December 2001 - big trip - diary - belize - december 2001





Monday 10 December

Caracol was the final stop in the forest reserve. At the end of a long dirt road, only a few kilometres from Guatemala, its the largest Maya site in Belize, covering 117 square kms and having around 36,000 structures. The vast majority is yet to be excavated and what was excavated was being restored. Its a good site if you want to get a feel of how the first explorers must have felt when first finding the ruins.

A tomb...

...the view from inside


Mayan swimming pool


Nicely preserved stela

We returned to San Ignacio via the wrong single-lane bridge, having to reverse off due to a bus coming right at us. Failing to find any US or Guatemalan currency to swap for our Belizean in the only open bank in the town, we headed for the border. Here the formalities were straightforward but we foolishly changed our money on the Belizean side, discovering on the Guatemala side that the rate is 15% higher. Smoothly through the Guatemalan customs (they use computers, unlike Belize), we headed off into the Peten to find some mud.

The right way...

...and the wrong way!

Guatemalan border


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