. Leaving Monday at dawn. Don’t expect many photographs. Humidity is very high, heavy rains are certainties, so camera will be deep in my backpack most of the time.



Sunday, August 4th, 2013

This is a personal project I’ve been carrying out every time the opportunity presents its self. Most indigenous Guatemalans are unaware of their ancestor’s (The Maya) achievements in Architecture, Cosmology, Astrology, Math, among many of the triumphs of the Mayan Civilization.
On my trips to the country side, I always bring a portable projector and I show them documentaries (in Spanish) about these themes.
The first time I showed them was in Melchor de Mencos, a bordering town with Belize. At the end of the night, more than 25 children had shown up and they all wanted to see more; I had to show them two documentaries.


Sunday, August 4th, 2013

I first visited Petén, the largest province of Guatemala, when I was fourteen years old. Since then I became enamored of its rivers, lagoons and jungles. In fact, the most beautiful lagoon I’ve ever seen –including photographs- is located here. Yes, I’m unbiased and honestly I can say that that place is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. I have not been back to the same location since, and not many people have heard of it.
I came to Guatemala in 2005 and went on a jungle trek to Petén for ten days, but I failed to find this place. Well, I was young when I first went there and did not remember how to get there, and this time I wanted to explore more of Petén, so I did not put much will in finding that lagoon (at least 11 hours hike to the lagoon from the closest road).
Since I moved back to Guatemala –more than nine months ago- I’ve been to Petén in several occasions; never stayed there for more than a few days.
Thanks to technology, my father –who accompanied me on my trip to the lagoon- and I were able to pinpoint the location. And now that I’m semi-retired I have all the time to travel. I’m planning a jungle trek to this location in a couple of weeks. This is not the best time; we are in the middle of the rainy season and all paths are covered by thick layers of mud. Unexpected rains are always expected (!), and this time I’ll travel solo.
Weather conditions are not the best, that’s going to make it a more memorable experience.
No, I’m not disclosing the location, but if it has not been destroyed, polluted and or deforested, I will be glad to share photos with you all.
If my camera survives the humidity!

Tikal National Park. Peten.

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Tikal, Peten, Guatemala
This is one of my old photographs. I took this with a point and shoot and film. I share this because it is the only photo I will very likely have from this point of view, because last time I went to Tikal, I went looking for this Mirador and found the tree fallen to the ground. Sad.